Journal

Opposite, Not Oppositional

by R. Shmuel Zuckerman וַיֹּאמֶר ד’ אֱלֹקִים לֹא טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ אֶעֱשֶׂהּ לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ – בראשית ב And the Lord G-d said: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper opposite him.’ (Genesis II) ואמר רבי אלעזר מאי דכתיב [בראשית ב] אעשה לו עזר כנגדו זכה עוזרתו לא זכה כנגדו ...

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Reading Rambam on the Rabbi-Community Relationship

by R. Tzvi Sinensky Contemporary Halakhah, the study of a set of texts with an eye toward legal application, is a well-trodden, time-honored approach to Torah study. But there is a potential cost to this goal-oriented method of learning: when we examine selected sources in an attempt to derive practical conclusions, we tend to view the subject matter incompletely, and ...

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The Ten Plagues & Egyptian Mythology

by R. Alec Goldstein I would like to explore a thesis, not new but also not widespread in the Jewish world, that the plagues were in response to Egyptian mythology. However, a few points are necessary. First, I am not an Egyptologist; I strongly urge the reader to treat any findings here as preliminary. Second, the Egyptian pantheon was extremely ...

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May One Say “Mumbai”?

by R. Aryeh Lebowitz In the aftermath of the terrible 2008 massacre in India, many personal accounts of the lives of the victims were disseminated in the media. One particular line in a personal account of the Holtzberg family caught my eye. The writer, Dr. Isaac Bolbin, a friend of the Holtzberg family wrote that “Reb Gavriel used to call ...

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Partnership Minyanim Revisited

by R. Aryeh Frimer and R. Dov Frimer (A printable PDF of this essay is available here: link) Partnership Minyanim Revisited: A Response to Rabbi Ysoscher Katz I. Introduction The question of women receiving aliyyot is briefly discussed in a baraita cited in the Talmud Megilla 23a, which reads: תנו רבנן: הכל עולין למנין שבעה, ואפילו קטן ואפילו אשה. אבל אמרו ...

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Gezel Sheina: Stealing Sleep

by R. Ari Enkin To disturb someone who is sleeping or to prevent someone from falling asleep is a violation of gezel sheina.1 In fact, some sources maintain that stealing sleep is even worse than stealing possessions.2 This is because one who steals another person’s possessions can usually make restitution by returning the stolen items or reimbursing the owner for ...

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Kohanim: Air Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Dead bodies are routinely flown in the baggage compartments on passenger flights for burial in distant places. Since it is considered very worthwhile and meritorious to be buried in the Land of Israel, this is an especially frequent occurrence on El Al flights. Indeed, over 65 percent of all El Al flights have dead bodies on ...

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Airplane Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Although it is not widely known, there is a view among halachic authorities that Tefillat Haderech is not recited for airplane travel.1 This is based on the Talmudic teaching that air travel is something associated exclusively with birds and not with people.2 According to this approach, the reason Tefillat Haderech is not recited when flying on ...

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