Posts

Purim Will Never Cease

by R. Gidon Rothstein Purim Will Never Cease: Rambam, Aggadah, and the Eternal Purim Last time, we concluded a series on Rambam’s inclusions of aggadah in his Mishneh Torah. As I finished, I realized that my plan was to start Aruch HaShulchan’s drashot for Shabbat HaGadol, which seemed odd to do before Purim (next Monday will, at least, be Shushan ...

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Gun Ownership in Jewish Law

by R. Gil Student Laws about gun control serve as perpetual fuel for political debates. However, everyone agrees that some people should carry guns in some circumstances. Whether police officers or soldiers, on duty or prepared for duty, some people need to carry guns in order to protect the public. In Messianic times, weapons will be turned into ploughshares (Isa. ...

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A Kohen At His Father’s Burial

by R. Gidon Rothstein 5 Adar: R. Hayyim David Halevy on a Kohen’s Involvement in a Father’s Burial A communal rabbi has to keep in mind that his congregants may come from different strands of Jewish custom. Shu”t Mekor Hayyim 2;65 offers a case where R. Hayyim David Halevy (whom we’ve seen until now through his Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav) ...

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Pass the Challah

by R. Gil Student There is a debate about the proper way to cut challah bread when cutting it for a group of people sitting at the table. May you cut pieces for everyone at first, or must you cut only for yourself, eat a little, and then cut for everyone else? And then there are variations in between. A ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:9

by Joel Rich I’ve always wondered about the underlying seeming discontinuity in treating a safeik in a kavua (doubt generated in its original location) as 50/50, whereas any other safeik gets adjudicated based on statistical majority (the whole 10 stores thing). I’m wondering if this might have anything to do with behavioral economics heuristics (Kahnemann/Tversky, et al). I have some ...

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Context and the Insufficiency of Law

by R. Gidon Rothstein Summarizing Rambam’s Aggadic Insertions: Context and the Insufficiency of Law Almost ten years ago, a business consultant named Steven Spear introduced me to the concept of a personal ideas map. The concept is that every time a person speaks or writes, s/he should jot down the basic ideas expressed. By periodically reviewing those abstracts, each of ...

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Reading Rambam on the Rabbi-Community Relationship

by R. Tzvi Sinensky Contemporary Halakhah, the study of a set of texts with an eye toward legal application, is a well-trodden, time-honored approach to Torah study. But there is a potential cost to this goal-oriented method of learning: when we examine selected sources in an attempt to derive practical conclusions, we tend to view the subject matter incompletely, and ...

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Allowing A New Mother To Marry

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Shevat: Allowing A New Mother To Marry The responsibilities of motherhood can create complications for that mother, as happened in Shu”t Yabia Omer 9 Even HaEzer 15, from 28 Shevat 5760 (2000). The Talmud prohibited mothers from remarrying within two years of giving birth, for fear the new marriage would interfere with nursing the baby, ...

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