Magazine

Three Brief Reviews

In the Summer 2020 issue of Jewish Action, due out shortly (this article is a sneak peek), I review the following three books: The Laws of Outreach by R. Avraham Edelstein Cherished Conversations With Gedolei Yisroel by R. Dov Eliach Conflict and Resolution in the Early Prophets by R. Allen Schwartz The Laws of Outreach The ascendancy of a confident ...

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Parshat Be-Ha’alotekha: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein ArtScroll might be shipping Onkelos on Bamidbar soon, so you won’t have to rely only on what I’m able to see. For Beha’alotekha, though, here’s what I found, in five comments of Onkelos’:   Selection as Closeness Early in Parshat Be-Ha’alotekha, Hashem tells Moshe to “take” the Levi’im, ritually purify them and prepare them for their special role in the Mishkan. The verse says kakh, take, ...

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P’sak Halacha during a Modern Pandemic – Interim View

by R. Daniel Mann Question: My own question: What observations can we make about the way halachic rulings were made and disseminated during the first stage of the coronavirus crisis?  Answer: As a “student of the history of the halachic process,” I find breathtaking the difference in the tools available in reaching halachic rulings and sharing them in today’s society ...

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Needs and Rights in Selling a Shul

by R. Gidon Rothstein Finishing Siman 153: Needs and Rights in Selling a Shul As matters have begun to open in New York, state and city, I have had the renewed privilege of attending minyan again, and it has been more moving than I had thought it would be (especially hearing birkhat kohanim for the first time, albeit not from actual kohanim.) A downside has been ...

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Yeshiva Tuition and Coronavirus

by R. Gil Student To our great sadness, the societal shutdown due to Coronavirus also closed yeshivos. The government rightly insisted that all schools cease in-class teaching. Schools transitioned to remote learning for abbreviated hours, with parents taking a greater role in watching their children and ensuring they join the class. With shorter hours and a greater parental role, many ...

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Accounting for a Minyan

by R. Gil Student Can we count for a minyan a man who has stolen from the government? I. Theft, Lying and Chillul Hashem Rav Hershel Schachter (“Dina De’malchusa Dina” in the first issue of The Journal of Contemporary Halacha and Society) expresses the majority opinion that the rule of dina d’malchusa dina—the law of the land is the law—applies ...

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Naso: First Aliyah

by R. Daniel Z. Feldman Commentary and insights into the first portion of Parashas Naso (Num. 4:21−37) If you cannot see anything below, click on this link. See here for past weeks: here

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Parshat Naso: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Naso is the longest in the Torah, although that’s a bit deceptive because the list of the gifts to the dedication of the Mishkan is repeated for each nasi, head of tribe, despite being identical. Here are five comments of Onkelos’ to catch my attention: Every Piece of the Deceased Counts At the beginning of chapter five, Gd ...

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Which Way to Turn at Bo’i B’shalom

by R. Daniel Mann Question: In what direction should one turn when getting up to “Bo’i B’shalom” at the end of Lecha Dodi? Many shuls seems to have confusion on the matter.   Answer: The practice of welcoming the Shabbat “bride” in a special physical manner has its roots at least a thousand years before Rav Shlomo Alkabetz wrote Lecha Dodi ...

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