Featured Essays

  • Sufganiot and Jewish Law

    Sufganiot and Jewish Law
    By David Brofsky
    (0)

    by R. David Brofsky Introduction This essay is dedicated to a topic central to the observance of Chanuka: Sufganiot (fried donuts). Many attribute the custom of eating sufganiot (i.e. dough fried in oil), to a passage authored by the Rambam’s father, R. Maimon (Sarid Ve-Palit, 1945). He writes: One should not be lenient regarding any custom, even the lightest of customs. And one is obligated to make every effort to prepare festivities (mishteh ve-simcha) and actions to publicize the miracle that God did for us on those days. It has […]

     
  • The “Burden” of Prophecy

    The “Burden” of Prophecy
    By Aharon Ziegler
    (0)

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Chazal note in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 44:6) that there are ten words that are used to describe prophecy. One of these words, used regarding the prophecy of the Navi Malachi (1:1) is Masah, which can be translated as “a burden”. Why is such an inappropriate word used with prophecy? In his Moreh Nevuchim (II: 37), the Rambam explains that prophecy truly is a burden. In experiencing his vision, the prophet encounters an exalted truth that others have not. […]

     
  • The Nights of Chanukah

    The Nights of Chanukah
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The Yeshiva Boys Choir singing Those Were the Nights of Chanukah:

     
  • Response to Nonsense

    Response to Nonsense
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The book of Mishlei (Prov. 26:4-5) offers directly contradictory advice on responding to fools: Do not respond to a fool’s folly in kind lest you too be considered his equal. Respond to a fool’s folly in kind lest he consider himself wise. So what should we do, respond or not? The Gemara (Shabbos 30b) distinguishes between a discussion of Torah, in which you should respond to prevent mistaken explanations from spreading, to a discussion of mundane things, which you should let go. Commentators explain differently. The Living Nach summarizes the […]

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Mikeitz

    Vort from the Rav: Mikeitz
    By Arnold Lustiger
    (0)

    Genesis 42:9: מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶֽם and he said to them, “You are spies, – you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” When Moses sent spies into the land of Israel, he asked them to determine the nature of the land itself …whether it is fat or lean, whether or not there are trees… (Num. 13:20). Because the children of Israel were about to initiate a long term relationship with the land of Israel, the two parties first needed to see each other. In this […]

     
  • All About the Miracle

    All About the Miracle
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The latest Maccabeats song for Chanukah:

     
 
 
 
 

Recent Essays

  • Sufganiot and Jewish Law

    David Brofsky (0)
    Sufganiot and Jewish Law

    by R. David Brofsky Introduction This essay is dedicated to a topic central to the observance of Chanuka: Sufganiot (fried...

     
  • The “Burden” of Prophecy

    Aharon Ziegler (0)
    The “Burden” of Prophecy

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Chazal note in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 44:6) that...

     
  • The Nights of Chanukah

    Gil Student (0)
    The Nights of Chanukah

    The Yeshiva Boys Choir singing Those Were the Nights of Chanukah: ...

     
  • Response to Nonsense

    Gil Student (0)
    Response to Nonsense

    The book of Mishlei (Prov. 26:4-5) offers directly contradictory advice on responding to fools: Do not respond to a fool’s...

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Mikeitz

    Arnold Lustiger (0)
    Vort from the Rav: Mikeitz

    Genesis 42:9: מְרַגְּלִים אַתֶּם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עֶרְוַת הָאָרֶץ בָּאתֶֽם and...

     
  • All About the Miracle

    Gil Student (0)
    All About the Miracle

    The latest Maccabeats song for Chanukah: ...

     
  • Guests and Travelers on Chanukah

    David Brofsky (0)
    Guests and Travelers on Chanukah

    by R. David Brofsky The basic mitzva of ner Ḥanukka is “ner ish uveito” (Shabbat 21b), that a light be kindled in the...

     
  • From the Archives of Tradition

    Yitzchak Blau (0)
    From the Archives of Tradition

    by R. Yitzchak Blau Hazal depict the Hanukkah story in two major locations: in a famous gemara (Shabbat 21b) and in the al...

     
  • Dead Men Don’t Talk

    Gil Student (1)
    Dead Men Don’t Talk

    by R. Gil Student The following statement is made in the Gemara (Yevamos 96b-97a): Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav: What...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (0)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich My mother of blessed memory would call this a bittere gelechter-or many a true word is said in jest: “In keeping...