Magazine

Purim Meshulash

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Could you please review some of the rules and rationale of the practices of Purim Meshulash (Triple Purim) in Yerushalayim? [This is a re-edited repeat from 15 years ago.] Answer: When the fifteenth of Adar, celebrated as Purim in cities that were walled at the time of Yehoshua (notably including Yerushalayim), falls on Shabbat, when ...

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Peri Megadim’s Petihah Kolelet: Introduction

by R. Gidon Rothstein I believe in hashgahah peratit, Divine Providence extending to individuals. Complicating matters for me, I accept some version of Rambam’s view of it, where more righteous people earn or enjoy a greater level of such Providence. It means I am rarely confident I have experienced such moments, since I have little reason to think I am righteous enough to ...

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Schrodinger’s Kiddush Hashem

by R. Gil Student We like to think that a Kiddush Hashem, a sanctification or glorification of God’s name, is perfectly good. It is the ultimate expression of religious virtue. In reality, this is not the case and common sense confirms that. Not only is the delineation between Kiddush Hashem and Chillul Hashem blurred, the distinction itself does not hold ...

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Terumah: Preparing For a Mishkan, What and Why

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Terumah opens with Gd’s call to the Jewish people to gather materials for a Mishkan, a “home” for Gd’s Presence. Moshe is told to take collections from the people, of money and materials, and how to put those together, yielding the structure. What Was Collected Voluntarily The Torah speaks of those materials as coming from everyone asher yidvenu ...

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Hearing the Megilla for Those Who Cannot Go to Shul

by R. Daniel Mann Question: If one who is not a ba’al koreh cannot make it to shul to hear Megillat Esther (e.g., if the pandemic will preclude one from coming), how else can he fulfill the mitzva of hearing it? Answer: (For those who can hear from a distance, not being in shul is not a problem; if they ...

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Further Forms of Lashon Ha-Ra

by R. Gidon Rothstein Further Forms of Lashon Ha-Ra, and a Reminder of What It Takes to Greet the Shekhina We’re up to the fourth level of lashon ha-ra, an extension of the prohibition known as avak, the dust of lashon ha-ra. This is also the last post in this current series, so the end has a summary that somewhat stands independent of the content until ...

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The Thirteen Principles of Faith: Chumra or Kula?

by R. Gil Student I. Fundamental Beliefs In today’s conversations, acceptable Jewish beliefs are generally defined by Rambam’s thirteen fundamental principles of faith that he lists in his commentary to the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 10:1). Was that always the case? In a relatively recent book, Ani Ma’amin: Biblical Criticism, Historical Truth, and the Thirteen Principles of Faith, Rabbi Prof. Joshua Berman ...

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Is There a Mitzvah to Rejoice in Adar?

by R. Gil Student The Gemara (Ta’anis 29a) famously says that when Adar begins, we increase joy. While this saying is often quoted, standard codes omit it. Rambam (12th cen., Egypt) does not mention it in Mishneh Torah nor do Rav Yosef Karo (16th cen., Israel) and Rav Moshe Isserles (16th cen., Poland) in Shulchan Arukh. It is only Rav ...

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