Journal

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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]Tradition, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Summer 1994), pp. 64-130. Available at http://traditionarchive.org/news/originals/Volume%2028/No.%204/Repture%20And.pdf, and in HTML form at … Continue reading The paper quickly became the topic of much conversation within the Orthodox community, including being cited in ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Siyumim During the Nine Days: Sanctioned or Sacrilege?

by Moshe Kurtz I. The Prohibition of Consuming Meat and Wine During the Nine Days The Talmud (Bava Basra 60b) relates a fundamental anecdote in which, following the destruction of the second Temple, a portion of the Jewish population sought to abstain from consuming meat and wine. R. Yehoshua, being troubled by this extreme measure, engaged in a dialogue with ...

Read More »

Early Shabbat Services: Plag or 7:00?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman During the summer, many wish to eat the Shabbat evening meal well before dark. To accommodate them, many shuls offer early Friday evening services. Some daven Mincha right before plag ha-mincha (1 ¼ halachic hours before sunset) and immediately thereafter recite Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv. Others begin Mincha at a set time all summer long – ...

Read More »

Tzedaka: Those Who Refuse to Work

by R. Ari Enkin It is clear that one should only give tzedaka to those who are genuinely in need. A person who is known to have the necessary funds for his basic needs but nevertheless seeks money from others rather than use his own funds, should be turned away. [1]Ketubot 67b; Rambam, Hilchot Matnat Aniyim 7:9; YD 253:10. However, ...

Read More »

Birkat Kohanim: Dreams

by R. Ari Enkin It is customary to recite the Ribono Shel Olam prayer during Birkat Kohanim for any disturbing dreams that one might have recently had. It is customary to recite the Ribono Shel Olam prayer during Birkat Kohanim for any disturbing dreams that one might have recently had. This is said to be able to transform such dreams, ...

Read More »

Marriage: The Ring

by R. Ari Enkin According to halacha, a groom may betroth his bride with anything of value, whether it is money or any other type of gift. [1]Kiddushin 2a. Common custom, however, is to do so by means of a ring. [2]Rema, EH 27:1. A number of explanations have been offered for the now universal custom of using a ring ...

Read More »

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l and the Torah World

by R. Francis Nataf How does one identify one’s community? Today, the obvious answer to this today is which one? We are all members of what sociologists call overlapping communities: our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our synagogues, our families (nuclear and extended), our interest groups, etc. While all of these groupings define who we are, some define us more than others. ...

Read More »