Featured Essays

  • Overcoming Nature or Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

    Overcoming Nature or Why Bad Things Happen to Good People
    By Gidon Rothstein
    (0)

    by R. Gidon Rothstein With Moshe there for the rebuke of Aharon and Miriam, people might think Moshe’s feelings had led to Miriam’s leprosy.  Hashem has the Torah speak of Moshe’s humility to make clear that’s not what happened, but the possibility leads Ran to a discussion of what’s inherent to us, such as the possibility of Moshe causing his sister’s leprosy, even without intention. Does Our Fault Lie In Our Stars? Prior essays in this series Ran points to Shabbat 156a, which says that a person born in מאדים, […]

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Noach

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

    Genesis 9:23 וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִּׂמְלָה …וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת עֶרְוַת אֲבִיהֶם – And Shem and Japheth took the garment…and they covered their father’s nakedness. Rashi explains the use of the singular וַיִּקַּח emphasizing that Shem initiated the activity of covering his father, with Japheth later joining him. Our sages indicate that as a reward for covering their father’s nakedness, Shem merited that his descendants would be given the mitzvah of tzitzis, while the reward for Japheth was that his descendent Gog would merit burial (Ez. 39:11, Bereishis Rabbah 36:6). Shem […]

     
  • The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel

    The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel
    By Elchanan Samet
    (2)

    “And Man’s Loftiness Will be Bowed:”1 The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel by Rav Elchanan Samet On the surface, the brief episode of the Tower of Bavel (Bereishit 11:1-9) appears to be a story of sin and its punishment. However, what is the nature of this sin, and where exactly is it described in the narrative? These are not easy questions. Bereishit Rabba notes (38:10), “The deed of the Generation of the Flood is explicated, but the deed of the Generation of the Dispersal is not.” Yet, […]

     
  • The 9/11 Memorial and Jewish Law

    The 9/11 Memorial and Jewish Law
    By Gil Student
    (1)

    by R. Gil Student As a New York resident who worked in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, I will forever be haunted by the tragic day and its aftermath. However, visitors and future generations, including my own children, need more than personal memories. The 9/11 memorial and museum are intended to provide that. A recent article in First Things by Catesby Leigh, an architecture and art critic, excoriates the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. I am hardly an architecture or art critic and I have not even visited the […]

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Audio Roundup
    By Joel Rich
    (0)

    by Joel Rich Shulchan Aruch Chapter 607: 6. ….. Yom Kippur only forgives the transgressions that one sincerely atoned for. But if one prayed on Yom Kippur but thought in his heart “what good is this?”, Yom Kippur does not atone for him. Irony for social orthodoxy? The atonement doesn’t work, but why would they care? I’d like to hear from anyone whose shul actively seeks objective input on its functions (e.g. survey re adult ed, rabbi…). How do you do it? Rav Mayer Twersky-Do we Really Believe? Are We […]

     
  • A Matter of Pride

    A Matter of Pride
    By Aron White
    (2)

    by Aron White Torah study has been a fundamental part of Judaism for a long time. However, there is one element of it which can be found throughout classical Jewish sources right up until the previous century, which I believe has eroded greatly in the past fifty years. This element is the idea of pride in Torah and Talmidei Chachamim. In order to explain any change in religious psyche, it is incumbent to provide the model against which I am comparing us. The Harvard sociologists Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog […]

     
 
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Recent Essays

  • Overcoming Nature or Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

    Gidon Rothstein (0)
    Overcoming Nature or Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

    by R. Gidon Rothstein With Moshe there for the rebuke of Aharon and Miriam, people might think Moshe’s feelings had led...

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Noach

    Arnold Lustiger (0)
    Vort from the Rav: Noach

    Genesis 9:23 וַיִּקַּח שֵׁם וָיֶפֶת אֶת הַשִּׂמְלָה …וַיְכַסּוּ אֵת...

     
  • The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel

    Elchanan Samet (2)
    The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel

    “And Man’s Loftiness Will be Bowed:”1 The Sin and Punishment of the Tower of Bavel by Rav Elchanan Samet On...

     
  • The 9/11 Memorial and Jewish Law

    Gil Student (1)
    The 9/11 Memorial and Jewish Law

    by R. Gil Student As a New York resident who worked in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, I will forever be haunted by the...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (0)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich Shulchan Aruch Chapter 607: 6. ….. Yom Kippur only forgives the transgressions that one sincerely atoned for....

     
  • A Matter of Pride

    Aron White (2)
    A Matter of Pride

    by Aron White Torah study has been a fundamental part of Judaism for a long time. However, there is one element of it which...

     
  • Speaking With Satan

    Gil Student (0)
    Speaking With Satan

    by R. Gil Student God is just, merciful and fair. Why, then, are we told that saying something bad–opening our mouths...

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Bereishis

    Arnold Lustiger (0)
    Vort from the Rav: Bereishis

    Genesis 4:6 וְכִי תַאֲוָה הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל and...

     
  • Books Received

    Gil Student (0)
    Books Received

    A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates by R. Shlomo M. Brody (Maggid) ...

     
  • How and Why Should One Rejoice On the Festivals?

    Chaim Navon (0)
    How and Why Should One Rejoice On the Festivals?

    by Rav Chaim Navon Limits to the Mitzva of Rejoicing Elsewhere, we noted that the mitzva of rejoicing on a festival is exceptional,...