New Periodical: RJJ Journal LXXIII

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New issue of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, LXIII (Pesach 5777, Spring 2017):

  • Uttering the Names of Idols by R. Reuven Chaim Klein – You aren’t allowed to say the names of idols although there are a number of leniencies, such as when mentioned in the Bible or in the context of Torah study, as long as not in a flattering way. Also idols that are no longer worshipped or in reference to things named after the idols.
  • Brushing Teeth on Shabbat: A Reevaluation in Light of Recent Research by R. Dr. Ephraim Rudolph – Some poskim permit using toothpaste on Shabbos. New research shows that toothpaste doesn’t only prevent tooth decay but heals it, to some degree. Mouthwash also. Is that prohibited as healing on Shabbos? R. Asher Weiss and R. Hershel Schachter permit for different reasons.
  • The Quinoa – Kitniyot Conundrum by R. Yehuda Spitz – The views of different poskim and kosher organizations. Ends with R. Blumenkrantz as the moderate middle. You don’t see that too often.
  • Teaching the Whole Truth in the Classroom by R. Chaim Burman – Must a teacher present the “whole truth” or can he omit certain facts? Depends on the circumstance but you teach people on their level without distorting the truth.
  • In-Hospital Circumcision and the Mitzvah of Milah by Dr. Michael Oppenheim – What is the status of in-hospital circumcision performed by a gentile doctor before the eighth day. A range of views but contemporary poskim follow the Shach who requires hatafas dam beris.
  • Letters by Dr. Samuel Dershowitz – A professor of the chemistry of dyes critiques contemporary claims of finding the biblical dye of techeiles.

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, 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 Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as 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.

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