Magazine

Umbrellas on Shabbos

by R. Gil Student I. Umbrellas and Precedents The status of new technologies are often determined by the first major authorities to rule. Practices harden quickly and institutional positions, once set, change only with difficulty. This conservative tendency preserves socio-religious boundaries but also favors early movers. The use of umbrellas on Shabbos, universally forbidden in the Orthodox Jewish community, is ...

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Before Reb Zusia

by R. Gil Student I. Being Measured Against Others Over a decade ago, I challenged the eighteenth century Chasidic scholar Reb Zusia of Hanipol‘s famous last words. On his deathbed, he said that he wasn’t worried that the heavenly court would ask why he wasn’t like Moshe, because he could answer that he lacked Moshe’s abilities. But he was worried ...

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Double Purpose of Learning Torah on Shabbat

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Kedusha often symbolizes itself by the concept of withdrawal; for example, Kedushat Shabbat obligates a person to refrain from productive work of the 39 melachot. However, we must also sanctify the Shabbat through positive actions, and not merely through passive abstentions. One such way we are Mekadesh the day, ...

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Who Should Pay a Ticket?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My friend picked up a trempist (hitchhiker) who did not put on his seatbelt. Police pulled the car over and gave a ticket to the driver (not the passenger) for driving with someone not buckled. Should the passenger reimburse my friend?   Answer: This is not a ruling about a specific case but a discussion of ...

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