Yearly Archive: 2007

Halachic Process, addenda 0

Halachic Process, addenda

With this post, I am closing the series (for now) with three other thoughts that came up during the Avodah discussion, but aren’t part of my core thesis. I The concept of minhag hamaqom...

Halachic Process, part II 1

Halachic Process, part II

So far, I’ve discussed how I think halakhah works, and how I think it doesn’t. To refresh — fitting devar Hashem into this world an our minds requires simplifying modeling, “shadows” that only capture...

Halachic Process, interlude: What it isn’t 14

Halachic Process, interlude: What it isn’t

(I am going to do something I try to avoid when writing in public — dedicate a post to criticism. This post may someday disappear, if I ever change my mind, so read it...

Halachic Process, part I 5

Halachic Process, part I

“Eilu va’eilu divrei E-lokim Chaim, vehalakhah keBeis Hillel — These and those are the words of the ‘Living’ G-d, but the halakhah is like Beis Hillel.” The voice rung out from heaven that even...

Halachic Change 2

Halachic Change

Pesaq “changes” in a number of very different ways. I put the word in quotes, because I’m including things I do not consider an actual change in pesaq. R’ Herschel Schachter writes in a...

Angry at G-d 5

Angry at G-d

A friend of mine wrote this morning about his three experiences with cancer in his immediate family. He was equipped to handle his wife’s bout, abut by the time he had to deal with...

Yisrael, Yaaqov and Beis Yaaqov 0

Yisrael, Yaaqov and Beis Yaaqov

Someone asked on soc.culture.jewish: Today in my Women In Hebrew Bible class we talked about how Yaakov (Jacob) was renamed Yisrael (Israel). This was a way of redeeming him of all his past trickery....

Anger and the Golden Mean 2

Anger and the Golden Mean

(I invite people to visit my analysis of the Orchos Tzadiqim’s psychological model. Among the points I discuss is the relationship between dei’os and middos. In painful brevity: a dei’ah is a feature of...

Shemittah 3

Shemittah

( You will notice that this entry is pretty much straight lomdus rather than my usual fare. When I wrote Rafi’s bar mitzvah speech, I ran overly long. Here is an even longer earlier...

Mi Keil Kamokha 0

Mi Keil Kamokha

In Tomer Devorah, Rav Moshe Cordevero explains the 13 attributes of Divine Mercy, in particular showing them as exemplars for us to follow — “just as I Am Merciful, so too you be merciful.”...

May only goodness and kindness pursue me 0

May only goodness and kindness pursue me

.וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַבְּרָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ, ×›Ö¼Ö´×™ תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל ×”’ אֱ-לֹהֶיךָ And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you listen to the call of Hashem your G-d. – Devarim 28:2...

The Desire to Desire 0

The Desire to Desire

I must confess that I find mussaf (and many parts of the rest of davening) very difficult. Frankly, I am unable to feel a longing for a restoration of animal sacrifice. I know I’m...

Saving One’s Own First 3

Saving One’s Own First

On Areivim, we’re discussing how history remembers or should remember Rudolf Kasztner. Yad Vashem is trying to rehabilitate his memory. Here is some of the metzi’us behind the question, from The Star: Kasztner …...

Something Else to Throw into the Bonfire 0

Something Else to Throw into the Bonfire

Saul Mashbaum wrote the following back during the “should we burn the wigs?” period a few years ago. I think it’s still quite apropos, a reminder of our priorities. SOMETHING ELSE TO THROW INTO...

The Last Tish’ah be’Av 0

The Last Tish’ah be’Av

I recall one year I had just started a new camp. I was davening in the evening, at the very beginning of Tish’ah be’Av, and I heard a shofar blow. After a moment, I...

Hilkhos Mashiach 0

Hilkhos Mashiach

On Avodah, Saul Newman gave the following summary of halakhos related to bi’as hamashiach from an article in the Yated. I found that the pragmatic halachic discussion gave some mamashus (tangibility) to the idea....

Hashem is Righteous 0

Hashem is Righteous

Eli Turkel summarized some thoughts from the 100 pages introduction to the sefer “The Lord is Righteous in All His Ways”, from the notes of R’ JB Soloveitchikzt”l. The format isn’t the usual for...

Safeiq deRabbanan 9

Safeiq deRabbanan

R’ Aharon Rakeffet has a 10 year series on responsa literature and the art of making a halachic rulings. The classes are available on YUTorah.org. The following is primarily from his shiur of Dec....

TIDE, variants on a theme 0

TIDE, variants on a theme

In an earlier post, I raised one very fundamental difference between Rav Hirsch’s “Torah im Derekh Eretz” (Torah with culture, hereafter “TIDE”) and Rav JB Soloveitchik’s attitude toward the secular, which YU titles “Torah...

Noach and the Use of Wine 0

Noach and the Use of Wine

We were discussing on Avodah the origins of the idea of Qiddush. I argued that the notion of celebrating or thanking G-d with wine would seem to be one people would stumble upon naturally,...

Benching Gomel 5

Benching Gomel

I just wrote the following in an email to some friends. I thought it might interest others. First, note that it’s called “gomel“, from a key word in the text of the berakhah. But...

Be a Jew Through and Through 2

Be a Jew Through and Through

Another guest entry. The following was originally submitted to (but not picked up by) Hamodia. Rav Hirsch’s quoted words are clearly the predecessor of R’ Breuer’s talk on “Glatt Yoshor“, which was also posted...

Rebbe 2

Rebbe

Here is another guest post. This time, two biographies. Hopefully be”H work will slow down to the point where I can return to writing. Today is the 14th yahrzeit of Rav Dovid Lifshitz, a...