Journal

A New and Old Wind is Blowing

by Shmuel Winiarz Is the “Yeshiva world” too insular? Does its single-minded focus on Talmud and codes stifle its members from exploring the world of ideas? One graduate of Volozhin expressed that very notion in a poem he wrote in 1898, entitled Hamatmid. Chaim Nachman Bialik writes of his profound ambivalence towards the schools of his youth. He expresses his ...

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The Experience of Rosh HaShana

by R. David Brofsky, excerpted from Hilkhot Mo’adim: Understanding the Laws of the Festivals Rosh HaShana in Tanakh Rosh HaShana, as it appears in Scripture, is somewhat mysterious. The Torah commands: And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, it shall be a holy convocation [mikra kodesh] for you; you shall do no servile work; it ...

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Say No to Snark

by Dr. Erica Brown “A fool’s lips bring strife…A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” Proverbs 18:6-7 We’ve all been in the unhappy presence of snark. We know people who make critical, cutting, biting or snide comments when they could have easily said the same thing in a more pleasant way. The ...

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Where There Is No Beit Din

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a lawyer in a country with a small Jewish population, in which when we need a din Torah, we fly someone in from another country. A Jew who is suing another Jew asked me to represent him, and the dispute is on a modest amount of money, which is less than the cost ...

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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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