Journal

Noach’s Righteousness

by R. Ira Bedzow The Torah states explicitly that Noach was righteous, wholehearted, and walked with God, yet qualifies the statement to say that he was so in his generations (אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה, בְּדֹרֹתָיו: אֶת-הָאֱלֹקִים, הִתְהַלֶּךְ-נֹח). Rashi, on the phrase, “in his generations,” brings the debate between Rabbi Yochanan and Reish Lakish as to what this qualifier means.  He ...

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Chava’s Reasons for Eating

Chava’s Reasons for Eating: A New Look at Reasoning and Reason by R. Ira Bedzow This article is adapted from my new book, Maimonides for Moderns: A Statement of Contemporary Jewish Philosophy, which will be published by Springer. For more information, see its sections on practical reasoning. Contemporary philosophical conceptions of “Reason” – which predominantly define the term as the ...

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A Nation of Pirates

by R. Francis Nataf This essay is excerpted from Rabbi Nataf’s forthcoming Redeeming Relevance in the Book of Deuteronomy: Explorations in Text and Meaning. From the text it is not so clear why such harsh treatment is reserved uniquely for Amalek.1 Why is this nation considered worse than the Egyptians, who afflicted the Jews for hundreds of years, or even ...

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Halachic Ramifications of Ad-blocks

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I went on a religious website, and it detected that I have an ad-block program. They gave me a choice to disable my ad-block or continue while violating geneiva because ad-blocking takes away their parnasa. Would it be forbidden to continue with ad-blocking? Answer:  (We are not addressing the desirability of avoiding ads, some of ...

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Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Conversation

by R. Zev Eleff and R. Gil Student Rabbi Zev Eleff recently published a book documenting the history of American Modern Orthodoxy, titled Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History. The book is an immediate classic, essential reading on American Orthodoxy. It consists mainly of key articles (or excerpts) from history that are important in charting the historical development of the ...

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Nothing To Pout About: The Kosher Status of Genetically Modified Salmon

by R. Shmuel Maybruch This special post is an iylui neshama (merit for the soul) of my dear mother, Mrs. Joan Maybruch, Yocheved Pesha bas Hillel a”h, on her yahrzeit (date of passing). What’s Orange and Flavorful and Eaten All Over The unique, tasty and familiar orange-hued meat of salmon has been an international staple for centuries. In contemporary Jewish cuisine, ...

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Judah and Joseph as Paradigmatic Figures for Jewish Posterity

by R. Elchanan Poupko Introduction Although the book of Genesis is characterized with sibling rivalry and conflict (Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, and Jacob and Esau), the story of Joseph and his brothers is far wider in scope (Genesis, 37- 50, with few interruptions)  and ultimate significance. Additionally, unlike the previous aforementioned conflicts, all zero-sum conflicts, at the conclusion ...

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Disappointed in the Appointed

by R. Shmuel Maybruch Disappointed in the Appointed: Grasping How Orthodox Leaders Can Lead Unorthodox Lives Another scandal. What does that say about Orthodoxy? Rabbis? Me? What a Shame A brilliant talmid chacham (Torah scholar), who taught Torah to thousands both in person and through shiurim (classes) on several websites, was recently discovered to have violated several extremely serious Torah, ...

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The Unibrow in Jewish Law

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I am a young man with a unibrow, which I find very embarrassing. May I remove some hair with tweezers from that area? Also, may I remove some more hair to make my eyebrows less bushy? Answer: The gemara (Nazir 58b-59a) forbids a man to shave his pubic and underarm hair with a razor. There ...

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