Journal

Is 929 Kosher?

by R. Gil Student I’m told that some yeshiva graduates are learning 929 without fully understanding its background. I will make a few points here why this is not the daily Tanakh study program for the traditional Orthodox Jew, even if some traditional Orthodox teachers are involved for a variety of reasons. If you want to learn Tanakh daily, please ...

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Jewelry on Shabbat: Pretty or Prohibited?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Many women would be aghast at the idea of omitting jewelry from their Shabbat wardrobe. It may thus come as a surprise that the Talmud unequivocally forbids women from wearing jewelry on Shabbat.1 Even pious women, however, seem to ignore this prohibition—a fact with which poskim have grappled since the earliest post-Talmudic times. Wearing adornments (tachshitim) ...

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On Changing Judaism For LGBT

by R. Gil Student Anyone reading this probably knows someone gay. The explicit biblical prohibition against homosexual activity and the associated rabbinic prohibitions, including the rabbinic condemnation of gay marriage, are not abstract concepts. The heartbreak, alienation, depression and everything else that follows are the real repercussions felt by our friends and family. The theological challenge is not theoretical but ...

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Mourners: Attending a Wedding

by R. Ari Enkin As a general rule, a mourner is forbidden to attend any celebration, especially one that includes a festive meal. This is especially true for a wedding.1 However, attending a wedding is subject to a different set of regulations than those of other celebrations due to the sensitivity of one’s presence or absence at such an event. ...

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Return and Renewal: A Trailer

by R. Gidon Rothstein I only write book reviews when I believe readers would gain from securing a copy of the book and reading it. For Return and Renewal: Reflections on Teshuva and Spiritual Growth — talks on repentance mori ve-rabi R. Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l, delivered between 1985 and 2010, either at Kehillat Jeshurun in New York or the Gruss ...

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What is Masorah?

by R. Gil Student After more than three years, I am reposting the conclusion and summary of the symposium on masorah. Jewish tradition changes but only in order to remain the same. Unlike a liberal approach to religious practice, which freely adapts the past to contemporary sensibilities, a conservative approach—which I believe Orthodox Judaism demands—strives to preserve the past by ...

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Rupture and Reconstruction at 25 Years

by R. Micha Berger Twenty five years ago, Rabbi Dr. Haym Soloveitchik published “Rupture and Reconstruction: The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy” in Tradition Magazine.1 The paper quickly became the topic of much conversation within the Orthodox community, including being cited in 325 other articles according to Google Scholar.2 Most notably, the article became a topic of conversation in the street ...

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The Attitude of the Vilna Gaon Towards Moreh Nevuchim

by R. Mordecai Plaut In the Biur HaGra on Yoreh Dei’ah, the Vilna Gaon expressed some serious criticism of philosophy and of the Rambam’s relationship with it. Many believe that this expression characterizes something general about the Gaon’s attitude towards the Rambam and towards his Moreh Nevuchim in particular, which is certainly a philosophic work. I have gathered evidence that ...

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