Magazine

Jewelry on Shabbat: Pretty or Prohibited?

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Many women would be aghast at the idea of omitting jewelry from their Shabbat wardrobe. It may thus come as a surprise that the Talmud unequivocally forbids women from wearing jewelry on Shabbat.1)According to most authorities, it is permissible for a man to wear masculine jewelry. Some, however, recommend that a man be stringent and refrain ...

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The Overall Message of Matan Torah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It is not incidental that the event of Amalek [Shemot 17:8] and the story of Yitro [Shemot 18:1] are featured as a prologue to the Aseret HaDibrot [Shemot 20:1] Rav Soloveitchik suggested that the juxtaposition of these three events renders a great lesson for all of us today. Yitro ...

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A Hazzan/Shohet with Seizures

by R. Gidon Rothstein 11 Elul: Hatam Sofer on a Hazzan/Shohet with Seizures and on Choosing Poor to Support Medical challenges affect patients and families in ways beyond the directly physical. Shu”t Hatam Sofer 2; Yoreh De’ah 7, dated 11 Elul 5528 (1827), addresses a hazzan/shohet in a certain locale [I think this was a common pairing, neither job paying ...

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Missing a Key Word from Al Hamichya

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Unfortunately, I did not look at a siddur last night when reciting Al Hamichya. I made a couple mistakes along the way, and I remember specifically leaving out the words “al ha’aretz” in the chatimah (end part). Was I yotzeh? Answer: Indeed, it is important to either know Al Hamichya very well or have access ...

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The World Into Which We Are Born

by R. Gidon Rothstein The World Into Which We Are Born and the Freewill We Have I recently realized I have not been directly noting the parsha on which R. Arama is commenting in these she’arim, a disservice to him, who was assiduous about tying his philosophical/ hashkafic comments to the series of events in the parsha. I’ll try to ...

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Texts: Repentance From Character Traits and Heresy

Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein (d. 1908, Lithuania; Arukh Ha-Shulchan, Orach Chaim 602:4-5)) corrects the common misconception that repentance is only required for bad deeds. In fact, we must repent also for our bad character traits and for our heretical thoughts. In particular, in this time period so close to the arrival of the mashi’ach, heresy is growing. Unfortunately, the old ...

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Confessional Memoirs

by R. Gil Student We live in a time of first-person confessionals, when people openly publish their intimate thoughts, challenges and failures. Readers sympathize and cheer, as they peer into someone’s life and see both the frailty of humanity and its greatness in our ability to overcome obstacles. Is it proper for writers to reveal their failings in this way? ...

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The Rav and the Rebbe

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In most places of the Torah when Moshe and Aharon are mentioned together it is Moshe’s name that the Torah records first and then that of Aharon. However, In Sefer Shemot,[ 6:26] Aharon’s name appears first, “Hu Aharon U’Moshe” “That is Aharon and Moshe”. Rashi suggests that these variations ...

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Mechitzah Minyan in a Non-Mechitzah Shul

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Elul: R. Moshe Feinstein on a Mechitzah Minyan in a Non-Mechitzah Shul We often fail to remember battles of our past, when dedicated Jews, rabbis and not, stood against the tide in the name of proper fulfillment of the Torah. Jews have had to deal with pressure to convert from ascendant Christians, from thriving Karaite ...

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Excluding a Son from Inheritance

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Are there sins that would cause a son to automatically lose his share? If a father is angry at a son, is he allowed to use a device to disinherit him? Answer: It is unclear whether this question is theoretical or practical. In any case, our answer is general. The Torah laws of inheritance are ...

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