Action/Reaction: A Framework to Think About Our Religious Response to Crisis

by R. Gidon Rothstein I promised you a Rambam, and I intend to fulfill my promise. Before I do, consider the conundrum in which Gd might find Himself should He want fundamental change, framework change, in a time when our sins have distanced us from prophecy. How should Gd send the message? Blessings aren’t likely to work, because when life ...

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Unknown Unknowns and the Coronavirus

by R. Gidon Rothstein Unknown Unknowns: A Jewish Version of Confronting Coronavirus Creatively Rambam opens the Laws of Fasts with a passage many people today find uncomfortable for its forthright certainty hard times hit communities (individuals is a more complex story, depending on our understanding of divine providence) because of sins they commit. Let’s leave his idea for next time, when I ...

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Be’Itah Ahishenah: Thoughts on How Long the Coronavirus Will Last

by R. Gidon Rothstein I usually use this space to summarize ideas of R. Yitzhak Arama’s from Akedat Yitzhak, his massive and magisterial Torah commentary/philosophical opus. As I thought about doing so this week, a talk I once heard from mori ve-rabi R. Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l, rang in my ears. I no longer remember the occasion, but he referred to ...

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Terumah: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Mysterious Tahash Parashat Terumah introduces the idea of the Mishkan, the movable Sanctuary that accompanied the Jews in the desert. Among the materials to be gathered to build it, 25;5 includes orot tehashim, skins of tahash (an unknown animal; ArtScroll leaves it as Hebrew, other translations suggest it refers to fine leather, goatskin leather, badger, ...

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