Shul

Orah Hayyim 560: To Commemorate the Destruction

by R. Gidon Rothstein After our brief review of laws of beit kenesset, to honor the Jewish people’s return to shul (and with some shuls now having had to take a step or two back, with prayers we all be restored to shul soon, permanently), I plan to move to issues of haramim, nidui, and nedarim al da’at rabim, forms of social/communal discipline or punishments, and oaths that invoke others ...

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Arukh Ha-Shulhan and Mishnah Berurah on the Long Magen Avraham

by R. Gidon Rothstein As last time, I have space only to note the topics Arukh Ha-Shulhan and Mishnah Berurah addressed in their version of Siman 156, not delve into the specifics of their presentations. Let’s take Arukh Ha-Shulhan first. Torah Study I was drawn to this siman because of Magen Avraham’s lengthy additions; before we get there, Arukh Ha-Shulhan limits a ruling of Shulhan Arukh’s remarkably. He says the traditional rejection of making one’s ...

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Peri Megadim’s Insights Into the Long Magen Avraham

by R. Gidon Rothstein This week’s entry is relatively long, so I will restrict myself to two points about our current et tzarah. First, I have been thinking a lot about shifting baseline syndrome, where we come to accept what life has become as if it is what life should be. Especially during the Three Weeks, I hope we continue to remember to long for ...

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The Long Magen Avraham of Siman 156

by R. Gidon Rothstein We’re looking at the long Magen Avraham, which I suspect more of us know by reputation than content (certainly true of me; my writing about it is an elaborate excuse to force myself to read all the way through it). I note he does not relate this comment to a specific part of the text of the Shulhan Arukh, he ...

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Bringing Wisdom to Life

by R. Gidon Rothstein Orah Hayyim Siman 156: Bringing Wisdom to Life After prayers and Torah study, siman 156 requires a Jew to go take care of his affairs, based on Avot 2;2, any Torah unaccompanied by work will eventually be unsustainable and lead to sin (as the person flails for a way to support him/herself). Shulhan Arukh cautions us to remember R. Yehudah b. Ilai’s note ...

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When Shul Is Over in the Morning

by R. Gidon Rothstein This past week, I saw a news report about Florida having 3000 new cases of Covid-19, and I thought to myself, ok, but if they had 3000 cases a day for a year, that would still be “only” a million people (and there are 20 million in Florida). The next day, there were over 4000 cases.  ...

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Selling, Burying and Other Disposal

by R. Gidon Rothstein Siman 154: Selling, Burying and Other Disposal The deathbed scene of R. Eliezer b. Hurkanos (Sanhedrin 68a) has much to teach us. I thought of it this past Shabbat because it makes clear R. Eliezer remained in nidui from the time of the story of the oven of Akhnai (Baba Metzi’a 59b) until he passed from this world. His colleagues ...

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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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Building or Buying a New Shul

by R. Gidon Rothstein Towards a Renewed Beit Kenesset, No. 3: Simanim 152-3 As society begins to return to life, as we pray Gd shows us the way forward without return of the coronavirus (even as we watch our brethren stumble on the road, taking steps forward and back), I was reminded of a story about two people who had feuded for years. ...

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Talking in Shul, When No Davening Is Going On

by R. Gidon Rothstein Beit Kenesset Issues, No. 2, Siman 151: The Sanctity of the Synagogue I know I promised to shift direct attention away from the current et tzarah and to issues of shul, and I will. But thoughts came to me that seem essential to share (and yes, I know what it says about me that I think my thoughts could even possibly be ...

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