Norman Lamm

American rabbi

Norman (Nachum) Lamm (born December 19, 1927) is an American Modern Orthodox rabbi, scholar and Jewish communal leader. He is presently the Chancellor of Yeshiva University.



Seventy faces: articles of faith (2002)

Norman Lamm (2002) Seventy Faces: Articles of Faith ISBN 978-0881257687
  • … a moral consideration of the utmost importance for us: we must respect individual differences, yet we must coordinate, work together, and act as one.
  • Mutual commitment to ideals -- yes; the stifling of all dissenting notions -- no.
  • This principle of unity of the whole along with respect for individual differences is symbolized … in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.
  • Each of us must have tucked away in some corner of his and her brain a contrarian -- or ipkha mistabra -- compartment whose function it is to seek out views other than those we readily consent to because they swarm around us. The devil’s advocate can well turn out to be an angelic emissary. And swimming against the stream may be the best way to avoid drowning.
  • Conventional dogmas, even if endowed with the authority of an Aristotle - ancient or modern - must be tested vigorously. If they are found wanting, we need not bother with them. But if they are found to be substantially correct, we may not overlook them.
  • In Judaism, there are 613 biblical commandments, and the Talmud says that the chief commandment of all is study.
  • Judaism is an intellectually based religion, and the single most important theme is that of study.
  • No religious position is loyally served by refusing to consider annoying theories which may well turn out to be facts.
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