Magazine

Vort from the Rav: Devarim

Deuteronomy 1:13 הָבוּ לָכֶם אֲנָשִׁים חֲכָמִים וּנְבֹנִים וִידֻעִים לְשִׁבְטֵיכֶם וַאֲשִׂימֵם בְּרָאשֵׁיכֶם Prepare for yourselves wise and understanding men, known among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you. The first chapter of the book of Deuteronomy details the march towards the conquering of the Land of Israel. In this verse, the theme abruptly changes to a conversation that ...

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Accounting for a Minyan

by R. Gil Student Recently, Orthodox Jews in Lakewood, New Jersey, were arrested for allegedly deceiving the government in order to obtain benefits illegally. While we assume that people are innocent until proven guilty, we can explore the implications of this alleged crime. Specifically, I would like to discuss whether we can count for a minyan a man who has ...

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Non-Jews Violating Shabbat on Jews’ Behalf

by R. Gidon Rothstein 27 Tammuz: R. Uzziel on Non-Jews Violating Shabbat on Jews’ Behalf The personal interplay between the person asking the question and the respondent is also an aspect of the responsa literature from which we can learn. In Shu”t Mishpetei Uzziel 3;Orach Chayyim 31, dated 27 Tammuz 5798 (1938), R. Uzziel responds to an article by R. Yosef Shaul Elyashar, ...

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Ha Lachma Anya

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Netzi”v, (Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (1817-1893), raises a number of glaring questions about the form and contents of this paragraph in the Haggadah. After performing Yachatz, by breaking the middle Matzah in half and setting aside the larger portion for the Afikoman, we are left with two ...

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Is David Greenfield Allowed To Retire From Public Office?

by R. Gil Student City Councilman David Greenfield, an Orthodox Jew (and a friend from when he lived in my neighborhood), recently announced that he will not be seeking another term. He will be leaving public office to lead the non-profit organization, the Met Council on Jewish Poverty. Does halakhah, Jewish law, permit this? The community needs talented leaders in ...

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Vort from the Rav: Matos

Numbers 30:3 אִישׁ כִּי יִדֹּר נֶדֶר להֹ’ אוֹ הִשָּׁבַע שְׁבֻעָה If a man makes a vow to the Lord or makes an oath On the verse and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life (Gen. 2:7), Nachmanides comments, This verse alludes to the greatness of the soul…This corresponds to the saying of the Rabbis in the Sifri: “Vows ...

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Building a Covenant With Hashem

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tavo opens with different ways in which the Jewish people will in the future or are right then reaffirming their relationship with Hashem. Since “relationship” cannot apply to Hashem in the ordinary way (Hashem is so Other that the use of human language is always either incomplete or incorrect), aspects of these covenantal moments offer ...

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