Magazine

Seeing a Sefer Torah Dropped

by R. Gidon Rothstein 15 Av: R. Uzziel on Seeing a Sefer Torah Dropped When I was growing up, everyone knew that dropping a sefer Torah meant everyone in the room had to fast for forty days (when I first heard that, at maybe seven years old, I couldn’t understand how people could fast forty days and nights straight). I ...

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Tu B’Av: The Celebration of Intermarriage

by R. Gil Student Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Ma’amar Mordekhai, La-Mo’adim Ve-La-Zemanim 32:9-10) takes Tu Be-Av as an opportunity to praise Jewish intermarriage. The Mishnah (Ta’anis 4:8) describes the 15th day of the summer month of Av as an unusually happy day in the Jewish calendar. On that day, the young women of Jerusalem would go out to the vineyards and ...

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Permission to Believe in God II

by R. Gil Student Other essays in this series At the beginning of the Introduction to Permission to Believe, R. Lawrence Kelemen makes an important methodological statement: He is only out to make a rational case for believing in God, not to offer conclusive proof. I think it would help us to discuss why this is important and how it ...

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Earning Compassion

by R. Gidon Rothstein Sermon 24: Earning Compassion The Proper Place of Law and Kindness This sermon opens with two sources that seem to denigrate the letter of the law. R. Yochanan, in Baba Metzia 30b, attributed the destruction of Jerusalem to Jews’ having insisted on strict construction and application of the law, and in Bereshit 18;19, Hashem expects/hopes that ...

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Deodorant on Tisha B’Av

by Rabbi Gil Student The digest of Tisha B’Av laws in The Koren Mesorat HaRav Kinot (published by Koren and OU Press with commentary on the Kinos adapted from Tisha B’Av tapes of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik) specifically mentions that one may apply deodorant to oneself on Tisha B’Av (p. 787 par. 17). While it would normally be considered anointing oneself, ...

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