Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Parashat Shmini – Aharon’s Reversals of Fortune and Unflagging Courage by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts, Parasha

Aharon’s disappointments leading up to Parashat Shmini. Aharon, the brother of Moshe, undergoes two experiences that severely test his resolve and self-image, even before he suffers the numbing loss of his two oldest sons, Nadav and Avihu while they are engaged in offering sacrifices in the newly dedicated Mishkan (VaYikra 10:1 ff.) I. The loss [...]

Parashat Vayeshev: The Marriage Quandary by Yaakov Bieler

November 23, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Parasha

Yehuda’s Strange Choice for Marriage In Beraishit 38, we learn about Yehuda’s marriage and his interactions with his children and daughter-in-law. Yehuda’s choice to wed an ostensibly Canaanite woman—38:2 “Bat Ish Canaani” (the daughter of a Canaanite man)[1]  —appears to fly in the face of the traditions that were begun by Avraham and continued down [...]

Parashat Beraishit: The Challenge of Free Will – From One Firstborn to Another by Yaakov Bieler

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under New Posts, Parasha

While the Parsha of Beraishit contains many well-known, seminal stories with respect to the universal human condition,[1] the verse to which I find myself being drawn year after year, is Beraishit 4:7. After Kayin (Cain) is crestfallen as a result of his younger brother Hevel’s (Abel) sacrifice being divinely accepted, while his own is rejected, [...]

Our Writers Respond: Women, Communal Leadership, and Balancing Halakhic Values by Nathaniel Helfgot

I would like to commend my colleagues and friends, Rabbis Brody, Klapper (here and here) and Rothstein (here and here) for their stimulating and substantive posts in the last few weeks, partially in reaction to my original post on two halakhic issues that have been raised regarding the issue of expanding women’s roles in communal [...]

Our Writers Respond: Chukim, Mishpatim, and Womanhood by Aryeh Klapper (Part 1)

Chukim and Mishpatim in Halakha and Hashkafa              A core concept in popular Orthodox thought is the distinction between חוקים and משפטים as presented by Rashi.  In this view, mitzvot are classified by whether they do or do not have a humanly intelligible purpose.  This position is hashkafically alien to the Spanish philosophical tradition, and [...]

Our Writers Respond: The Component Issues of a Traditional Jewish Womanhood by Gidon Rothstein

You know that moment in a conversation where you begin to suspect that the two of you see the world so differently, it might not even be possible to have an intelligible exchange? I do, very well; I once, years ago, deeply offended a congregant and friend when, in the middle of a discussion of [...]

Our Writers Respond: Why Do We Insist on Misrepresenting the Torah’s Attitude Towards Non-Jews?

September 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Halakha, Our Writers Respond

Why Do We Insist on Misrepresenting the Torah’s Attitude Towards Non-Jews? by Gidon Rothstein My previous post in this space generated a great deal more comment than I had expected. In broad terms, those comments felt that a) Judaism has always, and continues to, discriminate against non-Jews, the thrust of Torah Temimah’s comment and my [...]