Posts

Preaching in the Local Language

by R. Gil Student I. Preaching and Change Proponents of religious change offer many different arguments for justification, some more plausible than others. One argument that I’ve seen seems convincing until you understand the historical context. This claim refers to the ban on rabbis giving sermons in the local language, e.g. German or English. This was once denounced as forbidden ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:41

by Joel Rich Rabbi Jason Weiner’s new book, “Jewish Guide to Practical Medical Decision-Making” provides a valuable service to a wide audience. The main text of the book provides a valuable overview and the chapter endnotes provide both secular and halachic citations for those interested in a deeper dive into the complex issues raised. The book covers some important general ...

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Maintaining a Possibly Grafted Tree

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I bought property with a nectarine tree and do not know if it is grafted. What do I do with it? Answer: The main prohibition regarding tree grafting is the act of grafting – (inserting the branch (scion) of one tree into the wood (rootstock) of another tree). Actually, this prohibition is not explicit in ...

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A Tzaddik and the Miracles That Happened to Him

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Noach: A Tzaddik and the Miracles That Happened to Him The first verse of this parsha describes Noach as ish tzaddik tamim, tzaddik hayah be-dorotav, that he was a whole or pure man, righteous in his generation. Rashi records a Rabbinic debate about just how good he was, based especially on how one reads the word for “in his generation.” In ...

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Now Available: Shurin Archive on Rav Soloveitchik

Hakirah is making available to the public the Rabbi Aaron Ben-Zion Shurin archive on Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, which is comprised of approximately 200 documents. Rabbi Shurin was a long-time reporter for the Forward and as such he maintained files on many Jewish personalities. The Shurin collection was made available to Hakirah by his son David Shurin. The archive of approximately 200 ...

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Extending Heter Mechirah

by R. Gidon Rothstein 20 Tishrei: R. Yitzchak Elchanan Extending the Heter Mechirah for Another Shemittah The heter mechirah is an halachic solution to the quandary of how to handle shemittah in times when farmers feel they cannot financially forego an entire year’s crop. Today, the issue raises religious, political, and economic questions, which are far beyond our purview here; but in 5656 (1895-96), a shemittah year, R. Yitzchak ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:40

by Joel Rich The S”A in O”C 53 discusses what to look for in a Shlicah Tzibbur. We seem to not fully actualize these recommendations (rationalizations include the fact that he is no longer being motzi those who can’t pray). Do you think this result is sociological or halachic driven? Does an individual (e.g., avel) who pushes to be a ...

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Simchas Torah and Women

by Sarah Rudolph I. Dancing With A Torah Scroll? Often, when people talk about women and dancing on Simchas Torah, what they mean is women dancing with a sefer Torah. I think it’s important, though, to take a step back and consider not just dancing with a sefer Torah, but dancing itself.1 After all, the original minhag seems to have ...

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