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I. Lower East Side Dispute The question has arisen numerous times whether a community may buy a church building to be used as a synagogue. In the 1850’s, such a question...

The period between Pesach and Shavuos contains a mourning period–different days depending on one’s custom–during which certain joyous behaviors are forbidden (commonly called Sefirah because this period also includes the...

The Passover seder is full of fours: four questions, four cups, four sons. The midrashic reading of four sons into the biblical text is brilliant, comparing the four times the Torah refers...

At a recent congressional hearing about SNAP (food stamps), a biblical debate broke out. The House Subcommittee on Nutrition held a public hearing about the “future of SNAP” and allowed...

Some modern thinkers–mainly Jewish universalists–express discomfort in the Seder recitation of “Shefoch chamascha, Pour out Your wrath.” In this passage of the Haggadah, we call on Hashem to punish the...

(Continued from last week) II. Carrying a Gun on Shabbos The Sages forbade carrying utensils on Shabbos without a reason. Certain utensils contain more restrictions. A utensil primarily used in forbidden work...

Laws about gun control serve as perpetual fuel for political debates. However, everyone agrees that some people should carry guns in some circumstances. Whether police officers or soldiers, on duty...

R. Yerachmiel Zelcer’s encyclopedic Ner Le-Mei’ah on Purim addresses R. Shlomo Alkabetz’s question, posed in Manos Ha-Levi, regarding the fate of Amalekites. We are commanded to destroy the nation of Amalek but...

Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Kol Dodi Dofek, ch. 10) famously quoted his father, Rav Moshe Soloveichik, as explaining the following discrepancy in the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. In Hilchos Melachim (5:4) the Rambam writes...

New media and technology still fall under the classical rules of ethics. Their usage can and must be examined with an open mind but with a keen eye for propriety....