Menachem Mendel

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Archive for September, 2006

Requiring Tickets for Yamim Noraim

For some people the idea that a synagogue requires people to purchase tickets to attend services on the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) is very problematic. “How can they require a Jew to pay in order to pray in a synagogue!” That Jews were sometimes forced to support the building and maintenance of a synagogue […]

Two Days of Yom Kippur

A valid question which I am sure not many people are asking, for obvious reasons, is why don’t Jews outside of Israel observe two days of Yom Kippur. We already known that in the Talmud the question was discussed and Ravah was known to observe two days of Yom Kippur (see bRosh HaShannah 21a), but […]

Spertus College E-Resources

While many people are aware of the the numerous electronic resources for Jewish Studies, e.g. the Bar-Ilan Responsa Project, the cost is often prohibitive. Spertus College offers a solution which some may find helpful. For an annual fee ($40 for an individual, $20 for a student), a person can have online access to such databases […]

Blowing Shofar on Shabbat

In Mishnah Rosh HaShannah 4:1 we read, יום טוב שלראש השנה שחל להיות בשבת, במקדש היו תוקעים אבל לא במדינה. משחרב בית המקדש התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שיהו תוקעין בכל מקום שיש בו בית דין. אמר רבי אלעזר: לא התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי אלא ביבנה בלבד. אמרו לו: אחד יבנה ואחד כל מקום […]

9/11 Remembered

Five years ago this morning I had just started to teach a class at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem when a student burst through the door to tell us what had transpired minutes ago in NYC. Since the gravity of what had happened was far from clear I continued teaching and then as the minutes […]

Cyber Responsa

The JTA has an article about web sites which offer online “Ask the Rabbi” services, a sort of cyber-responsum. The article seems to focus on those web sites in English and that does a great disservice since there are a number of Hebrew web sites have quite active “Ask the Rabbi” sections. Two that come […]

Hidon HaTanakh

While moving a bookshelf and its accompanying books, I took some time out to look through some things which have been gathering dust. One of them was a collection of front-page headlines of the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot. An interesting front-page was from 1958 which described the first Hidon HaTanakh (International Bible Quiz). The quiz […]

Nahafoch Hu

While Purim is quite some time away, PK at BiblioOdyssey has posted some images of “absurdist role reversals”. He also links to a post at Early Modern Notes which describes the Carnival. The descriptions of the Carnival at Early Modern Notes are not surprisingly very similar to these descriptions of how Purim was celebrated by […]

Belts of Their Entrails

While the Bar-Kochba Revolt is probably familiar to readers of this blog, there were other revolts by Jews in late antiquity which may not be as familiar as that of Bar-Kochba. Phil Harland at Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean has a post which discusses the depiction by ancient authors of minority ethnic groups and one […]

Treasures of Troyes

Over at BiblioOdyssey PK has a post, “The Treasures of Troyes”, with some images of mss. in Latin from Troyes, Rashi’s hometown. Check out this link which is found at BiblioOdyssey for a nice site about Troyes, both present and past. Most of the site is in French and Rashi is mentionned a number of […]

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