Menachem Mendel

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Archive for November, 2009

Lighting Shabbat Candles II

See here for part I. In the literature of the Geonic period one finds sources which discuss the two central questions which the Talmud does not address, whether lighting shabbat candles is kabbalat shabbat and if one recites a blessing over their lighting. In Halakhot Gedolot there is a clear statement that lighting shabbat candles […]

Who Wrote Halakhot Gedolot

There is a disagreement among scholars as to the author(s) of the Geonic work Halakhot Gedolot. See this post for a discussion of the question. I just saw this in a flyer from Mechon Yerushalayim, so I guess that we know to some extent how they answer the question.

Lighting Shabbat Candles I

I have been teaching a course in which we are examining two different questions relating to the lighting of shabbat candles, whether a blessing is required and if the lighting of shabbat candles is considered kabbalat shabbat, i.e. if lighting shabbat candles initiates the accepting upon oneself of shabbat prohibitions. I won’t be going over […]

Nondual Judaism

Tomer Persico reviews (Hebrew) Jay Michaelson’s Everything Is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism. For a recent article by Persico on The Rebbe see here. From his article, As I will show, the Rebbe did believe—and encouraged his followers to believe—that he was the messiah, destined to reveal himself to the people Israel and […]

Adam Kirsch reviews A Literary Bible

In Tablet Adam Kirsch reviews David Rosenberg’s A Literary Bible: An Original Translation . (hat tip)

The Very Best Online Resources for Students of Biblical Hebrew

Copied almost in toto from Ancient Hebrew Poetry. Read this bio of Abraham Shmuelof whose recordings of the Tanakh are linked to below. Talk about someone who changed directions in life. The Very Best Online Resources for Students of Biblical Hebrew: Five resources are particularly useful. (1) The best online edition of the Hebrew Bible […]

Yet More Urinating Rabbis

I must say that I thought the posts on urinating rabbis were over and done with, but here’s more. It seems like the urinating rabbis were already discussed in a number of places. See Michael Satlow, “Jewish Constructions of Nakedness in Late Antiquity, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 116, No. 3 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 429-454; […]

Conference Paper on Gay and Lesbian Jews and Jewish Law

Last week I attended a conference, Religious Legal Theory: The State of the Field, at Seton Hall Law School. There were many interesting presentations. My talk was “Conservative Jewish Legal Decision Making and the Question of Gay and Lesbian Jews.” I tried to speak about some general characteristics of the responsa that were written in […]

Michael Makovi responds to R. Michael Broyde

Michael Makovi has written a response to R. Michael Broyde’s critique of Tzvi Zohar and Avi Sagi’s book on conversion. I strongly recommend Makovi’s post for anyone who is remotely interested in the topic.

Articles about the Steinsaltz Talmud

Ynet has an article (Hebrew) about the Steinsaltz Talmud which includes an interview with R. Adin Steinsaltz. According to the article, Steinsaltz will finish his edition of the Talmud next year when he publishes Nidah and Hullin. He started his work on the Talmud when he was 28 (!) years old and has been working […]

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