Journal

Harsh Words for R Tarfon, Wise Words for the Rest of Us

by R. Asher Bush The Mishah in Brachos (daf yud) records the debate between Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai whether one must recite Shma at night in a lying down position (Beis Shamai), or is it permitted to recite it in any position (Beis Hillel). Following this it also recounts an event where R Tarfon relates that he was once ...

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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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Chametz In Your Office

by R. Asher Bush They shut down all access to my workplace and I had Chametz in my desk? I have always been strict not to sell my Chametz Focusing on: The need to do an early bedika, Cases where this is not an option, Selling chametz that is inaccessible Selling chametz for those who have been strict not to ...

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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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Yes, the Talmud Does Suggest Drinking on Purim

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Last year, Rabbi Asher Bush lamented the fact that many in the Jewish community ignore admonitions not to get drunk on Purim. He noted, accurately, that people view such directives as merely being “[p]olitically [c]orrect” and “apologetics” rather than genuine halachic guidance. Unfortunately, Jewish leaders have not done much to counter this perception. In their admirable ...

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Precautions in Shul in the Wake of Coronavirus

by R. Asher Bush With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which as of this date has no specific treatments, numerous halachic issues are being discussed; a few that have practical implications will be addressed here. It is worth noting that while much attention is correctly being placed on this new and yet untreatable virus, these issue apply to any ...

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Is the Jerusalem Program Kosher?

by R. Gil Student The Jerusalem Program is the official platform of the World Zionist Congress. In order to vote in the currently ongoing (and quickly ending) elections to the World Zionist Congress, you are first required to affirm your commitment to the platform. As R. Dr. Joseph Frager recently noted, for some reason “the Orthodox have failed to grasp ...

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