Journal

Yom Ha’atzmaut and the Poetic Man

by R. Reuven Tradburks In discussing the tefillot that are said or not said on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Rabbi Gil Student distinguishes between Messianic Zionists and Hopeful Zionists. While that distinction is accurate and valuable as a description of attitudes to Zionism, I think it is “shtayim sh’hem arba”, 2 that are really 4. In addition to Messianic Zionists and Hopeful ...

Read More »

When a Jew Requests Assisted Suicide

by R. Jason Weiner When a Jew Requests Assisted Suicide: Towards a More Nuanced View of Euthanasia On the one hand, there is little room for any nuance when it comes to euthanasia (i.e., a physician hastening the death of a patient), or physician-assisted suicide [1]It should be noted that those who support physician-assisted suicide object to it being referred ...

Read More »

The State We Are In: The Missing Side of the State of Israel

by Aron White As the focus of the Jewish community moves towards Yom HaZikaron, Yom Haatzmaut and the State of Israel, I wish to suggest that there is something missing from the Orthodox community`s discussions about Israel. The Modern Orthodox, Chareidi and National Religious communities all manage to vastly overlook the following very important fact – the State of Israel ...

Read More »

Good Enough?

by Dr. Erica Brown “You shall do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord…” Deuteronomy 6:18 This week I spoke with someone on the phone who asked me several questions about Sabbath observance. He told me he found it interesting but was raised as a Catholic and is now lapsed. “I don’t really believe in ...

Read More »

Chol Hamo’ed: Meat, Wine, and Clothing

by R. Ari Enkin The Torah [1]Devarim 16:14. requires one to be “b’simcha,” to be happy, on Yom Tov. One must also ensure that the members of one’s household are in a joyous mood, as well. [2]OC 529:2. This mitzva is known as “simchat yom tov.” Although many don’t realize it, the requirement of “simchat yom tov” includes Chol Hamo’ed ...

Read More »

The Purpose of Signs and Miracles According to the Ramban

by Rav Ezra Bick In his comments on the commandment of tefillin (Shemot 13:16), the Ramban offers a general theory of “signs” in Judaism, and, inter alia, a summary of the purpose of signs and mitzvot in general. In fact, this is a summary of the purpose of human life and of creation. The two subjects – the meaning of “signs” and the purpose of ...

Read More »

The Religious Significance of NOT Eating Kitniyot on Pesach

by R. David Silverstein Every year around Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the internet is filled with online petitions, Facebook groups and newsletters practically begging rabbinic authorities to permit the consumption of legumes (Kitniyot) on Pesach for Jews of Ashkenazic decent. One Facebook group called the “Kitniyot Liberation Front,” defines itself as a “movement… dedicated to liberating all Jews who wish to ...

Read More »

Should Maggid Take Forever?

Should Maggid Take Forever? The Shulchan Aruch’s view may surprise you by Chaim Saiman & Josh Weinberger The view of the seder that has become commonplace is a fairly long maggid– replete with each child opening up his notebook to recite the Brisker Rov’s vort on derech cheirus—thereby delaying the eating of the meal until rather late into the night. ...

Read More »

Demeaning the Holy Days

by R. Eliezer Melamed An important principle is articulated in Mishna Avot (3:11): “Rabbi Elazar Ha-Moda’i says: ‘One who desecrates holy foods, one who demeans the holy days … and one who expounds the Torah not in accordance with halakha, even if he has Torah study and good deeds to his credit, has no share in the World to Come.’” ...

Read More »