Latest Essays

Audio Roundup 2024:13

by Joel Rich The gemara in chulin (105b) has a series of cases where abaye originally had a rationalist reason for certain practices (eg handwashing) and Raba corrected (?) him and gave an esoteric reason. While there’s discussion of the individual cases in the commentaries, I didn’t see any overarching discussion of Abaye’s original approach (why?) or his (possible) acceptance ...

Read More »

Aruch HaShulchan’s Laws of Telling the Pesach Story

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Metzora, 5784 Let me say upfront: in my experience, Jews often limit the requirements/goals of Judaism with halachah, think that as long as we do what halachah says, we’ve fulfilled all God wants of us. The mitzvah of sippur yetzi’at Mitzrayim offers a corrective, reminds us it’s not all in those books. [For those who ...

Read More »

Three Brief Reviews

by R. Gil Student In the Spring 2024 issue of Jewish Action, I review the following three books: Gan Shoshanim, vol. 1, 3rd ed. (Hebrew) by Rabbi Menachem Genack Isaiah and His Contemporaries by Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Jaffe Covenant & Conversation: Family Edition, 2 vols. by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Gan Shoshanim, vol. 1, 3rd ed. (Hebrew) One of my teachers once said ...

Read More »

The Power of Positive Speech: Lessons from the Torah

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz The Torah, in this week’s Parsha, offers a profound lesson that extends far beyond the actual laws of the Metzora (one afflicted with tzaraat). It teaches us about the importance of positive speech, highlighting its significance in our daily lives. In Vayikra 14:4, it is commanded that the Metzorah who seeks purification must bring a ...

Read More »

Army Uniforms on Shabbos

by R. Gil Student I. Shabbos Clothes We greet Shabbos and spend the entire day clean and proper, dressed in fine clothes. What do you do if you have to wear an army uniform? The Gemara (Shabbos 119a) says that R. Chanina and R. Yannai would wear special clothes to greet Shabbos. The Gemara (Shabbos 113b) quotes Naomi’s instruction to ...

Read More »

Mostly Tzara’at, with a Splash of Childbirth

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tazria What Color is Yarok? In modern Hebrew, yarok means green, so when Vayikra 13;49 says a nega on clothing might look yerakrak, I had no doubt we meant green. R. Mecklenburg disagreed. First, he says yerakrak means strongly yarok, then defines “strongly” with a twist: were we to combine all the yarok shades, this ...

Read More »

Eating Matza for Health Reasons in Nisan

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I now eat matza throughout the year as a replacement for bread as a big part of reducing salt intake, on doctor’s orders. My family minhag I have always kept is to suspend eating matza from Rosh Chodesh Nisan. May I continue to eat matza until erev Pesach? Answer: The Yerushalmi (Pesachim 10:1) forbids eating ...

Read More »

Audio Roundup 2024:12

by Joel Rich I was asked from an individual who posted concerning a chayal kadosh’s family whether they wanted nichum from folks they didn’t know. The person responded : I take it as a Mitzva to visit the Avelim. Besides, you never know, they might be looking for an Asiri for the Minyan. My response That is certainly true The ...

Read More »

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter