Magazine

Vort from the Rav: Shelach

Bamidbar 13:30 עָלֹה נַעֲלֶה וְיָרַשְׁנוּ אֹתָהּ כִּי יָכוֹל נוּכַל לָהּ We can surely go up and take possession of it, for we can indeed overcome it. Chazal say that three grants have been bestowed upon Israel: Torah, the Land of Israel and the world to come; but the Jew had to acquire them through effort, through suffering (Berachos 5a).  God ...

Read More »

Avoiding False Prophets, Hearing From Hashem

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Re’eh, Week Two: Avoiding False Prophets, Hearing From Hashem דברים יג:ב כִּֽי־יָק֤וּם בְּקִרְבְּךָ֙ נָבִ֔יא א֖וֹ חֹלֵ֣ם חֲל֑וֹם וְנָתַ֥ן אֵלֶ֛יךָ א֖וֹת א֥וֹ מוֹפֵֽת:  (ג) וּבָ֤א הָאוֹת֙ וְהַמּוֹפֵ֔ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר אֵלֶ֖יךָ לֵאמֹ֑ר נֵֽלְכָ֞ה אַחֲרֵ֨י אֱלֹהִ֧ים אֲחֵרִ֛ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־יְדַעְתָּ֖ם וְנָֽעָבְדֵֽם: (ד) לֹ֣א תִשְׁמַ֗ע אֶל־דִּבְרֵי֙ הַנָּבִ֣יא הַה֔וּא א֛וֹ אֶל־חוֹלֵ֥ם הַחֲל֖וֹם הַה֑וּא כִּ֣י מְנַסֶּ֞ה יְקֹוָ֤ק אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ אֶתְכֶ֔ם לָדַ֗עַת הֲיִשְׁכֶ֤ם אֹֽהֲבִים֙ ...

Read More »

The Chazon Ish vs. Rav Soloveitchik

by R. Gil Student I. The First Article In Dr. Benny Brown’s monumental biography of R. Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, known as “The Chazon Ish” (The Hazon Ish: Halakhist, Believer and Leader of the Haredi Revolution), I came across an exchange between R. Karelitz and R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik about which I had been previously unaware. R. Moshe Soloveichik was quoted ...

Read More »

Mikveh on Shabbat Night

by R. Gidon Rothstein 15 Sivan: Bach on Going to Mikveh Early on Friday Night/Shabbat It is an occasional pleasure to find a responsum from relatively early in our history (with a date on it, so it can be included in this collection). This time, we get to learn from R. Yoel Sirkis, known as Bach, the acronym of Bayit ...

Read More »

Jewish Sexual Ethics

by R. Gil Student I. Two Responses to Society We live in a hyper-sexualized environment in which the media and society bombard us with messages and images that are not just immodest but outright explicit. A community that attempts to remain traditional when confronted with this relentless assault has two options. It can go farther in the contrary direction or ...

Read More »

Vort from the Rav: Beha’alosecha

Bamidbar 10:2 עֲשֵׂה לְךָ שְׁתֵּי חֲצוֹצְרֹת כֶּסֶף…וְהָיוּ לְךָ לְמִקְרָא הָעֵדָה וּלְמַסַּע אֶת הַמַּחֲנוֹת Make yourself two silver trumpets…they shall be used by you to summon the congregation and to announce the departure of the camps. There are two ways in which people become bound as a group—as a community, a society, or a nation. The first is when they face ...

Read More »

Using Our Wisdom in Serving Hashem

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Re’eh, Week One: Using Our Wisdom in Serving Hashem After the Torah tells the Jews to destroy the multitude of places where idolaters worshiped alien powers, it warns against treating Hashem that way. Rather, דברים יב:ה : כִּ֠י אִֽם־אֶל־הַמָּק֞וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יִבְחַ֨ר יְקֹוָ֤ק אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם֙ מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֔ם לָשׂ֥וּם אֶת־שְׁמ֖וֹ שָׁ֑ם לְשִׁכְנ֥וֹ תִדְרְשׁ֖וּ וּבָ֥אתָ שָֽׁמָּה: Devarim 12;5: Only to ...

Read More »

Converts Immersing Utensils

by R. Gil Student I. Immersing Utensils Jewish law requires immersing in a mikveh utensils used with food. This only applies if the utensils are made of certain materials (generally metal and glass) and if they were previously owned by gentiles. For example, when a Jew buys silverware that was made by a gentile, he has to immerse them in ...

Read More »