Magazine

Forgiving People

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Elul: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Forgiving People Sometimes, I find a responsum that answers a question I’ve struggled with for a long time. Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 6;42, responding to a letter written on 28 Elul 5744 (1984), takes up a question which points out how difficult forgiving people can be, and is acutely relevant to ...

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Yosef, Gad, and Moshe

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to VeZot HaBerachah, Week Two: Yosef, Gad, and Moshe The Gd of the Bush While blessing the tribe of Yosef (at the end of the berachah, he mentions both Ephraim and Menasheh), Moshe Rabbenu refers to retzon Shocheni seneh, the favor (or goodwill) of the One Who dwells in the bush. To explain why Moshe would choose to refer ...

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Spanning the Spectrum of Prayer

by R. Gil Student Aficionados of all kinds agree that the more you understand something, the more you appreciate it. The ability to distinguish between works of art or bottles of wine allows you to recognize their varying attributes and the hard work that went into making them. In an English translation of one of the books he wrote personally, ...

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Pre-Authorizing a Get Before Going to War

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Elul: R. Herzog on Pre-Authorizing a Get Before Going to War Among the many casualties and tragedies of war, one that attracts particular attention of poskim is the limbo in which wives find themselves should soldiers go missing (or be taken captive, without good information about what happened or near-term hopes of getting his release). Shu”t Heichal Yitzchak Even HaEzer 2;40, ...

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Newspapers on Shabbos

by R. Gil Student I. Orthodox Newspapers The powerful industry of print media is crumbling under the weight of the internet but no one seems to have informed the Orthodox Jewish community, whose magazines and newspapers are flourishing. The reason is two-fold. General newspapers do not conform to the same standards as Orthodox Jews and often promote views or discuss ...

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Vort from the Rav: Nitzavim-Vayeilekh

Devarim 30:12 לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא It is not in heaven Halachic Man does not stand and waits for the revelation of the truth and inspiration by the spirit. He does not search out transcendental, ecstatic paroxysms, frenzied experiences that whisper intimations of another world into his ears. He does not require any miracles or wonders in order to understand the ...

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Shehecheyanu on Shofar on Second Day

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Why is it that at Kiddush on the second night of Rosh Hashana we require a new fruit in order to make Shehecheyanu but say Shehecheyanu before shofar-blowing of the second day without “help”? Answer: Usually on the second day of Yom Tov (i.e., in chutz la’aretz), Shehecheyanu is recited at Kiddush even though it ...

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Blessings From and To Whom

by R. Gidon Rothstein From a Man of Gd The first verse of the parsha gives Ramban much to discuss, and I’m not going to resist the urge to engage with it at length. דברים פרק לג:(א) וְזֹ֣את הַבְּרָכָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר בֵּרַ֥ךְ מֹשֶׁ֛ה אִ֥ישׁ הָאֱלֹהִ֖ים אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לִפְנֵ֖י מוֹתֽוֹ: Devarim 33;1: This is the blessing Moshe, the man of Gd, blessed the Children of Israel ...

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Does Tashlikh Make Sense?

by R. Gil Student I. Fixing Judaism On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, many have the custom of walking to a natural source of running water and reciting the Tashlikh prayers. The texts consist primarily of biblical passages, with many additional prayers added for the ambitious reciter. The name of the ceremony seems to come from ...

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Eulogies Past the First Year

by R. Gidon Rothstein 17 Elul: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Eulogies Past the First Year Mourning and eulogies are both a personal and public process. As a personal matter, speaking about someone who passed away can be cathartic, as well as edifying for those who may not have known the deceased. Shu”t Aseh Lech Rav 8;67—dated 17 Elul 5786 (1985)–reminds us ...

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