Magazine

Follow-Up: The Mixed-Up Blessing on Chanukah Lights

by R. Joshua Waxman Editor’s note: This is a letter-to-the-editor to The Jewish Link in response to a condensed version of this essay that did not include mention of Dikdukei Sofrim (Munich Manuscript). I read Rabbi Gil Student’s illuminating article (“The Mixed-Up Blessing on Chanukah Lights,’’ December 10, 2020) about how commentators explain Rav Yosef Karo’s deviation of the form ...

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Intellect or Supernatural Insight, and Choices in Building Societies in Parshat Miketz

by R. Gidon Rothstein Yosef is clearly the central character of Miketz; our commentators invite us to investigate the extent to which the insights that fueled his rise in Par’oh’s administration were given by Gd or came from his own intellect. The Dreams Guided Yosef Onkelos seems to come down on the side they were Gd-given. When Par’oh proposes elevating  Yosef ...

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Davening Outside with Gloves

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I daven in an outdoor minyan due to Corona. Is it permitted to wear gloves while davening in cold temperatures? Answer: First, I am proud to be in the same nation as a person as sincere as you. The Bach (on Orach Chayim 91), an early Acharon, is the first major source to raise a ...

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Last of the Ways to Lose the World To Come

by R. Gidon Rothstein Errors in Social Participation That Forfeit Membership in that Society Rabbenu Yonah’s list of ways Jews might take themselves out of the World to Come has two more entries, then he moves on (spoiler alert) to the real reason I started this project, four groups of people Sotah 42a says will never greet the Divine. He deals with ...

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Voice Recognition in Jewish Law

by R. Gil Student I. Identifying People We use many faculties to observe the goings on about us. When one sense is unavailable, we often use others to compensate. Even if we cannot see someone, we can still identify their presence by the sound of their voice. Does this identification have bearing in Jewish law? Identification by sight can be ...

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Giving Away a Mitzvah

by R. Gil Student I. Paying for a Mitzvah We spend money on mitzvos. Some mitzvos are free, some are not, and some come with hidden costs. But whether paying yeshivah tuition or buying an esrog, we gladly spend the money G-d gave us to fulfill our religious obligations. What about giving up some of your mitzvah so someone else can fulfill his mitzvah? An obscure law about ...

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Pressuring a Store to Take Back Purchase

R. Daniel Mann Question: I bought something in a store and wanted to return it. The customer service person was reluctant to take it back, but I was persistent and she eventually agreed to it. Was it permitted for me to handle it as I did, or did I violate lo tachmod (I heard in a shiur that you can ...

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