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May Women Run for Public Office?

Sun, 2013-05-19 13:30
At a discussion with his students at the Jerusalem Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim, R. Shelomo Aviner ruled recently that on the grounds of “modesty” women may not run in Israeli elections to the Knesset. “Nat’l religious rabbi: Women shouldn’t be Mks” …

Sucking the Life out of God’s Law: A response to a blog post, “Metzitzah and the Halachic Process”

Sun, 2013-05-12 03:26
The author of this thoughtful, candid, and intelligent paper, “Metzitzah and the Halachic Process” by Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz [posted at Cross-Currents, October 19th, 2012], reflects the world view of a Haredi rabbi with an open mind, a yeshiva trained, sincerely …

The Political Modesty of Rabbi Eliezer Melammed

Sun, 2013-05-05 03:43
In the Yeshiva Har Bracha Newsletter Rabbi Eliezer Melamed addresses “The Importance of Modesty.” [submitted Fri, 18 Nov 2011 15:30:42 +0200] He reports the following query: “I am 14 years old and learn in Ulpana [Israeli school for academic Orthodox …

The Israeli Draft of Women: What is Orthodox Judaism Anyway?

Mon, 2013-04-29 09:18
On his web site, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner exclaims boldly, emphatically, and with crystal clarity, that “drafting girls [into the Israeli army] is absolutely forbidden.” He reports that “In 1960, eleventh graders from Shevet ‘Chalutzim’ of Bnei Akiva approached a number …

The Law of Preserving Life according to the Two Forms of Orthodox Judaism

Sun, 2013-04-21 03:17
As argued on many Viewpoints postings, Orthodox Judaism comes in two very different forms. One is based on the words of the sacred text; the other is biased by the cultural predilections and mental intuitions of the sacred person. The …

The Narrative of Abraham and Efron: A Clash of Two Cultures

Sun, 2013-04-14 03:11
When Abraham approaches the Hittites, who at that time had legal possession of the land, he is flattered, “you are a prince of God,” take your plot and be a big shot amongst us. Free gifts are very expensive. Abraham …

Rambam and Drafting Yeshiva Students

Mon, 2013-04-08 09:07
In Israeli society, Haredi, or parochial Orthodox men and women consume human resources but, because they have chosen a life of what they take to be Torah study and fervent religious detail, avoid military service and do not acquire the …

How not to Observe Sukkot

Sun, 2013-03-31 03:03
I have seen claims that on Sukkot, By law, sechach, the Sukkah covering, must be made of objects that do not contract ritual defilement. The Lubavitch Shulhan Aruch Orech Chayyim 629:13 teaches/preaches/prescribes that the poles holding the sechach ought not …

On Truth in Packaging

Sun, 2013-03-24 03:00
Question: I am an egalitarian male. I have a mezuzah and pair of tefillin written by a female scribe, who is perfectly kosher within my beliefs, but obviously wouldn’t be kosher in Orthodox beliefs. When I get the mezuzah and …

Ko’ah de-Heteira ‘Adif – Orthodox rabbis ought to be strict about being lenient

Sun, 2013-03-17 03:30
bBerachot 6oa and bBetsa 2b both teach an Orthodox rule that Orthodox rabbis traditionally ignore. I am not suggesting that Orthodox rabbis should look for leniencies to be hip, trendy, liked, happy, or popular. I have advocated humrot, strictures on …

On the Sorry Slight to Selichot

Sun, 2013-03-10 03:26
Many of us have a problem with the 9th of Av and the 29th of Elul. We are asked to sit in the synagogue and say liturgical poetry that the Oral Torah did not endorse, that the Sanhedrin did not …

The New Israeli Modern Orthodoxy

Sun, 2013-03-03 03:21
The Tzohar agenda The Tzohar rabbinate is made up of modern Orthodox rabbis who are Zionist, accommodating, Orthodox, and responsive to the entire Israeli population. Over the years, the Chief Rabbinate of the Jewish state has been taken over by …

“’The’ Poskim” and the Reformation of Orthodoxy

Sun, 2013-02-24 03:15
In “official religion” Orthodox Judaism, Torah, in both its Oral and Written forms, is taken to be a legal system that, according to the religion encoded in its sacred library, is Divinely ordained, legally defined, and is both public and …

Thoughts on the ‘Aqeida and Shofar

Sun, 2013-02-17 03:11
When the shofar is sounded, there are four sounds that are produced, teqi’ ah, shevarim, teru’ah, and teq’ah gedolah, a strong blast, a weak blast that is either a broken wail or a staccato wimper, followed a strong blast. When …

Updating Judaism in 5733

Sun, 2013-02-10 03:09
When we fast on the 9th of Av and on the 10th of Tishri, we step out of our collective sociological and theological boxes and repent as a nation and as thinking, living individuals. Torah rites are not magical, energy …

To Present Torah Correctly

Sun, 2013-02-03 03:26
We have all heard the epigram, recorded at Matthew 7:1, Judge not lest you be judged, and think it to be Christian teaching. In Luke 7:43, Jesus tells Peter, that he has judged correctly and that the one who forgives …