Magazine

Musaf or Hallel?

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by R. Daniel Mann Question: After davening Mincha on Rosh Chodesh, I (a woman) wanted to make up Hallel and Musaf that I did not have a chance to do in the morning. I saw that I did not have enough time before sunset to do both. Which one should I have done? Answer: There are certain set factors that ...

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Depths of Exile and Wonders of Redemption

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by R. Gidon Rothstein Abarbanel’s Yemot HaMashiach: Depths of Exile and Wonders of Redemption Mashmi’a Yeshu’a is a book about the prophets who predicted salvation for the Jewish people. In theory, Abarbanel could have shared only those prophecies that had new information about the Messianic era, and noted in the introduction or conclusion that he’s skipped many prophecies that echo ...

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Religious Doubt in Jewish Life

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by R. Gil Student Since a religious life is one of faith, you would expect that religious doubt would be unwelcome. In an important essay, Rabbi Norman Lamm argues that doubt can play a valuable role in religious life. A Medieval philosopher adds another role for doubt in religious life that Rabbi Lamm did not explore. I. Three Kinds of ...

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Eliezer the Damascene

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by R. Ira Bedzow Rabbi Acha said, “The ordinary conversation of the servants of the Patriarchs is more beloved before the Omnipresent than the Torah of their sons, for the section dealing with Eliezer is repeated in the Torah, whereas many fundamentals of the Torah were given only through allusions.” This statement may seem troubling since one would think that ...

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Abarbanel’s View of Armageddon

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by R. Gidon Rothstein Yeshayahu’s View of Gog u-Magog and International Relations During Yemot HaMashiach Yeshayahu 18 is the beginning of the third of Yeshayahu’s prophecies that Abarbanel discusses. Traditional commentary (as opposed to Christian, which Abarbanel summarizes but we will ignore) read the chapter as being about the war of Gog and Magog to which other prophets (most explicitly, ...

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Why a Siyum is a Seudat Mitzvah

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by R. Gidon Rothstein 17 Cheshvan: Klausenberger Rebbe on Why a Siyum is a Seudat Mitzvah It’s a common practice to celebrate a siyum based on joint learning. That is everyone learns some pages of Gemara, tractates of Mishnah, or chapters of Tanach, and then marks the completion of the larger project of having studied Shas, or a Seder of ...

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Chok

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Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik very often stressed that at times when death occurs or tragedies strike, Halacha does not permit us to question “why”. The only exception is on Tisha B’av, when we are permitted to question ‘Eicha” (How did this happen? How was it possible?) And that one day permission ...

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