Magazine

Mi Shebeirach

rav

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler One cannot observe Mitzvot conditionally. One cannot say for example, “I will put on Tefillin tomorrow if You [HaShem] do this or this for me”. However, by Tzeddaka it is permissible. “Ha’omer selah Zu li’Tzedaka bishvil she’yich’yeh b’ni” , If someone say I am donating a sela [coin] for ...

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Breaking Doctor/Patient Confidentiality

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by R. Gidon Rothstein 13 Iyyar: Tzitz Eliezer on Breaking Doctor/Patient Confidentiality, Burying an Excised Eye Now or Later, and Whether a Fetus is Alive One of the topic areas Tzitz Eliezer sort of specialized in was medical halachah (that’s not to take away from his general expertise, it’s that his role as halachic decisor for Shaare Zedek Medical Center ...

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Vort from the Rav: Emor

Chumash

Vayikra 24:20 עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן – eye for eye. Although the Written Law contains the prescription of an eye for an eye, the Oral Law interprets this statement to signify monetary compensation only. Why is the wording in the Written Law so misleading? Man’s organs do not merely perform organic functions; they drive fundamentally human responses. For example, when a ...

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The Sermons of the Aruch HaShulchan, Sermon 14: Starting with Effective Remonstration

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by R. Gidon Rothstein The Sermons of the Aruch HaShulcha, Sermon 14: Starting with Effective Remonstration In 1992, R. Dr. Simcha Fishbane, a professor of Jewish history at the Touro Graduate School of Jewish Studies, published a new volume of the still-incomplete Aruch haShulchan. It had the laws of nedarim, vows, as well as Derashot Kol Ben Levi, a book ...

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When Did Jewish Childhood Begin?

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by R. Gil Student We tend to project our views on others, especially the attitudes we take for granted. In 1960, historian Phillipe Aries published a book challenging our assumptions about childhood in pre-sixteenth century Europe.1 According to Aries, medieval Europeans did not recognize a unique period of childhood. Until the age of seven, children were cared for but were ...

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What We Have To Burn

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by R. Gidon Rothstein 6 Iyyar: Binyan Tziyyon on What We Have To Burn In choosing responsa to study together, I try to balance variety with interest. I avoid the technical and the repetitive; issues of gittin, for example, how to write them (especially spellings of various names), how to deliver them, and more of the like, are more prominent ...

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Writing a Sefer Torah

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Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The very last Mitzvah of the Torah, Mitzvah number 613, is found in parshat Vayeilech (Devarim 31:19. There, the Torah states, “So now, write this song for yourselves and teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it in their mouth so that this song shall be a witness ...

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Vort From the Rav: Kedoshim

Chumash

Vayikra 19:14 וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשׁל – You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person. Chazal have interpreted this verse in many ways. It cautions us against any careless word or act that in any manner could endanger the material or moral welfare of another. The term blind person refers not to one who is physically ...

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Technology, Halakhic Change and Yom Ha-Atzma’ut

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by R. Gil Student I. Technology and Halakhah The influence of technology on halakhah offers a fascinating study of flexibility within a framework of conservation. Experts apply an eternal law to new situations, using analogies and abstract principles to fit previously unimagined objects and situations into an ancient framework. Contrary to what some have called a “paralysis” in halakhah, there ...

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