Thursday, December 13th, 2018

The Dangers of “Soft Stringency:” Hearing Aids, Chumrot, and Moral Sensitivity in Halakhic Handbooks

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Philosophy

The Dangers of “Soft Stringency:” Hearing Aids, Chumrot, and Moral Sensitivity in Halakhic Handbooks By Shlomo Brody Is it forbidden to speak to someone wearing a hearing aid on Shabbat? In an earlier post, I discussed the impact of halakha handbooks on contemporary halakhic discourse, focusing on the whether certain books change their rulings given [...]

The Akeidah and Our Commitment to Halakha

November 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Halakha, Philosophy, Tanach

The Akeidah and Our Commitment to Halakha  by Aryeh Klapper “Do not send your hand forth against the lad; Do not do him any harm”.  Every year at this time we tremble in suspense as Avraham raises the knife, then sigh in relief when the angel calls out in time to save Yitzchak.  We rejoice [...]

From Our Archives: Prof. Michael Wyschogrod

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under From Our Archives, Philosophy

First Things recently published a very positive review by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of the theology of Professor Michael Wyschogrod.  Prof. Wyschogrod currently teaches at Yeshiva University and is a longtime member of Tradition‘s editorial board.  Rabbi Soloveichik’s essay largely reflects on Wyschogrod’s most important book, The Body of Faith.   A different book by Wyschogrod, Abraham’s Promise:  Judaism and [...]

On the Role of Intuition in Shaping One’s Service of God: The Change at Sinai and the Difference Between Avraham and Noach

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Philosophy, Tanach

On the Role of Intuition in Shaping One’s Service of God: The Change at Sinai and the Difference Between Avraham and Noach By Gidon Rothstein What’s So Bad About Noach? Rashi, following the tenor of Hazal, beats up on Noach, seemingly anxious to point out his failings. For just one example, Rashi records a dispute [...]

Misreading the Torah: The Curse of Ham and Racism

October 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Philosophy

Misreading the Torah:  The Curse of Ham and Racism  Guest Post   By Alan Yuter  The curse of Ham has wrongly been cited to wrongly justify the wrongful treatment of human beings without power by human beings with power.  In this essay, we first define the problem, outline the facts recorded in the Hebrew Bible, summarize [...]

Final Exam in Jewish Philosophy of Dr. Joseph Soloveitchik, 1936

October 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Philosophy

by Nathaniel Helfgot An interesting detail of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l’s biography, not widely known or discussed (for example, it is not mentioned in the important biographical essay on the Rav that opens Rabbi Aaron Rakaffet’s two volume  The Rav: The World of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik nor in the important work of my [...]

The Importance of Engaging in Personal Inventories

October 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Halakha, Philosophy

The Importance of Engaging in Personal Inventories by Yaakov Bieler              It is self-apparent that a central component of Judaism is Teshuva (repentance.)[1] Since man is a conflicted, dualistic creature[2] and therefore aspirations to totally achieve spiritual, moral and religious perfection are by definition impossible to realize, the individual striving for higher levels of holiness [...]

Can Something Be Too Much for G-d to Ask?

October 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Halakha, Philosophy

by Aryeh Klapper Can Something Be Too Much for G-d to Ask? Are there limits to what G-d can require of human beings? At first glance the answers seem obvious – we are told to love G-d with all our “nefesh”, and normative Halakhah understands this as imposing an obligation on all Jews to surrender [...]

Aseret Yemei Teshuva: Insights From an Early Biblical Paradigm

September 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Holidays, Philosophy

Aseret Yemei Teshuva: Insights from an Early Biblical Paradigm by David C. Flatto  Bridging the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Aseret Yemei Teshuva have an urgent and distinctive quality that is such a familiar aspect of the Jewish calendar.  Less known, however, is the earliest source for singling out these days.  [...]

Theological Truths vs. Spiritual Vibes: Nigunim, Heresy, and Machnisei Rachamim

September 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Halakha, Philosophy, Prayer

Theological Truths vs. Spiritual Vibes:   Nigunim, Heresy, and Machnisei Rachamim By Shlomo Brody I would like to write about the latest development in a long-standing debate over the propriety of asking angels to bring one’s prayers to God, known as intercessory prayers.  In particular, I refer to popularization of singing machnisei rachamim to the tune of [...]

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