Magazine

Maternity Sacrifice

by R. Gil Student I. New Mothers In Temple times, childbirth included two ritual elements that some may find surprising. One is a long period (40 or 80 days) of impurity and the other is a requirement to bring a sacrifice that includes a chatas, a sin offering (Lev. 12). Why does the Torah require for childbirth, a joyous occasion, ...

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Ramban to Devarim, Week One: Preparing a New Generation for Their Great Adventure

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Devarim, Week One: Preparing a New Generation for Their Great Adventure I remember fellows in yeshiva pondering who was greater, Rashi or Rambam, since they seem to be the two most impactful scholars of the post-Talmudic Torah world. I don’t think I’m the first or only who would argue that Ramban belongs in that conversation, since ...

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Yom HaSho’ah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It has become an established tradition for Jews throughout the world, that on the 28th day of Nissan, to memorialize the six million of our brethren who died during the Holocaust period. That day is marked on our calendars as Yom HaSho’ah/ Holocaust Memorial Day. In Eretz Yisrael there ...

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Counting Jews

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Nisan: Chatam Sofer on Counting Jews In tough times, it’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and ignore details of halachah. Chatam Sofer’s Kovetz Teshuvot 8, dated 24 Nisan 5598 (1838), he answered a question about a detail of how to keep records of who was given what charitable donation. He starts by acknowledging the tough times these ...

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Fraudulent Communal Elections

by R. Gidon Rothstein 18 Nisan: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Fraudulent Communal Elections What happens when there’s fraud in a voting process? It’s a question that arose for R. Hayyim David Halevy, Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 2;63, in a letter written to him on the eighteenth of Nisan. Power That Wants to Stay in Power The questioner was spokesperson for a ...

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Entertainment During Sefirah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Sefirah, we know, is a semi-mourning period between Pesach and Shavuot.  These sad days, which vary according to custom, entail various mourning observances such as refraining from haircutting, marrying and listening to live music. The Magen Avraham (493:1) rules that we may not sing and dance during the mourning ...

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