Magazine

Why Did the Holocaust Happen?

by R. Gil Student As I reviewed the weekly Torah reading for this past Shabbos, which includes the tokhechah (Deut. 28), I was taken back to my teenage years, reading it one Saturday or Sunday afternoon and seeing Jewish history in it. To a non-religious Jewish teenager in the 1980’s who grew up among survivors, the question of God in ...

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The Later Rishonim of Ashkenaz

A new series by R. Aryeh Leibowitz of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, excerpted from a book available for purchase: here by R. Aryeh Leibowitz In the later period of the Rishonim, Jewish scholarship in France and Germany continued to flourish; but so did anti-Jewish persecution. Throughout the period, the Jewish communities in Ashkenaz were bastions of Torah study and piety, but they ...

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Ki Tavo: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein No Wandering Aramean Here An early part of Parashat Ki Tavo is more familiar than many parts of the Torah, because we also say it on Seder night. When the Mishnah sought a place where the Torah itself summarizes the Exodus for us to delve into Seder night, it noticed the Torah requires us to include such a summary in ...

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Trapping and Releasing on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: A couple of weeks ago, we saw a mouse in the house and put out a cage trap. A mouse was trapped last Shabbat. Because we felt bad for the mouse, we took it (on Shabbat) to an isolated area and let it out. Did we violate anything by trapping the mouse on Shabbat, or ...

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Some Versions of Release From Nidui

by R. Gidon Rothstein We’re really up to discussing the ways people are released from nidui, a topic close to my heart as we head further into Elul, closer to our Rosh Hashanah judgement, where I (and I assume we) pray our Creator will see fit to release us from the current plague (and nidui, in my personal reading of events). Before ...

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A Derashah During A Plague

by R. Gil Student The 1848 (5608-9) cholera epidemic has become famous in Jewish history because it was the moment when the 37-year old Rav Yisrael Salanter first took on a leadership role. Rav Dov Katz, in his Tenu’as Ha-Mussar (vol. 1, ch. 12), describes how Rav Yisrael mobilized a rescue effort, secured a 1,500 bed hospital and volunteer doctors ...

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Ki Teitzei: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein Discipline of Words or of Blows Early in the parsha, we meet parents’ worst nightmare, the ben sorer u-moreh, the son who rejects their parenting and embarks on a life of hedonistic pleasures, illicitly gained. In the process of verifying the boy is beyond reach, 21;18 tells us ve-yiseru oto, they will discipline him, and he will not listen to ...

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How to Detemine when Paying on Time Is

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I live in New York, but often people in Israel do work for me, which they send me via computer. How do I calculate my deadline to pay them and fulfill the mitzva to pay on time – based on my time-zone or my workers’? Answer: I did not find poskim who deal with this ...

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