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Michael Chighel

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Michael Chighel (Kigel) received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto for his dissertation on the Book of Job, after a specialization in 20th-century French and German thought. In Canada he taught in the departments of philosophy and of Jewish studies at the universities of York, Queen’s and Waterloo. He produced Passages and Messages for eleven seasons on Canadian television (CTS). Until this year he held the Rohr Chair of Jewish Studies at the Lauder Business School in Vienna, where he taught Torah, European ethics and political economy. He has translated a number of books and published various articles in Jewish thought. Michael and his family have recently made aliyah, and now live in Jerusalem.
A news report on the Purim events
Near Genocide of Jews in Khuzistan
A whimsical retelling of the events surrounding the Purim miracle – as it would have been reported by newscasters reporting from the Iron-Age.
Dear Friend, You know that stubborn, pugnacious, rebellious little grunt-like feeling that wells up in your gut when you hear the word “Don’t … ” at the beginning of a sentence addressed to you? Have you ever felt it when you read the Ten Commandments—tha...
The Philosopher's Latke
If you love someone because he or she is beautiful, intelligent or kind, who do you really love? A lesson in Jewish commitment to our traditions.
The Essence of Poverty
Don’t Give a Dime
After his studio goes up in flames, artist Yoram Raanan reflects on the loss of 40 years of work
It was only last Monday that I took the bus to Beit Meir, the graceful little mountain-top village 20 kilometers west of Jerusalem, in order to visit Yoram Raanan. Yoram is a new friend, though the kind you feel you have known and cherished for years. Whe...
For peoples who have attained a state of aesthetic affluence in high art, where the luxuriant proliferation of genius obliges art museum curators to be as panicked about which masterly works to leave out of their collections as about which works to includ...
The night Elie Wiesel met the Rebbe
“My first visit to his court lasted almost an entire night,” writes Elie Wiesel in his Memoirs regarding how he came to Brooklyn, sometime in the early ’60s,Since The Gates of the Forest (Les portes de la forêt), Wiesel’s initial quasi-fictional account o...
A reflection on why Jews kiss Torah books
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. (Song of Songs 1:2) Early during the 17th-century Enlightenment, an uprising of scholars and sundry quillmen with ink-stained fingers from across Europe and America confedera...
The on-point, off-beat course on the transmission of Torah
Scroll Down with Dr. Michael Chighel
Scroll Down is designed to initiate auditors into a first acquaintance with the Torah and with Jewish history and ideas. The video lessons are presented at an introductory level of Jewish Studies at college.
Dear Friend, With Purim in Jerusalem around the corner, I walk through the Machane Yehuda marketplace, and two signs of the impending holy day—one deliberate, one accidental—strike me. The deliberate sign is the plethora of hamantaschen (or oznei Haman, “...
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