Archive | Torah & Society

All we need is love.

Love Stands a Chance

The Sefer Yetzirah (Chapter 1, Mishna 1) relates that God created the world with a story. This teaches us that life itself is an ongoing story, and a true story does not end. Five years ago, on Rosh Hashanah, I was part of one of the most influential stories of my life, and this month, […]

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shana tova 5775

Working Together To Unite Israeli Society

As the new year draws closer, we enter into a period of personal and national Cheshbon Hanefesh (spiritual accounting) during an extraordinary time in Jewish history. In response to a traumatic summer of heightened international anti-Semitism and a war for Israel’s existence that seemed never ending, Israeli society experienced an unprecedented level of solidarity and […]

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Not Fair!

The Mamzer and the Rabbis

  This article appeared in Rabbi Evan Hoffman’s weekly Torah essay titled Thoughts on the Parashah and is posted here with his permission. Scripture places severe social restrictions on the mamzer. “No mamzer shall come into the Lord’s assembly. Even his tenth generation shall not come into the Lord’s assembly (Deuteronomy 23:3).” The meaning of […]

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Handcuffed Woman

Aguna Seminar in Bet Shemesh

Beit Hillel, together with Yeshivat Har Etzion, Matan, and communities in Beit Shemesh held an evening seminar on Halachic prenuptial agreements for prevention of agunot. The evening was held in the Ohel Yona Menachem synagogue in Beit Shemesh. The seminar was organized as part of Beit Hillel’s project to promote change in the public consciousness […]

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Paratrooper and Prayer For Soldiers

Yeshiva Students, the Army, and Spinoza’s Sub Specie Aeternitatis

Whenever I think of the huge demonstration of Chareidi yeshiva students earlier this year, I think of Gateshead Yeshiva in England where I spent many years studying Talmud. It is Europe’s most famous yeshiva and a bastion of Torah study in the Chareidi world. Paradoxically, I also think of Spinoza’s incomparable masterpiece, the Ethics, written […]

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