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Audio Roundup 2017:5

by Joel Rich Anyone know the source of covering the sefer Torah with a tallit when it’s left outside the aron (e.g., during Yizkor drasha)? ~ ~ ~ ~ From Ethiopia To Sinai A fascinating account of Ethiopian Jewry’s (Beta Israel) history and practice along with R’Shalom’s suggested halachic and hashkafic approach to merging Beta Israel with “mainstream” Jewry. On ...

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The Important Part of Welcoming Guests

by R. Gidon Rothstein Avraham’s Hachnasat Orchim: The Important Part of Welcoming Guests Avraham’s welcoming of guests stands out for many people today even more than his adamant propagation of monotheism (a characteristic of his we discussed previously). It’s interesting to me, therefore, that Rambam mentions it only once in theMishneh Torah, a bit buried at the end of Laws ...

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How to Deal with Troubling Commentaries

by R. Gil Student God is connected to everyone who reaches out to Him, as the Midrash (Eliyahu Rabbah, 9) teaches, “I call heaven and earth to witness that whether Jew or Gentile, man or woman, slave or maidservant, everything is according to their actions that the divine spirit rests on them.” Every place the Torah and Talmud discuss holiness and chosenness, ...

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Women and Time-Related Commandments

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Tevet: R. Uzziel and Tzitz Eliezer on Women and Time-Related Commandments Two easy ways to describe how halachah differentiates men from women is to speak about women’s exemption from mitzvot ‘aseh she-hazman grama, obligations with a time component, and from the obligation of Talmud Torah, of studying Torah. There’s much more to it than that, ...

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Power of Peshara (Compromise)

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik Speaking Lashon HaRa Against a Jew Living In Eretz Yisrael Is Like Speaking Against Eretz Yisrael by R. Aharon Ziegler The Gemara Sanhedrin (6b) presents a machloket (dispute) on the subject of Peshara. According to Rabbi Eliezer ben Rabbi Yossi HaGelili it is forbidden for a Beit Din to make a Peshara between ...

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The Ten Plagues & Egyptian Mythology

by R. Alec Goldstein I would like to explore a thesis, not new but also not widespread in the Jewish world, that the plagues were in response to Egyptian mythology. However, a few points are necessary. First, I am not an Egyptologist; I strongly urge the reader to treat any findings here as preliminary. Second, the Egyptian pantheon was extremely ...

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May One Say “Mumbai”?

by R. Aryeh Lebowitz In the aftermath of the terrible 2008 massacre in India, many personal accounts of the lives of the victims were disseminated in the media. One particular line in a personal account of the Holtzberg family caught my eye. The writer, Dr. Isaac Bolbin, a friend of the Holtzberg family wrote that “Reb Gavriel used to call ...

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Audio Roundup 2017:4

by Joel Rich In Shiurim L’zecher Aba Mori Z”L, R’YBS posits (see page 230) that in a difference of opinion concerning a Halacha Moshe Misinai, if one side has a kabbalah (tradition) and the other doesn’t, the decision is always in favor of the side with the tradition. [Me – assumption being a tradition must be correct and not a ...

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