Author Archives: Basil Herring

Rabbi Basil Herring PhD has headed a number of congregations, taught at various colleges, published a number of volumes and studies in contemporary Halachah, medieval Jewish philosophy and Bible, and best Rabbinic practices. A past Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Caucus and Rabbinical Council of America (the RCA), he is the editor of the recently published Avodat Halev Siddur of the Rabbinical Council of America.

From Haman to Hamas

by R. Basil Herring From Haman to Hamas: Reflections on a 1959 Purim Shiur by R. Joseph D. Soloveitchik Toward the end of a lengthy address dealing with various aspects of the Purim Megilla, the Rav asked a rather simple question: why is the festival called “Purim” (literally “Lots”, in the plural) and not “Pur” (in the singular)? After all, ...

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Tefillat Rosh Hashana: Avinu Malkeinu as Paradigm

by R. Basil Herring Needless to say, the Rosh Hashana Machzor reflects many of the well-known themes of the Yamim Noraim. To name but a few: judgement, forgiveness, and  punishment; repentance, remorse, and resolution for the future, petition and request for the entire spectrum of needs and desires; Rosh Hashana as the anniversary of creation; descriptions of the heavenly angels ...

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Did the Students of R. Akiva Die in a 2nd Century Epidemic?

by R. Dr. Basil Herring They said “R. Akiva had twelve thousand pairs of disciples who were located all the way from Gevat (near Beersheva in the south of Judea) till Antiparis (at its northern end) and they all died at one time because they did not act respectfully toward each other. As a result, the world was desolate (Rashi: ...

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On Regret, Annulment, and the Essence of Teshuvah

Va-Yechal Moshe: On Regret, Annulment, and the Essence of Teshuvah Part of a Shiur by Ha-Rav Joseph Dov Soloveitchik Congregation Moriah, New York, NY, Dec 1st 1956 Edited by Rabbi Basil Herring, Ph.d Editor’s Note: What follows here is not a verbatim transcription, but a summary of the main ideas of the Rav in this lecture. The material constitutes the ...

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