Posts

Wedding Pictures at the Kotel

by R. Gidon Rothstein 11 Cheshvan: R. Hayyim David HaLevi on Taking Wedding Pictures at the Kotel People can mistake sanctity of a place, kedushat makom, for some kind of magical power rather than a venue for closer relationship with Hashem.Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 6;43, dated 11 Cheshvan 5745 (1984; it’s unusual for R. Hayyim David Halevy to date his responsa. Usually, he ...

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Long Biblical Lives

by R. Gil Student The biblical lists of generations include descriptions of very long lives. For example, Adam lived 930 years (Gen. 5:5), Noach 950 (9:29), and the longest — Mesushelach 969 (5:27). How do we relate to these descriptions of longevity, well beyond anything we can expect of human beings? Two approaches emerge from Medieval Jewish commentary. I. Theories ...

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Walking in Israel

by R. Daniel Mann Question: What are the parameters of the idea that every 4 amot one walks in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva? Is it only to new places? Does one have to walk on foot? Answer: We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we were not able to find any classical or semi-classical ...

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Audio Roundup 2018:40

by Joel Rich In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts. Emergence plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. For instance, the ...

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From Raki’a to Animals, Sayings of Creation Two Through Seven

by R. Gidon Rothstein Third Sha’ar (Continued): From Raki’a to Animals, Sayings of Creation Two Through Seven The second statement of creation in R. Arama’s count called the raki’a into existence, which we translate as the firmament. R. Arama notes the view of R. Isaac Israeli, an early fourteenth century Spanish astronomer, whose Yesod ‘Olam defined raki’a in a way ...

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When to Say Malei

by R. Gil Student I. Days Without Malei The Mishnah (Mo’ed Katan 27a) discusses when we eulogize someone before burial and when refrain from doing so. On days of communal happiness, a sad eulogy evokes feelings contrary to spirit of the day. Among those days are Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim. Later customs developed regarding lesser practices, such as the ...

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RSZA on Time of Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplants

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Cheshvan: RSZA on Time of Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplants In Shu”t Minchat Shelomo Tinyana (2-3) 86, R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (RSZA) gathered several short responsa into one chapter, with different pieces carrying different dates. One is dated 4 Marcheshvan 5753 (1992), giving us the opportunity to learn some more from this great Torah ...

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