Magazine

Extending Life

by R. Gidon Rothstein 16 Iyyar: R. Moshe Feinstein on When We Have to Extend Life I couldn’t resist this responsum because I knew the doctor who asked it. Dr. Neal Zev Ringel took a year, mid-training, to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush). It was 1982-83, my post-high school year. Just before that year, he apparently asked a question ...

Read More »

Missing the Beginning of Havdala

by R. Daniel Mann Question: This week, I did not hear the beracha of Borei Pri Hagafen during Havdala. Was I required to hear Havdala again? Answer: Clearly the most important beracha of Havdala is the final one of Hamavdil, which contains its basic content. The berachot on besamim and on fire are not crucial obligations (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim ...

Read More »

Video Game Idolatry

by R. Gil Student I. Video Game Avodah Zarah A recently released, ground-breaking video game raises important questions for Jews, who pride themselves on their devotion to monotheism. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open-world game, which means that the characters can roam free throughout a vast, imaginary world while attempting to achieve their missions. Throughout ...

Read More »

Ba’omer or La’omer?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Which is the correct version of counting the omer – “… yamim la’omer” or “… yamim ba’omer”? Is there a content difference or only a grammatical one between them? Answer: Let’s start with the simple background. Omer is the measurement of barley brought as a korban on the second day of Pesach, and it is ...

Read More »

Officiating At A Gay Marriage

by R. Gil Student I. Is Officiating Forbidden? For a long time, I struggled to understand whether there exists any technical barrier to an Orthodox rabbi officiating at a gay wedding. As long as the ceremony is sufficiently different from a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony to avoid confusion, and no unnecessary blessings are recited, what prevents a rabbi from leading ...

Read More »

Where Life Went Wrong

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban on Devarim, Week Two: Where Life Went Wrong Parashat Devarim, and the beginning of Parashat Va-Etchanan reviews the Jews’ time in the desert, Moshe pointing out to them where they misstepped or willfully violated Hashem’s Will. Ramban’s comment to the first verse reads this as prelude to the review of mitzvot, starting from the Aseret ...

Read More »