Magazine

Later Rishonim VIII: The Ran

R. Nissim b. Reuven (Ran, d. 1376) The Ran, also known as the Ranbar (רנב”ר), was originally from Gerona but flourished in the city of Barcelona. He studied under his father and R. Peretz Ha-Cohen (d. 1370), a Provencal scholar who moved to Barcelona. The Ran, like the Ritva and Rashba before him, eventually became the leading Catalonian scholar of ...

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Tisha B’Av Pushed Off Until Sunday

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What is done differently this year, when Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat and is pushed off to Sunday? Answer: Seuda Shlishit: The baraita (cited in Ta’anit 29a) says that one may eat an extravagant meal on Shabbat even when Tisha B’Av falls on Motzaei Shabbat. The Tur (Orach Chayim 552) cites minhagim that one is ...

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Picking and Choosing Poskim

by R. Gidon Rothstein Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av: R. Betzalel Stern on Picking and Choosing Poskim Posek-shopping is a natural instinct; we want to be told our desired course of action is also an or the appropriate one. Shu”t Betzel HaChochmah 6;29, dated Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av 5747 (1987) takes up the issue, how to choose a posek without predetermining the answer we get. A ...

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The Covenant Between Man and God

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In the Torah we find that God established a Brit (Covenant) with Avraham, with Yitzchak, with Yaakov and with the entire Klal Yisrael. These covenants serve as contractual obligations between Himself and the Avot (forefathers), as well as between Himself and the Congregation of Israel. The halakha states that ...

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Living Spaces

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Mas’ei: Living Spaces The last parsha of Bamidbar opens by listing the places the Jews had encamped along their forty-year journey. Rashi here and Rambam in the Guide for the Perplexed (3;50) offer reasons for the choice to include the whole list [in brief, Rashi thought the list shows Hashem’s compassion while administering the punishment of forty years of wandering, and Rambam ...

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Making Rules and Misusing Them

by R. Gidon Rothstein Ramban to Matot: Making Rules and Misusing Them Parshat Matot opens with rules of vows, and Ramban lays out some central differences between a vow (the common translation for neder) and an oath (shevu’ah; as with all translations, the exact meaning matters less than ensuring we know the full connotations of the word in the original language, which Ramban ...

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