Tag Archives: Hashkafah

Religious Philosophy

In trying to explain the Medieval Ashkenazic community’s self-image of piety, Dr. Haym Soloveitchik (“Religious Law and Change: The Medieval Ashkenazic Example” in AJS Review Fall 1987) lists as one source for this attitude their simplicity of beliefs. As an explanation of this, he writes (p. 213): [R]eligious philosophy is an act of justification. It seeks to make the beliefs ...

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Interfaith Dialogue III

R. Mayer Twersky enters the printed debate in this week’s devar Torah from Torah Web: In general, psak halacha is exclusively reserved for talmidim shehigiu lhora’a, great torah sages. Chazal unequivocally condemn those who are not qualified to pasken, and yet do so. He is a wicked, delusionary, and arrogant person.(such people) increase divisiveness, destroy the world, extinguish the lamp ...

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Agudath Israel and the Internet

Also from this month’s The Jewish Observer (table of contents page). In case anyone is interested, this is their internet policy: The Jewish Observer has devoted a great deal of space to the perils of the Internet and to the need for everyone to be extremely vigilant in its use. We have echoed the pleas of our gedolim that it ...

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Homosexuality in Halakhah IV

Statement regarding Same-Sex Marriages issued on March 30, 2004 by the Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union: The Rabbinical Council of America and The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America reaffirm the following foundational principles and beliefs in unambiguous and unmistakable terms: · Homosexual behavior is, and has always been, absolutely forbidden by Jewish law and tradition. ...

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Homosexuality in Halakhah IV

R. Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb in this week’s The Jewish Week: The position of traditional Judaism on homosexual behavior is clear and unambiguous, terse and absolute. Homosexual behavior between males or between females is absolutely forbidden by Jewish law, beginning with the biblical imperative, alluded to numerous times in the Talmud and codified in the Shulchan Aruch… Nevertheless, while the ...

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Homosexuality in Halakhah III

As further to this ongoing discussion, and in response to my friend Sholem’s recent post on his blog, I continue the dialogue. Let me start out by saying that the burden of proof is on those who wish to limit – for all intents and purposes, set aside – a biblical prohibition. This is a very serious suggestion, one over ...

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The Limits of Orthodox Theology II

More on this subject. The following is based on someone else’s notes of R. Dr. Shnayer Z. Leiman’s shiur on Marc Shapiro’s new book. 1. It is methodologically unsound to argue that the Rambam did not believe in a literal tehiyas ha-meisim (bodily resurrection of the dead) when the Rambam himself wrote an essay declaring that he did believe in ...

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Homosexuality in Halakhah II

As posted earlier, Zackary Sholem Berger was kind enough to post to his blog my comments on CR. Simchah Roth’s paper on homosexuality. ZS Berger also added his own super-comments onto my comments. The following is my response to ZS Berger: 1. Main Thesis First and foremost, we must understand what S. Roth was trying to do in his paper. ...

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The Limits of Orthodox Theology

Professor Marc B. Shapiro, of Scranton University, recently published a fascinating book titled The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised which is an expanded version of an article he published 11 years ago in The Torah u-Mada Journal. An excellent article by Steven I. Weiss was published in the Forward newspaper about this book and its controversial nature. ...

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Homosexuality in Halakhah

In a post titled “Conservosexuality, II“, blogger Zackary Sholem Berger linked to a number of halakhic papers from scholars of the Conservative movement regarding Homosexuality and halakhah. Being the industrious and curious person that I am, I printed out two of the papers to read — one paper by CRabbi Joel Roth titled simply Homosexuality and another by CRabbi Simchah ...

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