Magazine

Including Non-Religious Jews in a Minyan, and Its Discontents

by R. Gidon Rothstein 11 Shevat: Including Non-Religious Jews in a Minyan, and Its Discontents On the 11th of Shevat, 5712 (1952), R. Yitzchak Herzog, z”l, the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, wrote Shu”t Heichal Yitschak Orach Chayim 2, to R. Ib Nathan Bamberger. R. Bamberger was one of the Jews whom local Danes had ferried to Sweden in fishing ...

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The Siege of Beirut

by R. Gil Student In the summer of 1982, the Israeli army placed a siege on Beirut in a successful attempt to force the PLO out of Lebanon. On August 6th, then Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Shlomo Goren published an article in the newspaper Hatzofeh in which he argued that, according to Jewish law, the siege must allow terrorists to escape the city. ...

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Sefarim Under Seats

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In our shul, the seats have drawers underneath them to store chumashim, siddurim, etc. Thus, we sit over these books. Is that allowed? Answer: A few gemarot are relevant. One (Berachot 18a) forbids putting a sefer Torah under one’s saddle when riding an animal unless it is necessary to protect it. Another gemara (Menachot 32b) ...

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How Hard Is a Hardened Heart?

by R. Gil Student I. Hardened Hearts When God hardens a heart, shouldn’t that mean that the person whose heart is hardened cannot repent? While reading the beginning of the weekly Torah portion of Bo, I was struck that this does not seem true. God tells Moshe that He hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and his servants: ”And the LORD ...

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Kaddish for a Teenaged Child

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Shevat: Tzitz Eliezer on Saying Kaddish for a Teenaged Child Seemingly insensitive questions can lead to illuminating Torah nonetheless. On 4 Shevat 5756 (1996), Tzitz Eliezer 22;17 answered a man who objected to a father saying kaddish for his deceased teenager. Our instinct (or, maybe, my instinct; I don’t want to project my limitations onto you) might be to brush off the question. ...

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Kaddish For An Extended Relative

by R. Gil Student Most Jews of all backgrounds recognize the custom to recite Kaddish for a parent and attempt to observe it, even if only partially. However, the recitation of Kaddish is sometimes appropriate for a relative other than a parent. In this brief essay, we will examine the background of this practice and its practical implications. I. Kaddish ...

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