Author Archives: Gidon Rothstein

The Importance of Hebrew

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Importance of Praying in Hebrew and the Push Towards Fixed Prayer This is the last of our random sample of places Rambam inserts aggadic material into Mishneh Torah. Next time, I hope to review them briefly, to see if any themes or ideas characterize them all. Here, let’s look at his understanding of how fixed ...

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Hebrew Accents

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Shevat: R. Kook on Hebrew Accents The 1930s saw a rise in Jews coming to Israel (from 1931 to 1948, Wikipedia tells me, the Jewish population grew from 175,000 to 630,000). That brought with it certain tensions, one of which R. Kook addressed in a letter to R. Uzziel from 14 Shevat 5695 (1935), published ...

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Non-Orthodox Marriages

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Shevat: Non-Orthodox Marriages People who don’t spend much of their time studying Torah don’t always stop to remember that halachah is also a legal system, where technicalities count. For an example that arises too often, if a woman is halachically married but then civilly divorced, she is still halachically married, which means that any children ...

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The Important Part of Welcoming Guests

by R. Gidon Rothstein Avraham’s Hachnasat Orchim: The Important Part of Welcoming Guests Avraham’s welcoming of guests stands out for many people today even more than his adamant propagation of monotheism (a characteristic of his we discussed previously). It’s interesting to me, therefore, that Rambam mentions it only once in theMishneh Torah, a bit buried at the end of Laws ...

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Women and Time-Related Commandments

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Tevet: R. Uzziel and Tzitz Eliezer on Women and Time-Related Commandments Two easy ways to describe how halachah differentiates men from women is to speak about women’s exemption from mitzvot ‘aseh she-hazman grama, obligations with a time component, and from the obligation of Talmud Torah, of studying Torah. There’s much more to it than that, ...

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