Magazine

Some Limits on Saving Lives

by R. Gidon Rothstein 26 Av: R. Moshe Feinstein on Some Limits on Saving Lives It’s common to say that saving lives pushes aside all of halachah, that we can do whatever it takes to save a life. That’s obviously exaggerated, because we all know situations where a Jew is required to let him/herself be killed rather than violate the Torah ...

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Vort from the Rav: Re’eh

לֹא תוּכַל לֶאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ מַעְשַׂר דְּגָנְךָ You must not eat within your cities the tithe of your grain In Hebrew there is an idiosyncrasy. In all languages there is a distinction between not being able to do and not being allowed to do. “I cannot” and “I must not” are two different things. Hebrew is the only language that equates ...

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Calling a Kohen Who is a Child

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We sometimes have only one adult kohen and his son, who is under bar mitzva, doing Birkat Kohanim. In that case, should we call out “Kohanim”? Answer: The halacha that you are assuming, that someone calls “Kohanim” before Birkat Kohanim only when there are at least two kohanim, is derived by the gemara (Sota 38a) ...

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Putting Pieces in Place So Moshe Rabbenu Can Leave

by R. Gidon Rothstein Putting Pieces in Place So Moshe Rabbenu Can Leave the Scene Unable, Unwilling, or Not Allowed Moshe Rabbenu introduces the Jewish people to the fact that this is the end of his life with the words, דברים פרק לא:ב וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם בֶּן־מֵאָה֩ וְעֶשְׂרִ֨ים שָׁנָ֤ה אָנֹכִי֙ הַיּ֔וֹם לֹא־אוּכַ֥ל ע֖וֹד לָצֵ֣את וְלָב֑וֹא Devarim 31;2: He said to them, “I am ...

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Solar Eclipses in Judaism

by R. Gil Student On August 21, 2017, parts of North America will experience a total solar eclipse for the first time in 26 years.1 New York and New Jersey will only see a partial eclipse but apparently there is more to this country than the Tri-State Area. Many enthusiasts are traveling to locations where they can experience the darkness ...

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Introduction to Rav Kook’s Responsa

by R. Gidon Rothstein 19 Av: Introduction to R. Kook’s Mishpat Kohen One of the pleasures of this series has been “meeting” great rabbis. I have long known R. Kook a bit through his more philosophical writings, but his responsa are a revelation—written in a very different style (one I personally find more straightforward, clear, and accessible), displaying a completely other ...

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The Women’s Section

by R. Gil Student In many Orthodox synagogues, women’s sections are poorly maintained. Whether it’s the lighting, the cleanliness, the availability of siddurim and tissues, air conditioning, or any other number of small and large issues. What are the halakhic implications of the state of discomfort and disrepair of a women’s section? Let’s first note that the often reluctant volunteers ...

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