Journal

A Hashkafah of Dating

by Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer Love and marriage in the Jewish community is a perennial source of perplexity. An imagined historical past, a romanticized shtetl-like system of matchmakers and parents creating healthy marriages, serves only to confuse. To the best of my knowledge, the system of courtship practiced by my ancestors both in Eastern and Central Europe, bore strong resemblance ...

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Making Tea and Coffee on Shabbos

by David Roth One of the thirty-nine prohibited categories of forbidden activities on Shabbos is baking or cooking.1 However, much to the relief of many coffee and tea drinkers, there may be a number of reasons that making coffee or tea is not included in the prohibition of cooking. Cooking Something That Has Already Been Cooked Instant coffee: With dry ...

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Answer Your Emails! Return Your Phone Calls!

by Rabbi Ari Enkin It’s fair to say that most people, including this writer, are greatly disturbed by those who don’t respond to letters, emails, or return phone calls within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, in the event of a first time correspondence, the timeliness in which a person responds is actually the only gesture which offers a ...

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Seeing God or Being Seen by God

by R. Elyakim Krumbein Our parasha concludes with the mitzva of “aliya le-regel,” the obligatory pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year. This mitzva is repeated several times throughout Chumash, each time with a similar expression – “Three times a year all your males shall be seen before the Lord your God.” As in our parasha, this verse closes the ...

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Incorrect Hebrew Pronunciation

by Dr. David Berger The issue of incorrect pronunciation is, I think, even more challenging nowadays than what Gil presented in his extremely useful piece on the subject, and we probably have little choice but to be lenient in most cases. I just heard an otherwise excellent layning in pure Ashkenazis except that tav without a dagesh was pronounced “t” ...

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For Your Eyes Only?

by R. Yair Kahn I. Before Your Eyes Throughout Sefer Devarim, Moshe stresses the fact that the nation about to enter Canaan saw Hashem’s miracles with their own eyes. Already in the first chapter, Moshe tells the people not to fear the powerful Canaanites, for Hashem will go to battle on their behalf just like He did in Egypt “before your eyes” (1:30). When Moshe urges ...

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Eating Contests

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Please state your opinion on whether eating contests violate any prohibitions such as bal tashchit? (I am a reporter writing an article.) Is there a difference between contests of volume (e.g., tens of hot dogs in ten minutes) and of speed (e.g., eating three hot dogs fastest)?   Answer: Presumably, one with a Torah-based mindset ...

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