Sunday, March 26th, 2017

מי לה’ אלי?: Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln… The Chanukah Version by Gidon Rothstein

December 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts

The full line of the quip in the title goes, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” and is meant to wryly note some people’s ability to miss the significance of an event—the assassination of a President, in that case– and move on to trivial matters.  I think it a point to keep [...]

The Nahem Controversy: A Brief Summary by Shlomo Brody

July 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts

Particularly since the Six-Day War, there has been an ongoing discussion within Israel regarding the propriety of stating the Nahem prayer during Mincha of Tisha Be’av.  Below I provide a brief summary, adapted from my Jerusalem Post Ask The Rabbi column, which, because of editorial complications, will only appear in the paper this coming Friday.  [...]

Flexibility: The Key to Redemption? By Gidon Rothstein

July 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts

Around this time of year, we once again face our continuing state of חורבן, of the destruction not only of our Temple, our Beit haMikdash, but really of the national, legislative, judicial, social, and cultural structure that would be ideal for our people.  There are many explanations for why and how this happened, perhaps the [...]

Torat Tisha Be’av, Torat Timahon: The Confused Torah of Tisha Be’av by David C. Flatto

July 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts

The core prohibition of learning Torah on Tisha Be’av permits certain narrow exceptions (see Taanit 30a).[1]  Most well known is the allowance to study tragic material, such as Jeremiah and Job.  This makes much sense.  As the Talmud explains, the ban on learning during Tisha Be’av derives from the joyous nature of Torah study (“The [...]

From Our Archives: The Book of Ruth

In honor of Shavuot: Megillat Ruth:  A Unique Story of Torat Hesed by Yossi Prager (35:4, 2001) A (Critical) Review of Artscroll’s edition of Megillas Ruth by Isaac Boaz Gottlieb (21:1, Spring 1983) Chag Sameach! Shlomo Brody

Missing the Point of Holidays: Chametz and Kitniyot on Passover & Torah and Bikkurim on Shavuot by Gidon Rothstein

April 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts

Mistakes are sometimes self-contained, so that they affect nothing other than the issue they address.  Sometimes, though, mistakes—or even just slight misrepresentations of the truth—feed on themselves and end up overshadowing or obscuring important other truths.  Pesach and Shavuot, for me personally, are among the times when the latter is true, when our attachment to [...]

From Our Archives: In Honor of Israel Independence Day

April 18, 2010 by  
Filed under From Our Archives, Holidays, New Posts

Redemption as Responsibility by Yuval Cherlow (39:3, Fall 2006) On the Shoulders of a Giant:  Looking Back, Yet Looking Forward by Nathaniel Helfgot (39:3, Fall 2006) The Love of Israel as a Factor in Halakhic Decision Making in the Works of Rabbi Benzion Uziel by Hayyim David Halevy (24:3, Spring 1989) Arms Transfers, the State [...]

Bringing the Geulah Through Mekhirat Chametz by Daniel Z. Feldman

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Halakha, Holidays, New Posts

Mekhirat chametz sometimes gets a bad rap. The widespread practice of observant Jews selling their chametz to a non-Jew prior to Pesach, and thus avoiding the prohibitions of bal yeraeh and bal yematze while preserving the chametz for repossession after Pesach, is sometimes seen as a way of not having one’s cake and eating it [...]

May Women Get Their Hair Cut on Chol Ha-Moed? Halakhic and Meta-Halakhic Considerations by Aryeh Klapper

March 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Halakha, Holidays, New Posts

May women get their hair cut on Chol Ha-Moed?  שולחן ערוך אורח חיים סימן תקמו סעיף ה עושה אשה כל תכשיטיה במועד; כוחלת ופוקסת (פי’ מחלקת שערה לכאן ולכאן רש”י), ומעברת סרק על פניה, וטופלת עצמה בסיד וכיוצא בו; והוא שתוכל לסלקו במועד; ומעברת שער מבית השחי ומבית הערוה, בין ביד בין בכלי, ומעברת סכין [...]

More Than Just a Line in Our Prayers: Remembering the Exodus by Gidon Rothstein

January 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Holidays, New Posts, Tanach

In the context of my Mission of Orthodoxy project, I recently noted that Orthodox Jewish men are required to twice daily recall the Exodus from Egypt.  While Rambam does not count this as a separate mitzvah, he does include it as part of the structure of the Shema that obligates us morning and evening.[1]  We [...]

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