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I. MARRIAGE, ANNULMENT AND MARRIAGE In 1516, two brothers in Tripoli, Lebanon (not Libya) married their children to each other — a nine-year old girl named Yakuta to her first...

I. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY Looking through sixteenth century responsa from the Mediterranean region, I saw something strange that I have not seen in any other time and place. Many...

I. HAPPINESS ISN’T UNIVERSAL Many people feel that their lives are enriched by Judaism. Their rituals and holidays bring joy and meaning while deepening their marriage and family ties. The...

I. THE MARRIAGE In 1527, in a courtyard in Egypt, a young Jewish man gave a young Jewish woman a wedding ring against her father’s wishes. Or at least that is...

I. WHICH CHARITY? Many people in the Jewish community have achieved varieties of financial success, allowing them the privilege of supporting many charities. This raises questions of communal and philanthropic priorities....

I. KOSHER PIG The news recently carried a report that Rav Yuval Cherlow said that cloned pigs are kosher. This is clearly wrong. A cloned pig is implanted as an embryo...

I. DIVINE PRESENCE The Bible and Talmud refer frequently to the Shechinah, God’s presence, without explaining the term. This leaves students relying on their intuition. When informed by years of study,...

I. ENSLAVING THE JEWS Were the Egyptians right in enslaving the Jews? The question seems outrageous at first. However, Pharaoh and the Egyptians fulfilled God’s prophecy to Avraham that his descendants...

I. BELIEF AND KNOWLEDGE Pesach is often called Chag Ha-Emunah, the holiday of faith or, more accurately, belief. But what is belief and how do we acquire it? A better understanding...

WHAT IS FREEDOM? I. FREEDOM OF THE WILL Pesach is the holiday of freedom, when God redeemed us from slavery. But has that freedom continued with us, even after we...