Hashkafah Category

What Tzeniut Really Means

by R. Gidon Rothstein Hatzne’a Lekhet: Rethinking Weddings and Funerals in the Light of Coronavirus Makkot 23b has a statement we all know, R. Samlai says there are six hundred and thirteen mitzvot in the Torah, two hundred and forty-eight obligations, three hundred and sixty-five prohibitions, and R. Hamnuna offers the verse of Torah tzivah lanu Moshe to support the idea. I find the next ...

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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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The Best Way Out of Nidui

by R. Gidon Rothstein Gd seems to be showing us some light at the end of the tunnel. Some countries have reached a point where they are starting to open up, and other places are on the verge of taking such steps. Ahenu Bene Yisrael in Israel have had a bit of loosening of restrictions, and we pray Gd will ...

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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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How Can We Grow from this Crisis?

by R. Dovid Gottlieb Divrei Hitorerut, adapted from the original Hebrew, offered by R. Dovid Gottlieb in Kehillat Ha’Ela, this past Friday night, Shabbat Parshat Ki Tisa. In lieu of the regular devar halacha, I would like to speak to you, my dear friends, about the current situation, as we – along with the rest of the world – deal ...

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Chanukah: The Power of the Present

by R. Moshe Schapiro We are missing a tense. The typical Jewish religious perspective pivots between two points: the past and the future. Every day we remember going out of Egypt and we pray for the final redemption. Throughout the year, on various holidays and special occasions, we painstakingly recount past events, both salvations and destructions. At the same time, ...

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