Journal

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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Charge to the Graduates

by R. Zev Eleff On the Occasion of the 2016 Hebrew Theological College Men’s Division Commencement Exercises June 1, 2016 In June 1954, Rabbi Zelig Starr addressed the graduating class of Hebrew Theological College and their families. It was the final rabbinical ordination ceremony on the West Side campus, and the duty of graduation speaker at this most sensitive moment ...

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Afterword

by Gil Student Jewish tradition changes but only in order to remain the same. Unlike a liberal approach to religious practice, which freely adapts the past to contemporary sensibilities, a conservative approach—which I believe Orthodox Judaism demands—strives to preserve the past by judiciously applying it to the present. The Rambam boldly claims that the Torah’s laws do not fit every ...

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Closing Thoughts: Masorah In America

by J. David Bleich This essay is excerpted with permission from the introduction to Contemporary Halakhic Problems volume 7, forthcoming from Maggid.   The quintessence of Judaism is a sense of masorah, transmission from generation to generation. Fundamentally, that masorah is the corpus of the revealed Halakhah received at Sinai, passed on from generation to generation, father to son, teacher ...

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How Bat Mitzvah Became Orthodox

by Zev Eleff and Menachem Butler In 1972, Kehilath Jeshurun in New York announced the formation of a new synagogue ritual. On December 16, the Upper East Side congregation held a program on Saturday afternoon to “honor four young ladies from our congregational family who have recently reached their twelfth birthday and who are, therefore, recognized by the Jewish community ...

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