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The Political Modesty of Rabbi Eliezer Melammed

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-05-05 02:43
In the Yeshiva Har Bracha Newsletter Rabbi Eliezer Melamed addresses “The Importance of Modesty.” [submitted Fri, 18 Nov 2011 15:30:42 +0200] He reports the following query: “I am 14 years old and learn in Ulpana [Israeli school for academic Orthodox …

The Israeli Draft of Women: What is Orthodox Judaism Anyway?

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Mon, 2013-04-29 08:18
On his web site, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner exclaims boldly, emphatically, and with crystal clarity, that “drafting girls [into the Israeli army] is absolutely forbidden.” He reports that “In 1960, eleventh graders from Shevet ‘Chalutzim’ of Bnei Akiva approached a number …

The Law of Preserving Life according to the Two Forms of Orthodox Judaism

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-04-21 02:17
As argued on many Viewpoints postings, Orthodox Judaism comes in two very different forms. One is based on the words of the sacred text; the other is biased by the cultural predilections and mental intuitions of the sacred person. The …

The Narrative of Abraham and Efron: A Clash of Two Cultures

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-04-14 02:11
When Abraham approaches the Hittites, who at that time had legal possession of the land, he is flattered, “you are a prince of God,” take your plot and be a big shot amongst us. Free gifts are very expensive. Abraham …

Rambam and Drafting Yeshiva Students

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Mon, 2013-04-08 08:07
In Israeli society, Haredi, or parochial Orthodox men and women consume human resources but, because they have chosen a life of what they take to be Torah study and fervent religious detail, avoid military service and do not acquire the …

How not to Observe Sukkot

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-03-31 02:03
I have seen claims that on Sukkot, By law, sechach, the Sukkah covering, must be made of objects that do not contract ritual defilement. The Lubavitch Shulhan Aruch Orech Chayyim 629:13 teaches/preaches/prescribes that the poles holding the sechach ought not …

On Truth in Packaging

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-03-24 02:00
Question: I am an egalitarian male. I have a mezuzah and pair of tefillin written by a female scribe, who is perfectly kosher within my beliefs, but obviously wouldn’t be kosher in Orthodox beliefs. When I get the mezuzah and …

Ko’ah de-Heteira ‘Adif – Orthodox rabbis ought to be strict about being lenient

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-03-17 02:30
bBerachot 6oa and bBetsa 2b both teach an Orthodox rule that Orthodox rabbis traditionally ignore. I am not suggesting that Orthodox rabbis should look for leniencies to be hip, trendy, liked, happy, or popular. I have advocated humrot, strictures on …

On the Sorry Slight to Selichot

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-03-10 02:26
Many of us have a problem with the 9th of Av and the 29th of Elul. We are asked to sit in the synagogue and say liturgical poetry that the Oral Torah did not endorse, that the Sanhedrin did not …

The New Israeli Modern Orthodoxy

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-03-03 02:21
The Tzohar agenda The Tzohar rabbinate is made up of modern Orthodox rabbis who are Zionist, accommodating, Orthodox, and responsive to the entire Israeli population. Over the years, the Chief Rabbinate of the Jewish state has been taken over by …

“’The’ Poskim” and the Reformation of Orthodoxy

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-02-24 02:15
In “official religion” Orthodox Judaism, Torah, in both its Oral and Written forms, is taken to be a legal system that, according to the religion encoded in its sacred library, is Divinely ordained, legally defined, and is both public and …

Thoughts on the ‘Aqeida and Shofar

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-02-17 02:11
When the shofar is sounded, there are four sounds that are produced, teqi’ ah, shevarim, teru’ah, and teq’ah gedolah, a strong blast, a weak blast that is either a broken wail or a staccato wimper, followed a strong blast. When …

Updating Judaism in 5733

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-02-10 02:09
When we fast on the 9th of Av and on the 10th of Tishri, we step out of our collective sociological and theological boxes and repent as a nation and as thinking, living individuals. Torah rites are not magical, energy …

To Present Torah Correctly

Latest posts on Viewpoints - Sun, 2013-02-03 02:26
We have all heard the epigram, recorded at Matthew 7:1, Judge not lest you be judged, and think it to be Christian teaching. In Luke 7:43, Jesus tells Peter, that he has judged correctly and that the one who forgives …
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