Magazine

The Loud Message of MASA’s Budget Cuts

by R. Rafi Eis Nobody likes budget cuts. Delivering the bad news is painful, and obviously being on the receiving end can be devastating. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many organizations to reduce their spending.  MASA Israel, a partnership between the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency to support long term Israel experience, is not immune to these realities. How ...

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Parashiyyot Hukkat-Balak: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos: Parshat Hukkat Putting Away Carefully Parshat Hukkat opens with the ceremony for making Parah Adumah water. The Torah tells us after burning the red heifer, the man who collects the ashes will leave them outside the camp in a makom tahor, a ritually pure place. The verse, 19;9, says ve-hiniah, shall place.  ArtScroll notes Onkelos usually ...

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Salad at Meat and Milk Meals

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Sometimes I serve the same salad at a fleishig meal and again at a milchig meal. My daughter told me that her friend’s family does not do that. Is it okay? Answer: The main source on such issues involves bread. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 89:4) rules (based on a Yerushalmi in Pesachim, cited by ...

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Bringing Wisdom to Life

by R. Gidon Rothstein Orah Hayyim Siman 156: Bringing Wisdom to Life After prayers and Torah study, siman 156 requires a Jew to go take care of his affairs, based on Avot 2;2, any Torah unaccompanied by work will eventually be unsustainable and lead to sin (as the person flails for a way to support him/herself). Shulhan Arukh cautions us to remember R. Yehudah b. Ilai’s note ...

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Do I Have To Reply?

by R. Gil Student The days of carefully crafted letters are long gone. In this age of hyper-connectivity, people receive many emails, voicemails, WhatsApps, comments, notifications and more. Does courtesy require that we reply to every contact? In 19th century Turkey, Rav Chaim Palaggi wrote emphatically about the obligation to reply to letters. In his Tokhachas Chaim (Miketz), he says ...

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Torah Is The Air We Breathe

by R. Gil Student Throughout the pandemic, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has singled out the Jewish community for violating “stay-at-home” orders. Now, although Jews still face severe restrictions on religious gatherings after months without access to synagogues, he has permitted protesters to gather in the thousands and break social distancing guidelines. Why do political protests deserve special ...

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Parshat Korah: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Korah has a sustained attack on the leadership of the Jewish people, starting with Korah and his group, the challenge to Aharon as Kohen Gadol, with Jews suffering the consequences of their actions along the way. The nonliteral comments of Onkelos this week, more than most in my memory, turn the story in directions we might ...

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Removing Hair from a Necklace

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permitted to remove loose hair on Shabbat, which usually includes ripping it, that has gotten stuck in a necklace?    Answer: There are three potential Shabbat prohibitions that need to be addressed: borer (selecting), muktzeh, and koreiah (ripping). We have discussed in the past (see Living the Halachic Process, vol. IV, C-5) a similar ...

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When Shul Is Over in the Morning

by R. Gidon Rothstein This past week, I saw a news report about Florida having 3000 new cases of Covid-19, and I thought to myself, ok, but if they had 3000 cases a day for a year, that would still be “only” a million people (and there are 20 million in Florida). The next day, there were over 4000 cases.  ...

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