Posts

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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Vort from the Rav: Matos

Numbers 30:3 אִישׁ כִּי יִדֹּר נֶדֶר להֹ’ אוֹ הִשָּׁבַע שְׁבֻעָה If a man makes a vow to the Lord or makes an oath On the verse and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life (Gen. 2:7), Nachmanides comments, This verse alludes to the greatness of the soul…This corresponds to the saying of the Rabbis in the Sifri: “Vows ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:28

by Joel Rich Personal conversation between a RIETS R”Y and an actuary after the latter suggested a possible Brisker chiluk(underlying distribution function) based on several sugyot (data points) and concluded with “actuaries are trained to look for patterns in the data but also be suspect that they are seeing their own reflection. R”Y response – that’s what we do! ~ ...

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Building a Covenant With Hashem

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tavo opens with different ways in which the Jewish people will in the future or are right then reaffirming their relationship with Hashem. Since “relationship” cannot apply to Hashem in the ordinary way (Hashem is so Other that the use of human language is always either incomplete or incorrect), aspects of these covenantal moments offer ...

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Where to Place a Mezuzah

by R. Gidon Rothstein 20 Tammuz: R. Ya’akov Ettlinger on Where to Place a Mezuzah Mezuzah seems like a fairly simple mitzvah: you buy a piece of parchment with the proper writing on it, put it in a case and attach it to the right doorpost of a doorway. In fact, several of those words need better definition before we can ...

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Ko’ach and Gevurah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler On Shabbat morning, in one of the liturgical songs praising HaShem for all of His creations, in the paragraph beginning with Kel Adon Al Kol HaMa’asim we find the phrase Ko’ach U’gevurah Natan Ba’hem Li’hi’yot Moshlim BeKerev Teiveil (Strength and power has He granted them, to be dominant within  ...

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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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Vort from the Rav: Pinchas

Numbers 28:15 וּשְׂעִיר עִזִּים אֶחָד לְחַטָּאת לַיהֹוָה And one young male goat for a sin offering to the Lord. The Talmud (Chullin 60b, quoted by Rashi on this verse) indicates that at the dawn of creation the sun and moon were of equal size, until the moon approached God and complained that two kings cannot wear one crown. In response, ...

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