Latest Essays

Gloves on Shabbos

As the winter approaches, it is worth reviewing the little-known rules about wearing gloves on Shabbos. The Shibbolei Ha-Leket (107) writes that it is best not to wear gloves because it is very common for someone, while walking in public, to automatically remove a glove in order to scratch or otherwise use one’s hand. At that moment, one would be ...

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Joe Schick Has A Baby

Mazel tov to Joe Schick on the birth of his first child. May you merit to raise him to milah, Torah, huppah and ma’asim tovim! (thanks to the anonymous commenter who gave me the tip)

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Goldstein Revisionism II

Marvin Schick also strongly objects to defenses of Baruch Goldstein’s multiple murders: Whatever his motives and whatever his background, Baruch Goldstein was a murderer. What he did was evil. His killing of Arabs did not result in a single Jewish life being saved, nor in Hebron’s Jews or any other Jews being more secure. Indeed, one immediate consequence was that ...

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The Judeo-Christian Dilemma

The most recent issue of Jewish Action contained two opposing articles regarding the proper attitude to take about maintaining close ties with “the Christian right.” R. Michael Skobac, a professional counter-missionary with Jews for Judaism wrote the article to which I had an a priori leaning, arguing that we need to be very hesitant and cautious about the intentions of ...

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Blau on the Prowl

R. Yitzi Blau published a critique in The Edah Journal of Dr. Alan Brill’s earlier article “Judaism in Culture.” I don’t quite get what Dr. Brill says, but it seems to me that R. Blau is making cogent arguments and Dr. Brill is just responding with statements that are all over the place and not really relevant. I assume that ...

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Spousal Abuse

From Sefer Ha-Hayim: Yashar Books is proud to announce that we will shortly be publishing R. Daniel Z. Feldman’s The Right and the Good: Halakhah and Human Relations in a significantly revised and expanded edition. The erudite volume discusses topics regarding interpersonal mitzvos, presenting the various hakiros (analyses) on the subjects and the lomdus (theory) behind them with encyclopedic breadth. ...

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Shehitah Controversy IV

Questions about the (illegally produced) PETA videotape, after I did a bit of research and consulted with experts on the subject: The video shows a cow that continues to walk and wail (presumably in pain) even after its kosher slaughter. One questions whether: 1) an animal whose windpipe has been cut, as is the case in kosher slaughter, can bellow ...

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Ride to a Dance II

Assuming that mixed dancing is prohibited, am I allowed to drive someone to a dance where she will violate that prohibition? I. Lifnei Iver As most readers know, there is a prohibition against causing another to sin – lifnei iver. The classic example is giving a cup of wine to a nazir, who may not drink wine. If the wine ...

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The Kedushah and the Pitfalls

The December 2004 issue of Jewish Observer has a very courageous article that is sure to ruffle some feathers. The article discusses the difficulties involved in making aliyah and even encourages some people not to make aliyah. What is at issue is the vast cultural divide between communities outside of Israel and that in Israel (note that the JO understandably ...

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Choosing a Name

R. Yosef Reinman (co-author of the excellent but controversial book, One People, Two Worlds) received a letter from an aspiring convert with a question about the name he wants to choose. R. Reinman asked how blog-readers would respond to the letter. The following is a brief excerpt and the response I would send. I am thirty-eight and am going through ...

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