Latest Essays

Washing Dishes with Steel Wool on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: I saw a frum woman wash dishes on Shabbat with steel wool, which I thought was unacceptable. Isn’t it forbidden to do so? Answer: There are two possible reasons to forbid using steel wool to wash dishes on Shabbat. The gemara (Shabbat 50a) says that one may generally scrub utensils thoroughly on Shabbat, except that ...

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Audio Roundup 2024:19

by Joel Rich My comment on the most recent Tradition : https://traditiononline.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Tradition-Spring-2024-SUMMIT.pdf A very sad read. I’d suggest that much of the phenomenon is due to the wrong frame of reference (what everyone else has) rather than on “When Rabbi Zusha was on his deathbed, his students found him in uncontrollable tears. They tried to comfort him by telling him ...

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The Rest of Siman 183, First Ideas of Hilchot Niddah

by R. Gidon Rothstein Last time, we saw the basics of what we call hilchot niddah, despite longstanding practice of the Jewish people having women act according to the rules for a zavah gedolah any time they bleed menstrually, wait seven days without any sightings of blood before they go to mikveh and restore their marriage to its usual footing. ...

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A Soldier’s Abandoned Belongings

by R. Gil Student The horrific October 7 attacks were such a surprise and shock that soldiers stationed elsewhere or away on leave for the holiday dropped everything they were doing and ran to the south to join the fight. Soldiers who were not on their base went straight to the south. Soldiers who were in their base packed quickly ...

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How We Decide on Gifts, How We Bring Punishments

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bechukotai When the Torah refers to ma’aser, a tithe, 27;30, Rashi tells us it means ma’aser sheni, the second tenth of a harvest (after terumah, given to a kohen, and ma’aser, given to a Levi) taken in years one, two, four, and five of the shemittah cycle, to be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there ...

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Audio Roundup 2024:18

by Joel Rich “It is my personal tragedy that the people I daven [pray] with, I cannot talk to, and the people I talk to, I cannot daven with. However, when the chips are down, I will always side with the people that I daven with; for I can live without talking. I cannot live without davening“. R’ David Weiss ...

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Kiddush a Second Time for a Guest

by R. Daniel Mann Question: We go to an early Shabbat minyan, and when we come home, make Kiddush with cake. A few hours later, we have the main Shabbat meal. When we have a guest who has not heard Kiddush yet and is not used to making her own Kiddush, should I make Kiddush a second time, or must ...

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Peace in the Land Requires Peace Between Fellow Jews

by R. Eliezer Simcha Weisz Lessons from the Chofetz Chaim and Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi on Unity Through Gentle Speech תתי שלום בארץ ושכבתם ואין מחריד, והשבתי חיה רעה מן הארץ וחרב לא תעבור בארצכם (ויקרא כו, ו) And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down untroubled by anyone; I will give the land respite from ...

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