Journal

Kiddushei Ketana

by R. Ari Enkin Although somewhat unknown, there is a concept in a halacha, known as “Keddushei Ketana,” which empowers a father to marry off his minor daughter, potentially against her will. Although the concept of marrying off a minor daughter is disturbing and socially unacceptable, it was commonly practiced in ancient times. In fact, the Torah instituted it for ...

Read More »

A Shrine of Oneness

by R. Alec Goldstein … Ve-hayah ha-mishkan eḥad, “and the tabernacle will be one” (Exod. 26:6). This half a verse captured my attention several years ago, especially because of its placement. This phrase and its companion va-yehi ha-mishkan eḥad (Exod. 36:13) seem like they could be a grand prolegomenon and stunning crescendo for the construction of the tabernacle, yet both ...

Read More »

Remembering Amalek

by R. Ari Enkin The Torah commands us to remember (“zachor”) that the Amalekites attacked the Jewish people shortly after their departure from Egypt.1 This is a mitzva that must be done verbally2 and according to many authorities, it must be read from a text.3 There is also a view that a minyan must be in attendance when reading the ...

Read More »

Gloves

by R. Ari Enkin As part of every Jewish wedding ceremony, a groom betroths his bride with a ring which he places on her finger as he recites the familiar declaration of intent. A number of authorities rule that in order for the betrothal to be valid, the ring must be placed directly on the bride’s finger without any interposition ...

Read More »

L’chaim and Other Drinking Customs

by R. Ari Enkin There is a well-known custom of preceding the blessing on wine, especially on Shabbat, with the words savri maranan (“attention gentlemen”) or birshut maranan (“with your permission gentlemen”), depending on one’s custom.1  One of the explanations offered for this practice is that, throughout Scripture, wine is found to be both a positive and negative substance. It ...

Read More »

Reconsidering the Sheitel

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Can hair serve to conceal hair? The idea has been hotly contested in Jewish legal discourse since the sixteenth century, when some married women began to use wigs as their required hair covering.1 The debate has continued until the present day. Some communities and rabbis cling tenaciously to the stance that wigs are forbidden,2 whereas others ...

Read More »