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Fifty Years Later

Fifty years ago today (in the Jewish calendar), the Jewish people regained control of Jerusalem for the first time since the year 70 CE, 1,897 years earlier. I’m brought to tears every time I hear this: “Har HaBayit beyadeinu, The Temple Mount is in our hands” Here is the longer version (Hebrew only):

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Davening Early on Shavuot

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In a shul with many elderly members who have trouble staying up late, may we have a minyan for Ma’ariv of Shavuot before tzeit hakochavim (=tzeit)? Answer: The idea of waiting until tzeit to start Shavuot is not found in Chazal but arises first in early Acharonim, beginning with the Masat Binyamin (Chiddushei Dinim, Orach ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:20

by Joel Rich In S”A 90:9 the following statement appears—“V’hu hadin bnai adam hadarim b’yshuvim v’ein lahem minyan mkol makom yitpallu shacharit v’arvit bzman shehatzibur mit pallim (smag).” Question – why isn’t mincha mentioned? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Shoftim article Fascinating article on the mesorah chain—were the shoftim really part of it ?(doesn’t deal with broader question of why ...

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A Turkish Community’s Tax Revolt

by R. Gil Student We like to think that life is about spirituality and principles but there is also an element of practicality. As Maslow taught us, we have to meet our basic physical and financial needs before we address our spirituality. To the rabbis, these financial needs are spiritual. Therefore, taxation is a religious concern when it concerns those ...

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The Hidden Drama We Can Easily Miss

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban To Ekev, Week One: The Hidden Drama We Can Easily Miss Helps Society Function On the first verse of Parshat Ekev (7;12) דברים ז:יב וְהָיָ֣ה׀ עֵ֣קֶב תִּשְׁמְע֗וּן אֵ֤ת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֥ם וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְשָׁמַר֩ יְקֹוָ֨ק אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ לְךָ֗ אֶֽת־הַבְּרִית֙ וְאֶת־הַחֶ֔סֶד אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ: Devarim 7;12:  And it will be, in return for your hearkening to these ...

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A Rabbi’s Right to Refuse

by R. Gil Student Does a rabbi have the right to refuse to answer someone seeking his guidance? If someone asks him an halakhic question, may a rabbi choose not to answer? Or is he, like a doctor, duty-bound by his special skills to serve the public that needs his services? I. The Rule The Gemara (Sotah 22a) explains Proverbs ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:19

by Joel Rich Great quote from R’YBS in the new “Halachic Morality” essay “That is why there was no pesak halakhah, no authoritative halakhic ruling, in matters of morality, and why no controversy on moral issues was resolved by the masorah in accordance with the rule of the majority, in the same manner as all disagreements pertaining to halakhic law ...

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