Magazine

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Vort from the Rav: Naso

Bamidbar 5:14 וְעָבַר עָלָיו רוּחַ קִנְאָה וְקִנֵּא אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ But a spirit of jealousy had come upon him and he became jealous of his wife. In many languages, there are two different terms to express the emotions of jealousy and envy. Envy consists of desiring what others have that you lack. Jealousy involves wanting to hold on to what you ...

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Respect for the Elderly

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is one required to give special respect to an individual between 60 and 70 years old? I remember that one stands up only for those over 70. Answer: While we should be respectful of people in general and certainly older people, the specific mitzva regarding older people is standing for them. The Torah commands: “Stand up ...

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The Mysteries of Cause and Effect

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban, Parshat Ekev, Week Two: The Mysteries of Cause and Effect When Did Hashem Select the Levi’im? דברים י:ח בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֗וא הִבְדִּ֤יל יְקֹוָק֙ אֶת־שֵׁ֣בֶט הַלֵּוִ֔י לָשֵׂ֖את אֶת־אֲר֣וֹן בְּרִית־יְקֹוָ֑ק … Devarim 10;8: At that time, Hashem separated the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Covenant of Hashem… The opening phrase of the verse times ...

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