Menachem Mendel

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Archive for December, 2006

Tolkien and the Text

Never having read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was younger, I have been reading them with my son and enjoying them very much. There are few 20th century writers about whom more has been written by both common readers and scholars than J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a professor at Oxford […]

New Edition of Shu"t Malki BaKodesh

Dr. David Zohar has finished editing the first volume of R. Hayyim Hirschenson’s responsa collection Malki BaKodesh. R. Hirschensohn is one of the most interesting religious thinkers and halakhists of the modern era. R. Hirschensohn was born in Tzefat in 1856 and at the age of eight moved to Jerusalem. He became active in many […]

Hanukkah in Israeli Stamps

Having recently rediscovered the multi-generational family hobby of stamp collecting, I thought that I would point out a whole series of Israeli stamp having to do with Hanukkah. Over a number of years the Israeli Postal Service issued stamps with images relating to Hanukkah, both hanukkiyot and other objects related to the holiday. Below are […]

Hanukkah Goes Vegas

While for many people today, having a few extra latkes on Hanukkah is considered living on the wild side, for many centuries Hanukkah, along with other days such as Purim, was seen as a day when things which were either forbidden, or at least frowned upon, during the rest of the year were permitted. One […]

Responsa on Homosexuality

On the Rabbinical Assembly website (look under “Hot Topics” on the left-side) one can now download most of the responsa written on homosexuality. The remaining ones should be up there soon.

Kosher Conscience

Recently there has been an attempt to create a framework for a system of kosher slaughter which is more humane than is usually found in the kosher slaughter factories in both America and abroad. The group is called Kosher Conscience and the following is some information about their efforts and contact information. How is this […]

R. Joel Roth: Why I resigned

R. Joel Roth writes about why he resigned from the CJLS.

Rabbi Zera under attack

Haaretz has an article describing a number of recent articles which have been published in HaTzofeh discussing the laws of niddah. Dr. Daniel Rosenak started the discussion by writing an article calling for a possible rethinking of some of the laws of Niddah. I couldn’t find the interview with him on the website of HaTzofeh […]

Women Ritual Slaughterers

In the Gaster Anniversary Volume, C. Duschinsky published an article entitled “May a Woman act as a Shoheteth?”. Besides discussing sources from both the Talmudic period and the Middle Ages, Duschinsky discusses the permission granted to numerous Italian women to act as ritual slaughterers from the late Renaissance to the Modern period. On the basis […]

CJLS Rulings on Homosexuality

As I am sure most of you are aware, this week the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) of the Rabbinical Assembly approved three responsa relating to the question of homosexuality this week. Hopefully all three will be posted on the internet soon for all to see, but in the meantime one can read […]

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