Latest Essays

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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Laws of Ever Min Ha-Chai

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bo: Laws of Ever Min Ha-Chai, Animal Parts Removed from a Living Animal Ever min ha-chai seems to me a prime example of a not infrequent phenomenon, where Jews assume a reason for a Torah law unsupported by the rules of the mitzvah in questions. In our case, I think many or most of us take EMH ...

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Matzah and a Message for this Time of War

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz This week’s parsha  Bo whispers a powerful message from a seemingly insignificant detail: the Israelites’ hurried exodus. They left Egypt with such haste, their dough untended and unleavened (Shemos 12:39). As Rabban Gamliel reminds us, “Whoever has not said these three  things on Pesach , has not fulfilled his obligation” at the Seder, and the ...

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