Featured Essays

  • Havdala With Wine During The Nine Days

    Havdala With Wine During The Nine Days
    By Asher Bush
    (0)

    by R. Asher Bush The communal mourning practices during the period preceding Tisha B’Av have changed over time, now challenging the performance of an important mitzvah. The Talmud1 teaches that as part of our mourning in the period leading up to Tisha B’Av, a number of restrictions were imposed. When the month of Av begins, joy should be limited; during the week in which Tisha B’Av falls, it is prohibited to launder or cut hair. A prohibition to eat meat and drink wine was only formally made for the Seudah […]

     
  • Responding to Catastrophe

    Responding to Catastrophe
    By Aron White
    (0)

    by Aron White The destruction of the Second Beis Hamikdash was a devastating catastrophe for the Jewish people. The Gemara (Bava Basra 60b) records the sense of lethargy and depression that set in – Jews were so demoralised, they did not see any reason to continue Judaism. Beyond the initial depression, the long term questions of the future of Jewish identity and observance loomed large. What does Jewish life look like in a post Beis Hamikdash world? The Beis Hamikdash had been the centre of religious life for centuries. The […]

     
  • IDF Uniforms

    IDF Uniforms
    By Aharon Ziegler
    (0)

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik was very meticulous and stringent in every phase of Hilchot Tefillah, the laws of prayer. He often cited the Rambam (Tefillah 5:1) that eight specific aspects of prayer must be adhered to while standing for Shemoneh Esrei. The first four are: Amidah, standing; Nochach HaMikdash, facing Eretz Yisrael; Tikun HaGuf, feet together and clean body; and Tikun HaMalbushim, proper and dignified attire. He was once visited by a student who served in the Israel Defense Forces who […]

     
  • Torah From Sinai

    Torah From Sinai
    By Gil Student
    (1)

    Questions about the laws in Deuteronomy in comparison with those in earlier biblical books assume a process of prophetic transmission at Mt. Sinai and in the Sinai Desert. However, without even minimally exploring that transmission, we can never even begin to answer those questions. Jewish tradition teaches a dual transmission–the Written and the Oral Torahs. Distinguishing between these two traditions helps us understand the law and resolve texts that otherwise appear contradictory. What follows is a section of R. Yehuda Copperman’s Peninei Meshech Chochmah. R. Moshe Schapiro translated the text, […]

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Audio Roundup
    By Joel Rich
    (1)

    by Joel Rich A letter recently published in our local Federation paper. Comments? Kaddish and meaning July 10, 2014 Re “Local women reflect on saying Kaddish,” June 18 Your recent articles on Kaddish confirm the Jewish people’s ability to infuse a prayer with meaning. (“Local women reflect on saying Kaddish,” June 19). Kaddish itself is essentially a powerful prayer for our ultimate redemption, which most likely became associated with mourning in an attempt to give those in need of hope something to cling to. There are those who posit that […]

     
  • Tefillin on Tisha B’Av

    Tefillin on Tisha B’Av
    By David Roth
    (1)

    by David Roth Contemporary practice seems near universal that tefillin are worn on Tisha B’Av in the afternoon but not in the morning.  However, the exceptions–particularly among Sephardim–point to divergent opinions on the subject.  In fact, there is a major debate among the Rishonim regarding whether one wears tefillin at all on Tisha B’Av. Different Views Most Rishonim, including Tosafos,1 Rosh,2 Ramban,3 Ran,4 Rashba5 in the name of R. Hai Gaon, and Beis Yosef6 rule that one is obliged to wear tefillin on Tisha B’Av.7  The Rambam8 says that some […]

     
 
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Recent Essays

  • Havdala With Wine During The Nine Days

    Asher Bush (0)
    Havdala With Wine During The Nine Days

    by R. Asher Bush The communal mourning practices during the period preceding Tisha B’Av have changed over time, now...

     
  • Responding to Catastrophe

    Aron White (0)
    Responding to Catastrophe

    by Aron White The destruction of the Second Beis Hamikdash was a devastating catastrophe for the Jewish people. The Gemara...

     
  • IDF Uniforms

    Aharon Ziegler (0)
    IDF Uniforms

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik was very meticulous and stringent...

     
  • Torah From Sinai

    Gil Student (1)
    Torah From Sinai

    Questions about the laws in Deuteronomy in comparison with those in earlier biblical books assume a process of prophetic...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (1)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich A letter recently published in our local Federation paper. Comments? Kaddish and meaning July 10, 2014 Re “Local...

     
  • Tefillin on Tisha B’Av

    David Roth (1)
    Tefillin on Tisha B’Av

    by David Roth Contemporary practice seems near universal that tefillin are worn on Tisha B’Av in the afternoon but...

     
  • Modern Orthodoxy and the Right

    Gil Student (5)
    Modern Orthodoxy and the Right

    During the time of unity in which we find ourselves, due both to the war in Israel and the Tisha B’Av season, I want...

     
  • Alternative Burial Arrangements

    David Roth (1)
    Alternative Burial Arrangements

    by David Roth The Torah1 command to bury the dead leads to an inevitable practical problem. Each body requires a space of...

     
  • New Periodical: Hakirah 17

    Gil Student (2)
    New Periodical: Hakirah 17

    Hakirah no. 17, Summer 2014: Letters to the Editor Review Essay: Torah, Chazal and Science by Dr. Nathan Aviezer –...

     
  • An Overlooked View on Women’s Aliyyot II

    Yitzchak Kasdan (0)
    An Overlooked View on Women’s Aliyyot II

    In a follow-up from yesterday’s essay, Rabbis Aryeh and Dov Frimer respond and Yitzchak Kasdan continues the conversation. by...