Magazine

Is History Proof?

by R. Gil Student We like to think that facts will end an argument. More often than not, they only move the battlefield. History is not a science but an art of interpretation. While historical analysis begins with careful research, it continues with inference and explanation. Both are subject to debate. In the Talmud, we find mixed responses to historical ...

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Charity for the Non-Working Poor II

Response to this essay by: Harold Kravitz and Joel Pitkowsky (my response at the end -ed.): As rabbis and members of the Board of Directors for MAZON: a Jewish Response to Hunger, we were dismayed to read an article in Mosaic from 4/4/17 entitled “Does the Torah mandate charity for those who don’t wish to work”.  The article refers to ...

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Maternity Sacrifice

by R. Gil Student I. New Mothers In Temple times, childbirth included two ritual elements that some may find surprising. One is a long period (40 or 80 days) of impurity and the other is a requirement to bring a sacrifice that includes a chatas, a sin offering (Lev. 12). Why does the Torah require for childbirth, a joyous occasion, ...

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Ramban to Devarim, Week One: Preparing a New Generation for Their Great Adventure

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Devarim, Week One: Preparing a New Generation for Their Great Adventure I remember fellows in yeshiva pondering who was greater, Rashi or Rambam, since they seem to be the two most impactful scholars of the post-Talmudic Torah world. I don’t think I’m the first or only who would argue that Ramban belongs in that conversation, since ...

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Yom HaSho’ah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It has become an established tradition for Jews throughout the world, that on the 28th day of Nissan, to memorialize the six million of our brethren who died during the Holocaust period. That day is marked on our calendars as Yom HaSho’ah/ Holocaust Memorial Day. In Eretz Yisrael there ...

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Counting Jews

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Nisan: Chatam Sofer on Counting Jews In tough times, it’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and ignore details of halachah. Chatam Sofer’s Kovetz Teshuvot 8, dated 24 Nisan 5598 (1838), he answered a question about a detail of how to keep records of who was given what charitable donation. He starts by acknowledging the tough times these ...

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