Magazine

Effective and Ineffective Nidui

by R. Gidon Rothstein Various people and/or institutional bodies have rights to place Jews in nidui, some more broad than others. Shulhan Arukh 334;12 says a court’s nidui for a Jew’s refusal to obey a summons, reckless disrespect of a court, violation of halakhah and/or a court’s rulings each bring nidui all Jews must respect and follow. The nidui takes effect even if someone other than the court declared it. Since ...

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Making Tea and Coffee on Shabbos

by R. David Roth One of the thirty-nine prohibited categories of forbidden activities on Shabbos is baking or cooking. 1)Mishna, Shabbos 73a, and Gemara 74b However, much to the relief of many coffee and tea drinkers, there may be a number of reasons that making coffee or tea is not included in the prohibition of cooking. Cooking Something That Has ...

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Shofetim: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein Tzedek in Process as Well as Verdict The first verse of the parsha, 16;18, tells us the judges we appoint are to judge the people mishpat tzedek. As we noted in Kedoshim, Onkelos writes din de-keshot, true justice, an interesting assumption about the necessity of truth in justice. Here, the next verse rules out bribery because it blinds the eyes of the discerning ...

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Women Passing through an Outdoor Minyan

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We have an outdoor “Corona minyan” outside the entrance of my building. Some men stand in locations that make it impossible to enter or exit the building without entering someone’s four amot. I (a woman) avoid passing by during davening, but to take my son to his school van, I go before Shemoneh Esrei. Last ...

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Early Release From Nidui

by R. Gidon Rothstein I am studying nidui because I think Gd has designated humanity for nidui for wrongs we all have committed (I continue to stress, not one wrong, many wrongs, different people and different groups perhaps with different wrongs). In that light, the paragraphs of Shulhan Arukh we are up to have particular resonance, how a sinner does or does not find a way out of nidui. ...

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Why Does Teshuvah Work?

by R. Gil Student As Elul arrives and Rosh Hashanah approaches, we need to start thinking about teshuvah, about how we can build positively on all the events of tumultuous past year so that we are better Jews in the upcoming year. I would like to explore two different ways to think about teshuvah and the implications that arise from ...

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Grandfathers in Halakhah

by R. Gil Student Grandparents are connections to our past. They are two steps closer to Sinai, a chain in the transmission of Torah. They help raise us and teach us. Not only did they hold us as babies but they held our parent, as well. I. Teaching Torah Grandparents fulfill a unique mitzvah by teaching their descendants Torah. The ...

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Re’eh: Lessons of NonLiteral Onkelos

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Torah informs the Jews there will eventually be a central place of worship, the only proper place to bring sacrifices. It calls it the place Gd will choose la-sum et Shemo sham, to place His Name there, le-Shikhno tidreshu, you shall seek His Presence (the English translations render this differently, but not in a way that makes ...

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How Does the Chazan Act During Modim D’Rabbanan?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I have seen some chazanim wait, during their Modim, at “l’olam va’ed” for the tzibbur to finish Modim D’Rabanan. That seems to make the most sense, so everyone can hear all of Modim. Should everyone be doing that?    Answer: The gemara (Sota 40a) lists various recitations of praise to Hashem, proposed by different Amoraim, ...

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