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Archive for March, 2017

Ruth Ben David and R. Amram Blau

A few years go while looking for something in the stacks of the JTS Library z”l, I came across a fascinating book. I don’t remember why I took this book off the shelf, but it was a gem. The book the I had found was the transcribed autobiography of Ruth Ben-David, a convert to Judaism […]

A Rare Letter of Rav Kook, Yoel Moshe Solomon, and Zionist Mythmaking

The recent issue of Asif, the annual publication of the Yeshivat Hesder association, contains the publication of a rare letter from 1904 written by Rav Kook to the leaders of Jaffa after he accepted the position as rabbinic leader of their community. There are many interesting aspects of the letter, one of them being that […]

New on the Shelf: Abudarham and Torah Reading

I recently discovered Rabbi Yoel Katan’s column Kiryat Sefer in the newspaper Besheva. In each column Rabbi Katan recommends some new books that have been published. In a recent column Rabbi Katan mentioned two books of interest. 1. Sefer Abudarham-Written by David Abudarham/Abudirham, there have been numerous editions of this important commentary on the liturgy […]

Drinking on Purim

I recently gave a talk about the issue of drinking on Purim in which I tried to show that based upon a reading of rabbinic literature there is no clear mitzvah to get drunk on Purim. The source sheet that I used can be downloaded from here or viewed below.  

New Journals from Magnes Press-Spring, 2017

Some new journals from Magnes Press: Tarbitz 84, 3 Nili Samet – New Light on the Administrative Term bēn bayît in Biblical and Rabbinical Sources Bezalel Bar-Kochva – The Religious Persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes as a Historical Reality David Henshke – Between Blessings and Prayer: On the History of the Amidah Prayer Mordechai Sabato – […]

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