Latest Essays

Audio Roundup 2024:3

by Joel Rich From a former client (evangelical) Checking in to make sure you and your family are ok. Praying for you and your family, Israel at large, Jews across the world, and against the scourge of anti-semitism. How do we understand that the halacha follows rava vs abaye except for yaal kgam? Did the later amoraim review each disagreement ...

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The Berachah Before the Ring

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Beshalach: Even HaEzer 34—The Berachah of Erusin It would be logical to think the beracha the rabbi makes before a groom gives a ring to the bride is a birchat ha-mitzvah, a blessing on the mitzvah of marriage. Aruch HaShulchan, Even HaEzer 34;1, points out problems with the idea. The text has us bless/praise God ...

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Audio Roundup Special: Revel Maimonides Conference

MAIMONIDES NOW & THEN – a public conference Sunday, December 17, 2023, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in collaboration with Yeshiva University Museum present a public conference, sponsored by Terry and Gail Novetsky   “We are all Maimonideans now” (HT – Milton Friedman) The entire program can be found here:   SESSION ...

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Blooming Hope in War Times: Tu Bishvat and Marah’s Tree

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz For months, we’ve fought a fierce battle. Eyes raised, fueled by unwavering faith, we anticipate the unknown future. In this shadowed week, two seemingly distant events echo a resounding message: even in the bleakest winter, spring waits. On Tu Bishvat (ט”ו בשבט), the New Year for Trees (  often referred to asחג האילנות), we celebrate ...

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Bo: Fifth Aliyah

by R. Daniel Z. Feldman Commentary and insights into the fifth portion of Parashas Bo. If you cannot see anything below, click on this link. See here for past weeks: here

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Navigating Antisemitism in the Modern Era

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz Navigating Antisemitism in the Modern Era: Is it time for an Exodus today? One of the questions we have been frequently asked by Jews living in different countries, both in the Western bloc and the Eastern bloc, as  a result of the surge of anti-Semitism in their countries, is whether they may remove the Mezuzah ...

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The Road to Nationhood Runs Through the Oral Law

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bo Chazal Vs. the Text Menachot 37 defines the proper place for head tefillin to be the top of the head (the soft spot on a baby’s skull), despite Shemot 13;15 having said “between your eyes.”  More, Megillah 24 had particularly harsh words for someone who wore their tefillin on their forehead, called it the ways of the Karaites, who mock/denigrate ...

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Audio Roundup Special: Agudah Business Summit

by Joel Rich Agudas Yisrael  H3 Business Summit Toronto An interesting business/halacha conference in Toronto focusing on Canadian rules/business culture. A number of sessions would fit in any networking conference (except for the references to favoring other MOT’s). Common Shailos in the Workplace – Q&A with R’ Shlomo Miller All business shailot are complex, CLOR. Issues addressed include: professional ...

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Eiruv Chatzeirot at a Hospital

by R. Daniel Mann Question: At a hospital, is it necessary to have an eiruv chatzeirot to carry inside the building? Answer: That is an excellent question, as many people think an eiruv is only the tzurot hapesach (posts and connecting cord) that complete an area’s halachic walls. The physical walls do create a reshut hayachid (private domain, where it ...

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Audio Roundup 2024:2

by Joel Rich Quantum physics explains more than Newtonian mechanics but still has gaps in its explanatory powers, should we look at Brisker methodology in the same way? (ie there’s a next level to be discovered). The shulchan aruch’s approach to birchat hanehinin seems very much that one should arrange one’s lifestyle to avoid safek situations rather than paskin. If ...

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