Journal

The Fourth Knock

by Dr. Arnold Lustiger A Reassessment of the “Fourth Knock” in Kol Dodi Dofek First presented as an address by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University on Yom HaAtzmaut in 1956 which was later published, Kol Dodi Dofek has become a classic text of religious Zionist philosophy. Kol Dodi Dofek discusses theodicy and the Holocaust as well as the ...

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Between Evil and Hypocrisy: Passover Perspectives on the Punishments of Pharaoh

Between Evil and Hypocrisy: Passover Perspectives on the Punishments of Pharaoh A Yiddish Lecture delivered by R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Parshat Beshalach, 11 January 1957 Transcribed and edited by R. Basil Herring in honor of the Rav’s 25th Yahrzeit, in Nissan 5778, and in recognition of his unparalleled greatness and brilliance as a teacher of Torah to his and ...

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Minhag or Mayhem – Noisemaking during the Purim Megillah Reading

by R. Dr. Raphael Hulkower Introduction During the reading of Megillat Esther each year on Purim, most communities share the custom of making noise upon hearing the recitation of Haman’s name. From stomping one’s feet or “booing” to whirring groggers or the occasional cap gun blast, this custom has become the highlight of Purim for many children, while also remaining ...

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The Rav on Shekhinah and LeShem Yihud

by Dr. Arnold Lustiger This treatment of the Rav’s ideas regarding Shechinah and LeShem Yichud is necessarily brief. For more detail, see the Volume 15 of the Torah UMadda Journal “The Kabbalistic Underpinnings of U-vikkashtem mi-sham”  Last week, Gil examined the term Shekhinah and the LeShem Yihud meditation.  Although the Rav is not widely known as having a Kabbalistic focus, ...

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Simchas Torah and Women

by Sarah Rudolph I. Dancing With A Torah Scroll? Often, when people talk about women and dancing on Simchas Torah, what they mean is women dancing with a sefer Torah. I think it’s important, though, to take a step back and consider not just dancing with a sefer Torah, but dancing itself.1 After all, the original minhag seems to have ...

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Sin, Repentance, and Human Nature

by R. Alec Goldstein God is hopeful of man, but also suspicious of him I. An understanding of teshuvah—a Hebrew word that loosely means “repentance” or “regret”—must necessarily be dependent on how we understand human nature in general. If human nature is fundamentally good, then teshuvah will be like a minor edit of character—here are a few points we need ...

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