Magazine

Defining Residence for Purim

by R. Gidon Rothstein Since this responsum is about Purim, I don’t want to blur focus by mentioning my Pesach book As If We Were There (see what I did there?). Happy Purim! 14 Adar: R. Zvi Pesach Frank on Defining Residence for Purim In most years, 14 Adar is Purim, so few responsa are written on the date (true, 7 out ...

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Miracles and Faith

by R. Gidon Rothstein R. Arama intends this sha’ar to show the Flood fully proved Hashem’s having created the world from absolute nothingness (commonly referred to as ex nihilo, the Latin for absolute nothingness; I know none of us speak Latin anymore, but it is shorter than saying “from absolute nothingness” each time). Creation ex nihilo opens the possibility of miracles. [This last idea, Hashem created the world ...

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The Mood of Shabbat

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler When Moshe Rabbeinu revealed the mystery of Shabbat to the people, he told them “Remain every man in his place; no man should go out of his place on the seventh day” (Sh’mot 16:29). Man remains alone, and he should experience the Shabbat as a lone being. Rav Soloveitchik ...

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Extended Purim Seuda

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My family likes to have the Purim seuda toward the end of the day, and then we eat well into the night. What are the halachic implications (if any)? Answer: According to the normal rules, we would think that this is not an optimal practice. Presumably, every moment and element of festivity of Purim adds ...

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Noach Saves the World

by R. Gidon Rothstein Noach Redoes Adam The framework R. Arama used for the story of Adam, Kayin, Hevel, and then Shet (who R. Arama thinks combined the best qualities of Kayin and Hevel) repeats itself with Noach. As he was the first human after the Flood, his three sons parallel Adam’s three, Shem taking the place of Shet. The ...

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Birkat Kohanim: Singing

by R. Ari Enkin There is an ancient and widespread custom for the Kohanim to chant a tune between each of the three verses of Birkat Kohanim, something that may even pre-date the Talmudic era.1 It has even been suggested that the tunes used by the kohanim nowadays originated at Mount Sinai.2 The singing serves to separate each of the ...

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