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Torah u-Madda Thirty Years Later

How has the relationship between Torah and general knowledge (Madda) changed thirty years after Norman Lamm pioneered why general study alongside Torah can be religiously meaningful?
©Cla78/stock.adobe.com
©Cla78/stock.adobe.com
Dr. Elana Stein Hain is the Rosh Beit Midrash and a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she serves as lead faculty and consults on the content of lay and professional programs. A widely well-regarded thinker and teacher, Elana is passionate about bringing rabbinic thought into conversation with contemporary life. To this end, she hosts TEXTing a bi-weekly podcast that considers issues relevant to Jewish life through the lens

“As a religious person who loves knowledge and is stimulated by study of all kinds, I owe a great debt to Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm z”l. Thirty years ago, he set out to describe why study of general knowledge (Madda) alongside a Torah curriculum is religiously meaningful. As the chancellor of a university that offered such a dual curriculum, his goal was to describe how the individual student might understand and orient the study of secular knowledge as a Jewish pursuit. Dr. Lamm’s own life’s work reflected his belief that the mind is a primary, if not the primary way to inspire a connection to God.”

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