Latest Essays

Killing With the Divine Name

by R. Gil Student In 1927, when Rav Ahron Soloveichik was 10 years old, he sent a letter to his older brother Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who at the time was studying in Berlin. The young Ahreleh wrote an impressive essay, which is recorded, along with the reactions of his father and brother, in Iggeros Ha-Grid Ha-Levi (pp. 272-275). I. ...

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Getting ready to mark 20 years of Hirhurim

On March 15, 2004, I posted for the first time to The website changed my life and created a community that continues to this day in various forms. In less than a month, we will begin marking the 20th anniversary of Hirhurim-Torah Musings. I plan to repost some classic blog posts from the old days over the coming months (suggestions ...

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The “Unneeded” Altar, and Making Aharon and His Sons Into Kohanim

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tetzaveh Chapter thirty of Sefer Shemot details how to construct the altar found in the structure of the Mishkan, known as the golden altar, mitzbach ha-zahav, or the altar for incense, mizbach ha-ketoret. R. Mecklenburg wonders why the Torah waited until here, when the other furnishings were laid out in Terumah. Ovadiahmi-Bertinoro:The Incense Altar Honors ...

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Peeling an Egg with Writing on it on Shabbat

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Is it permissible for one to peel a hard-boiled egg on Shabbat if the shell has letters and/or numbers stamped on the side of the shell? Answer: Before seeing what the poskim have to say, let us analyze the involved issues. The potential melacha involved is mochek (erasing) of the letters/numbers. In all standard cases, ...

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Audio Roundup 2024:6

by Joel Rich To a question about explaining current events to kids: everything everyone said about hugging etc. is true. If they are of age and frame of mind I might add that we are part of an eternal people who have hkbh’s promise of the future and we each have a role to play -even if we don’t understand ...

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When Meat and Milk Meet

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tetzaveh The prohibition against mixing meat and milk, one of the most specifically Jewish eating rules, applies only to when the two were cooked together, by Torah law. Siman 91 in Yoreh De’ah takes on other ways the two can mix, and the extent of issue thus created. Mixing Without Cooking The siman starts with ...

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Audio Roundup Special: Dr Marc Shapiro

by Joel Rich   Dr. Marc Shapiro -Class 182. Great Rabbinic Thinkers: Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein Part 1 The genealogy and geography of R YM Epstein (author of the aruch hashulchan). Major focus on the reliability of mkor baruch (his son’s book) as a historical source. Part 2 Discussion of the aruch hashulchan’s early rabbinic positions and ...

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The Kohen Soldier

by R. Gil Student Kohanim are the descendants of Aharon, the priests of our people. In past eras, a kohen had a special role in the nation. Even today, a kohen retains certain privileges and obligations, such as being called first to the Torah and not allowed to enter cemeteries. The question arose during World War I how far these ...

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