Journal

Publicizing the Donors

by R. Ari Enkin Is it proper to publicize the names of donors? The practice of publicizing the names of those who make donations for charitable causes is quite ancient. The Talmud relates that it was publicized that Yosef Ben Yo’ezer made a generous donation to the Beit Hamikdash.1 In fact, the famous “Nicanor Gate” of the Beit Hamikdash was ...

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Knock before Entering!

by R. Ari Enkin Our sages teach that one should not enter any home, even one’s own, without knocking first. As Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai teaches: “There are four things that God hates that I also don’t like…a person who enters his own home suddenly without knocking, and it goes without saying, one who enters his neighbor’s house without knocking.”1 ...

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Noah’s Generations

by R. Ira Bedzow The account of how the generations of the Flood began their institutional depravity begins, וַיְהִי כִּי-הֵחֵל הָאָדָם, לָרֹב עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה, which uses similar language to the beginning of the account given for the previous generation’s fall into idolatry (אָז הוּחַל, לִקְרֹא בְּשֵׁם ה’),1 the beginning of the account of Nimrod’s rise to power (הוּא הֵחֵל, לִהְיוֹת ...

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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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