Menachem Mendel

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Archive for April, 2013

New Blog Focusing on Women and Halakhah

There’s a new blog on the web by Debby Koren, VaTashar Devora, which is described as “A blog about halakha, women and Judaism, Jewish family law, agunot.” After much urging and encouragement from my “fans” and friends, I am launching my blog, VaTashar Devora – ותשר דבורה (Judges 5,1). My primary focus is to discuss […]

Those Jews and Their Witchcraft

All of you have probably heard that the lid has been blown off the secret witchcraft being practiced by Jews and Zionists: In a speech to religious students on April 20, Mehdi Taeb, who heads a think tank and is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Jews are powerful sorcerers who have used […]

Profile of Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Tablet has a nice profile of Rabbi Asher Lopatin who will be taking over from Rabbi Avi Weiss as the president of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah. Here are two interesting bits from the article. At the same time, Lopatin is taking steps to make Chovevei into a hub for progressive Orthodox thought. The board has agreed […]

A New Explanation for Jewish Success

At PBS Newshour Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein write about their recent book The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 . (HT to the Israeli website Compress that posted a translation of this article.) The key message of “The Chosen Few” is that the literacy of the Jewish people, coupled with a set of […]

Oqimta: Studies in Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature

The inaugural issue of Oqimta is now available online. Oqimta is a digitized research journal devoted to all spheres and types of talmudic and rabbinical literature – in Jewish law and exegesis.

Yeshayahu Leibowitz in His Own Words

Now that the Jerusalem City Council has decided to name a street (it will be on Givat Ram) after Yeshayahu Leibowitz, I recommend watching these documentaries about him to see what he had to say. The first documentary consists of two videos and has English subtitles. The third video is another fascinating documentary that is […]

Rabbi of Conversion Fame May be Headed to Court

Rabbi Avraham Sherman, the rabbi who is known for the wholesale nullifying of conversions by more liberal Orthodox rabbis, (see this article by Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin) may be headed to court. Kipa is reporting (H) that the police are recommending that he be charged with breach of trust, fraud, and obstruction of justice in […]

Hayyim Nachman Bialik’s Gemara

Musings of a Jewish Bookseller has acquired what may be a Gemara volume that was used by Hayyim Nachman Bialik. Read about it here.

New Book: Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism

Another interesting book has recently been published, Elizabeth Shanks Alexander’s Gender and Timebound Commandments in Judaism. The rule that exempts women from rituals that need to be performed at specific times (so-called timebound, positive commandments) has served for centuries to stabilize Jewish gender. It has provided a rationale for women’s centrality at home and their […]

New Book: Socratic Torah

I want to congratulate my friend Jenny Labendz on the publication of her book Socratic Torah: Non-Jews in Rabbinic Intellectual Culture. The relationship of the rabbis of Late Antique Palestine to their non-Jewish neighbors, rulers, and interlocutors was complex and often fraught. Jenny R. Labendz investigates the rabbis’ self-perception and their self-fashioning within this non-Jewish social […]

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