• Noach’s Sacrifices

    by R. Gil Student From a philosophical perspective, why did Noach bring sacrifices? And Noach built an altar to God and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. (Gen. 8:20) Rambam (Moreh Nevukhim 3:32) famously argues that a primary reason for ani...

  • Preaching in the Local Language: Addendum

    by R. Gil Student In response to an earlier essay, a learned reader directed me to Seridei Eish (2:53:7, 2:149 in old editions), where Rav Yechiel Ya’akov Weinberg permits sermons in the local language. He distinguishes between prior generations, in which sermons were given in German in order to dra...

  • Blessings on Mitzvot

    by R. Gidon Rothstein 1st Day RH Cheshvan: Chatam Sofer on Brachot on Mitzvot A long time ago, I thought about writing a PhD dissertation about R. Tzvi Hirsch Chayes (I gave it up because I wasn’t interested in learning the necessary languages, and Bruria Hutner David beat me to it as well), so I ki...

  • New Periodical: RJJ Journal LXXIV

    New issue of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, no. LXXIV (Succot 5778, Fall 2017): Transgenders in Jewish Law and Thought by R. Alfred Cohen – Surgery is forbidden. Dressing and making one’s body look like the opposite gender is forbidden. Changing gender is tampering with Creat...

  • Connecting to Hashem

    Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik pointed out that Tefillah (Prayer) and Nevu’ah (Prophecy) are two sides of the same coin. While both involve dialogue between human being and G-d, there is one major difference: in Nevu’ah G-d initiates the dialog...

  • Preaching in the Local Language

    by R. Gil Student I. Preaching and Change Proponents of religious change offer many different arguments for justification, some more plausible than others. One argument that I’ve seen seems convincing until you understand the historical context. This claim refers to the ban on rabbis giving sermons ...

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