Latest Essays

Morality and Brisk

In an article by R. Shalom Carmy cited in the previous two posts, he quotes a former student who wrote to him the following: But in the halakhic world of Brisk does a voice cry out, saying “An Arab too is a gavra, a person”? Do all of these glib distinctions between subject and object teach their discoverers that the ...

Read More »

Morality and Halakhah II

Another gem from the previously mentioned article by R. Shalom Carmy: In recent years we often hear from those who insist the old anti-­Semitic propaganda had it right – that the teachings of the Torah about Gentiles are, God forbid, such as would repel those Jews and non-Jews who take common “perennial” morality seriously. The Rabbinic establishment and those it ...

Read More »

Who is a Gadol?

I came across an online article by R. Shalom Carmy: “Who Speaks for Torah – And How?” (Religious Zionism, 1989). R. Carmy addresses a number of issues in that article, one of which is Rabbinic Authority. In the course of discussing how to determine who is a gadol and if such an evaluation is possible, he makes the following insightful ...

Read More »

The Bialystoker Controversy III

Updating readers on The Bialystoker Controversy… I sat next to the rabbi of the Bialystoker Synagogue at a wedding a few weeks ago. I brought up the controversy in which he was involved and told him my take on the issue. To remind you, this is what I posted a few weeks ago: He could have stopped here and said ...

Read More »

Interfaith Dialogue IV

Rabbi Shalom Carmy writes to the editor of The Commentator about R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik’s attitude towards Christianity, including entering churches and teaching Torah to Christians. Like everything this eminent scholar writes, hapokh bah ve-hapokh bah for there is much in between the lines.

Read More »

Mussar Sayings

I came across a short list of sayings from some of the most influential of the ba’alei ha-mussar (I almost wrote the greatest of the ba’alei ha-mussar, but the nature of such people is that the greatest were probably anonymous and lost to history). Rather than copy the entire page here, I picked only two quotes. Go there for more: ...

Read More »

Homosexuality in Halakhah V

I have been meaning to blog R. Chaim Rapoport’s excellent book Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View. The author is a prominent rabbi in London who, though a Lubavitcher hasid, tends to a mainstream synagogue and serves on the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet. The author is clearly an expert in halakhah and a master bibliographer. Additionally, he has written his ...

Read More »

Avodah Zarah Wigs VI

A letter by R. Dovid Ribiat, author of The 39 Melochos, has been posted to the web in which he argues that wigs from India are permissible according to R. Moshe Feinstein. UPDATE: I removed the link to R. Ribiat’s letter.

Read More »

Avodah Zarah Wigs V (and Water In New York)

The most recent issue of Avodah has two interesting posts about the wig controversy. R. Elazar M. Teitz explains why he believes there is no avodah zarah issue with the hair from India. R. Seth Mandel does as well, and describes his efforts in the past to understand the production process of wigs. As a bonus, R. Mandel gives us ...

Read More »

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter