To Discuss Hashem’s Knowledge, Remember Not to Think of Hashem in Human Terms

by R. Gidon Rothstein My summaries of R. Arama’s ‘Akeydat Yitzchak minimize a remarkable aspect of the work, his ability to yoke his expression of his philosophical worldview to his consecutive reading of the Torah. In a way which reminds me of Sefer Ha-Chinuch’s structuring his presentation of mitzvot by the order in which they appear in the Torah, R. ...

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We Can’t Lie Under Oath

by R. Gidon Rothstein 13 Av: Noda BiYehuda Opposing Lying Under Oath Jewish law includes loopholes, some of which might seem to allow Jews to interact with non-Jews in ways we ordinarily think of as unethical, especially if the Jews convince themselves the non-Jews in question count as idolaters. As important and sometimes forgotten counterbalance, Jewish law and thought also ...

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The Sins We Condone, The Sins to Which We Turn a Blind Eye

by R. Gidon Rothstein Last time, R. Arama wondered why Sodom was punished harshly and quickly, when the Jews in general, and the people of Giv’a particularly, were treated more gently. In this week of comfort from our recently relived destruction, I hope his answers show us ways to put our communities on more solid footing. Sodom’s Path From Temptation ...

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Waiting for People Who Pray at Length

by R. Gidon Rothstein 21 Tammuz: R. Menashe Klein on Waiting for People Who Pray at Length The questioner of Shu”t Mishneh Halachot 4;9, dated 21 Tammuz 5724 (1964) patronizes a shul with a bare minyan, the minimum quorum of ten, and the chazzan frequently starts the repetition of the Amidah with fewer than nine responding. He asks R. Menashe Klein to assess. The Minimum Number to Answer Two ...

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