Featured Essays

  • Style of Haggadah Commentaries

    Style of Haggadah Commentaries
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The Pesach Haggadah is generally considered to be the Jewish text with the most commentaries written on it. J.D. Eisenstein wrote around the year 1900 that over 1,500 commentaries have been published. By now it is probably well over 2,000. In R. Gidon Rothstein’s doctoral dissertation, he analyzed commentaries on Pirkei Avos and noted a significant change in styles in the late fifteenth century. A few years ago, I wondered whether anyone had conducted a similar analysis of Haggadah commentaries. Not being aware of any such study I spent time […]

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Audio Roundup
    By Joel Rich
    (0)

    by Joel Rich My correspondent: Second order rule lists are very common and have yet to be well worked through in English — they include things like safek deoryata lechumra and sefaek derabanan lekula and safek brachot lehakel and even hilcheta kebartai. Some of them are in tension, also. The world is still waiting for a good work on this analytically Me: The interaction of second order decision making rules has always interested me. I’ve thought for a while that rather than a pure Boolean algorithmic approach which yields one […]

     
  • If the Social Orthodox Had Been in Egypt, Would They Have Been Redeemed?

    If the Social Orthodox Had Been in Egypt, Would They Have Been Redeemed?
    By Gidon Rothstein
    (16)

    by R. Gidon Rothstein Jay Lefkowitz‘s vivid description of Social Orthodoxy in Commentary is both beautiful and troubling. On the one hand, he highlights a remarkable aspect of the Modern Orthodox community. However, his unabashed theological admissions demand changes in how we make communal decisions. (Disclosure: I have met him socially but I doubt either of us would recognize the other without another introduction). Defining the Social Orthodox Mr. Lefkowitz uses himself as a representative example to tell us that Social Orthodox Jews engage in the bulk of the observances […]

     
  • Karpas

    Karpas
    By Ari Enkin
    (0)

    by R. Ari Enkin After Kiddush has been recited at the start of the Seder, the hands are washed in preparation for karpas. Karpas is the “station” in the Seder when a vegetable is dipped into salt water1 or vinegar.2 There is actually an opinion that the karpas should be dipped into charoset,3 though common custom is not in accordance with this view.4 The word “karpas” is said to be an acronym for the words “samech perech“, meaning “600,000 suffered in backbreaking labor”.5 There are a number of interpretations as […]

     
  • Ten Answers For The Wise Son

    Ten Answers For The Wise Son
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The Passover seder is full of fours: four questions, four cups, four sons. The midrashic reading of four sons into the biblical text is brilliant, comparing the four times the Torah refers to teaching sons. Yet the answers given within the haggadah raise many questions. Thankfully so, since the haggadah is the Jewish text most commented on. What follows are ten explanations of the answer to the wise son. The wise son’s text is taken from Deut, 6:20 However, the Torah’s answer is “avadim hayinu…” (Deut. 6:21-25), which appears previously […]

     
  • Historical Revelation

    Historical Revelation
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    The wise son of the Haggadah asks: “What are the testimonies, the statutes and the laws which the Lord, our God, has commended you?” (Deut. 6:20). R. Zvi Kanotopsky (Rejoice In Your Festivals: Penetrating Insights Into Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot, p. 62), a leading student of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik (link), explains in a 1952 sermon that this was originally said to the generation of the Exodus. “The wise son is asking about צווי, the commandment. He is asking about the revelation from his father who stood at Sinai.” R. […]

     
 
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Recent Essays

  • Style of Haggadah Commentaries

    Gil Student (0)
    Style of Haggadah Commentaries

    The Pesach Haggadah is generally considered to be the Jewish text with the most commentaries written on it. J.D. Eisenstein...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (0)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich My correspondent: Second order rule lists are very common and have yet to be well worked through in English...

     
  • If the Social Orthodox Had Been in Egypt, Would They Have Been Redeemed?

    Gidon Rothstein (16)
    If the Social Orthodox Had Been in Egypt, Would They Have Been Redeemed?

    by R. Gidon Rothstein Jay Lefkowitz‘s vivid description of Social Orthodoxy in Commentary is both beautiful and troubling....

     
  • Karpas

    Ari Enkin (0)
    Karpas

    by R. Ari Enkin After Kiddush has been recited at the start of the Seder, the hands are washed in preparation for karpas....

     
  • Ten Answers For The Wise Son

    Gil Student (0)
    Ten Answers For The Wise Son

    The Passover seder is full of fours: four questions, four cups, four sons. The midrashic reading of four sons into the biblical...

     
  • Historical Revelation

    Gil Student (0)
    Historical Revelation

    The wise son of the Haggadah asks: “What are the testimonies, the statutes and the laws which the Lord, our God, has...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (0)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich From the Wall Street Journal: link Anyone who has felt like the odd duck of the group can take heart from new...

     
  • Rav Sacks and Rav Melamed

    Gil Student (0)
    Rav Sacks and Rav Melamed

    Yesterday, Nachum Segal interviewed R. Jonathan Sacks about the new edition of his haggadah. He also interviewed R. Elli...

     
  • The Use of Quinoa on Pesach

    Asher Bush (14)
    The Use of Quinoa on Pesach

    by R. Asher Bush For the past several years many people have been excited about the possibility of adding a new item–Quinoa–to...

     
  • Sippur Yetzi’at Mitzrayim

    Aharon Ziegler (0)
    Sippur Yetzi’at Mitzrayim

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Reciting the Haggadah at the Pesach seder is a fulfillment...