Featured Essays

  • A Matter of Pride

    A Matter of Pride
    By Aron White
    (0)

    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 […]

     
  • Speaking With Satan

    Speaking With Satan
    By Gil Student
    (0)

    by R. Gil Student God is just, merciful and fair. Why, then, are we told that saying something bad–opening our mouths to Satan–can cause bad things to happen? Why should a just God punish us for discussing a negative possibility? The Talmud raises this issue in three places but does not explain the theological mechanisms by which it operates. I’d like to explore approaches from mystical, rationalist and moralistic perspectives. I. Don’t Say This A mourner is required to justify God’s judgment, to say “tziduk ha-din.” The Talmud (Berakhos 19a) […]

     
  • Vort from the Rav: Bereishis

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

    Genesis 4:6 וְכִי תַאֲוָה הוּא לָעֵינַיִם וְנֶחְמָד הָעֵץ לְהַשְׂכִּיל and that it was a desire to the eyes, and the tree was attractive to look at. The Tree of Knowledge is described in purely esthetic categories: 1) תַאֲוָה – the moment of lust, invincible, hypnotic desire that spells ethical atrophy and indifference; 2) נֶחְמָד – in the sense of attractiveness and fascination: esthetic tension brought about by the experience of beauty (Le-haskil) therefore in this context denotes to the eye. Onkelos translates לְהַשְׂכִּיל as לְאִסתַּכָָּלָא בֵּיה (“to look at”). David […]

     
  • How and Why Should One Rejoice On the Festivals?

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

    by Rav Chaim Navon Limits to the Mitzva of Rejoicing Elsewhere, we noted that the mitzva of rejoicing on a festival is exceptional, in that it combines concrete action and inner emotion. We also said that this combination necessitates special caution. We are dealing here with a mitzva that can easily turn into wild abandon and blur the spiritual aspects of the commandment. When Halakha nurtures and stirs up a volatile emotion like joy, it also imposes limits, for it is well aware of the dangers posed by unrestricted emotion. We […]

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Audio Roundup
    By Joel Rich
    (2)

    by Joel Rich Laws Borel’s Law – “Events with a sufficiently small probability never occur” Stigler’s Law – “No scientific law is named after its original discoverer, including this one” Rich’s Law – “All actions have unforeseen consequences, which after the fact were foreseeable by all” Joel’s Law – “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is in the circus” ~ ~ ~ Agudath Israel of America, the leading ultra-Orthodox umbrella group, does not promote or oppose vaccinations. Kamenetsky sits on the group’s rabbinical board. “It’s a […]

     
  • Women Dancing With Torah Scrolls

    Women Dancing With Torah Scrolls
    By Gil Student
    (3)

    by R. Gil Student I don’t like dancing, not on Simchas Torah nor at bar mitvahs nor even at my wedding. It’s a chore I’ve learned to deal with. Looking over the mechitzah on Simchas Torah, I am both troubled and envious. Many of the women I see look very bored. Why should they sit bored on this holiday? On the other hand, they do not have this communal, family and customary obligation to dance. They can sit in the women’s section and open a sefer and learn. I can’t […]

     
 
  • Daily Reyd

    Daily Reyd (3)

    ▪ I recognize a lot of similarities...

     
  • Books Received

    Books Received (0)

    A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary...

     
  • Daily Reyd

    Daily Reyd (0)

    ▪ ‘Zoo rabbi’ opens museum...

     
  • Daily Reyd

    Daily Reyd (1)

    ▪ This is inevitable in any...

     
 
 
 

Recent Essays

  • A Matter of Pride

    Aron White (0)
    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,...

     
  • Audio Roundup

    Joel Rich (2)
    Audio Roundup

    by Joel Rich Laws Borel’s Law – “Events with a sufficiently small probability never occur” Stigler’s Law – “No...

     
  • Women Dancing With Torah Scrolls

    Gil Student (3)
    Women Dancing With Torah Scrolls

    by R. Gil Student I don’t like dancing, not on Simchas Torah nor at bar mitvahs nor even at my wedding. It’s...

     
  • The Sukkot Transition: From Individual to Community

    Yehoshua Pfeffer (0)
    The Sukkot Transition: From Individual to Community

    by R. Yehoshua Pfeffer The calendar transition from the gravity of the Days of Awe to the festive atmosphere of Sukkot involves...

     
  • Yom Tov Candles: Women and Shehecheyanu

    Ari Enkin (1)
    Yom Tov Candles: Women and Shehecheyanu

    by R. Ari Enkin With the exception of the last day(s) of Pesach, the “shehecheyanu” blessing is recited as part...

     
  • Judaism and Industrial Food Production

    Gil Student (1)
    Judaism and Industrial Food Production

    by R. Gil Student Keeping kosher has never been easier, both for the poor and the wealthy. The centralization of food production...