Musings

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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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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Lift-and-Cut Shavers

by R. Gil Student There is a website dedicated to adjusting Norelco Lift-and-Cut Shavers called Kosher Shaver. I always found this a bit amusing because when I was in yeshiva “everyone” used a Lift-and-Cut, after a senior rosh yeshiva declared it permissible (as is this rosh yeshiva‘s policy, he does not want his name mentioned in the media.). His reason: ...

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Drinking Rabbis

by R. Gil Student Generally speaking, a busy rabbi is not allowed to drink alcohol even though most other Jews may freely partake within reason. The Torah (Lev. 10:8-11) forbids priests from ruling on religious matters after drinking wine. Rashi (ad loc., 11) points out that this prohibition applies to anyone who rules on religious matters. No rabbi may teach ...

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Why Many Jews Prioritize Mitzvot Bein Adam LeMakom Over Bein Adam LeChavero

by R. Anthony Knopf Introduction In a well-known joke, a yeshiva bocher finds that his milk cartons are routinely stolen from the yeshiva dorm fridge by one of his fellow students. After unsuccessful attempts to deter the thief by writing on the carton that stealing is a Torah prohibition, the milk owner has a brainwave and writes in big letters ...

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Tekhelet – Radiant as the Sky

by Dr. Baruch Sterman Mr. Vaynman and I certainly do agree on much more than we disagree. Were he to claim that tekhelet was dark blue, blue-violet, or sky-blue at various times and differing places over the more than 2000 years that it was being produced, we could shake hands in complete agreement. However, Mr. Vaynman stakes out an extreme ...

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Book Reviews

by R. Gil Student My brief reviews of three books in the Summer 2017 issue of Jewish Action Rav and Rebbe By Chaim Dalfin Jewish Enrichment Press New York, 2016 379 pages Rabbi Chaim Dalfin conducted extensive interviews to amass the network of facts and memories about two great Jewish leaders of the twentieth century, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (“the ...

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