New Periodical: Hakirah vol. 10 (Winter 2010)

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The journal Hakirah published its tenth volume, complete with an index of the first ten volumes.

  • Letters to the Editor – On Gedolim and the Holocaust, in praise of a teacher, Rashi and corporealism and get refusal
  • Entering the Temple Mount–in Halacha and Jewish History by R. Gedalia Meyer – A thorough treatment of the boundaries of the Temple Mount and the issue of entering it today, appropriately struggling with the conflicting values in this question.
  • Drafting a Halachic Will by R. A. Yehuda Warburg – A lengthy beis din ruling about a contested halakhic will.
  • A Righteous Judgment on a Righteous People: Rav Yitzhak Hutner’s Implicit Theology of the Holocaust by Prof. Lawrence Kaplan – Assumes an essay refers to the Holocaust and deduces that Rav Hutner believed that the righteous were judged by God on a harsh scale (ke-chut ha-sa’arah) during the Holocaust. There is obviously much more to it than this one sentence summary.
  • Daily Prayer: Seeking Clarity and a Call for Action by David Guttman – Rambam saw prayer as a means to achieve repentance (cf. Reflections of the Rav, pp. 79-82).
  • Israel’s Inheritance: Olam Haba by Asher Benzion Buchman – Some very interesting thoughts about what the Rambam considered to be necessary to attain life in the world-to-come, particularly about doubt and inadvertent heresy.
  • Book review of Jewish Thought in Dialogue: Essays on Thinkers, Theologies, and Moral Theories by Dr. David Shatz by Heshey Zelcer – Detailed review that concludes “buy the book.”
  • Wine from Havdalah, Women and Beards by R. Ari Zivotofsky – Surveys reasons for the custom that women do not drink wine from havdalah but concludes that there is no source to support the myth that women who drink it grow beards.
  • Reciting Al Tira after Aleinu by R. Zvi Ron – Full background on the history of this addition at the end of services that some say but is found in all contemporary prayerbooks.
  • Divorce: It’s Not About You, It’s About the Children by David Mandel – The head of Ohel Children’s Services shows that divorce often negatively impacts children and recommends pre-marital and divorce counseling.
  • Book review of Leib Glantz: The Man Who Spoke to God by Jerry Glantz by Daniel B. Schwartz – A tribute to a remarkable twentieth century cantor to whom you can listen here: link.
  • A Letter to Almeda: Shadal’s Guide for the Perplexed by Daniel A. Klein – Annotated translation of a letter by Shadal to an uneducated Jew explaining some basics of his philosophy of Judaism.
  • Two Controversies Involving R. Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook by Chaim Landerer – Background and translation of a first-hand account about the relationship between R. Kook and R. Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and a letter from R. Kook about R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, both reflecting the political pressures R. Kook faced.
  • Rabbeinu Moshe Emes Ve-Soraso Emes Ve-Heim Bada’I’m – Cheilek Sheini by Yitzchak Gold – Extensive refutation of anti-Zionist interpretation of the Rambam’s views on the Messianic era.
  • Be-Inyan Giluach Be-Chol Ha-Moed: Teshuvah Me-Ha-Gaon Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher by Prof. Marc Shapiro – A responsum regarding shaving on Chol Hamoed with an interesting tangent on how an authority should relate to non-observance of a specific rule, distinguishing between non-observance that stems from rejection and that from a minority view.
  • Bereishis by Yaakov Balsam – A poem based on the creation of man.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. lawrence kaplan

    The responsum of RMMK also has an interesting paragraph on the importance of examining old manscripts and textual variants.

  2. I thought that R Buchmans’ assertion regarding heresy and error was a backhanded indirect way to mitigate implication of R Slifkin’s Rashi and corporealism articles. Meaning, that if, as R Slifkin argues, Rashi may have been a corporealist, he nontheless has a portion in OH according to R Buchman’s interpretation of Rambam.

  3. Anyone want to speculate on why Hakirah has become the hottest journal in the Orthodox world? Meorot is probably second (Milin Havivin doesn’t count as it is a “house journal”). Why did Tradition decline so much that most people now regard it as boring and not offering very much.

  4. MiMedinat HaYam

    do you not want us to comment on your news & views items?

    there’s no conmment box in that section.

  5. R Gil_I encountered the same difficulty as MiMedinat HaYam. Please fix.

  6. This comment belongs on the news and views for which the comment box is missing.

    I view PH and 9-11 as sharing the common reality of being surprise attacks on America. I see no difference between the Japan of Tojo and its armed forces which deified its Emperor, hated America and its beliefs that encouraged hari kari and kamikaze attacks and which its people supported enthusiastically and Islamofascism. It takes a certain kind of revisionism and denial of history to excuse and rationalize such conduct.

    Contrary to the views of Tom Hanks or Clint Eastwood, and some hate America academics, Japan bears full responsibility as a nation for the launching of an attack that was a day that FDR correctly viewed as ” a day that shall live in infamy” and has never apologized for the same. For those with a poor or nonexistent historical memory, please see the annexed link.

    Japan, pre WW2, was an aggressive, dictatorial nation with a racist foreign policy built on religious doctrine that was dedicated to bringing the entirety of Asia and the Pacific under its reign. It built its armed forces based on scrap metal that was exported by the US. While its diplomats talked endlessly about peace, its navy planned and launched a massive surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Its people supported that course of action, venerated the Emperor and viewed suicide in the form of hari kari or kamikaze attacks preferable to surrender. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were completely justified especially after the horrific casualties that ensued in the battles of Iwon Jima and Okinawa.

    Yes, the US defeated Japan and rebuilt Japan into a westernized country, but Japan went through none of the same process as Germany in terms of being denazified except for the de-deification of the Emperor because we were afraid of the possible growth of Communism. As a result, Japan never dealt with the consequences of the rape of Nanking, its oppression of Korean, Chinese and other Asian peoples under its rule, Pearl Harbor or the Bataan Death March. I think that any attempt to erect any Japanese shrine of any sort at Pearl Harbor today merely because Japan today is different would be an attempt at revising history and would completely detract from an objective study of the events that led to Pearl Harbor, and most importantly, be a disgrace to the efforts and memories of those who sacrificed their lives for America . Are we so revisionist that we view buying a Toyota as a reason for forgetting the cause of WW2 in the Pacific? It takes a certain type of national Alzheimer’s disorder to invite those who perpetrate a surprise attack on American soil to share the holy ground of their victims.”

  7. “Anyone want to speculate on why Hakirah has become the hottest journal in the Orthodox world? Why did Tradition decline so much that most people now regard it as boring and not offering very much.”

    While you are hardly asking the question in an objective manner, I agree with you that there’s a difference between the two. Hakirah seems to allow for a wider range of authors and topics covered. Perhaps as a result, Hakirah’s articles are often more shallow, which means they’re also more accessible.

  8. Regarding Neil’s comment – just as an aside: I think that Rabbi Zucker’s two essays (in Hakirah 9 and on demonstrate rather conclusively that Rashi wasn’t a corporealist. I know that this is beside the main point of your comment, but I thought it should be pointed out.

  9. Lawrence Kaplan

    I should point out that Dr. Shlomo Sprecher, the noted bibliographer and author of the excellent and justly famed article on metzizah, has now joined the Hakirah editorial board. His agreeing to join it is a sign of how far Hakirah has come, and will certanly lend the journal a new level of scholarly credibility.

  10. Simcha,
    I agree completely with your perspective. I find R Buchman’s assertion way off the mark, against a straightforward reading of Hilchot Teshuva. I was speculating that what might have motivated him to make such a claim was the implication of R Slifkin’s article.

    Of course the real reason that Rashi has a secure Chelek in OH is because he was NOT a corporelist as R Zucker demonstrated. Therefore there is no need to reinterpret the Rambam as R. Buchman does.

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