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We live in times of plenty, in a where the basic standard of living would have been considered a mere few decades ago to be a life of wealth and...

I. TESHUVAH AND NINEVEH Conventional wisdom has it that the book of Yonah is about power of teshuvah, repentance. But if that is the case, why is teshuvah barely mentioned? Of...

We reach out to G-d with prayer. But when we say the same thing three times a day, it is hard to mean every word. For some of us, the...

In a responsum about bas mitzvah celebrations, Rav Ovadiah Yosef quotes an authority who raises questions about bar mitzvah invitations. In Yechaveh Da’as (2:29), Rav Yosef quotes Rav Avraham Musafya who says that the practice in...

Jews are averse to swearing–taking oaths–for two reasons. One is the severity of the prohibition against violating an oath. Another is the prohibition, listed among the so-called Ten Commandments, against using G-d’s name...

We are not allowed to move on Shabbos an object that is muktzeh, except under specific circumstances. For example, a utensil used for a forbidden purpose (like scissors) can only...

I. IGNORANCE OF THE LAW “Everyone does it” is never an excuse. It does not constitute a legal or religious exemption from consequences. While Jewish law does indeed treat ignorant or...

Over the past few years we have witnessed a disturbing questioning of the validity of long-standing conversions to Judaism. This is a very sensitive topic because many converts — nearly...

After Jews were formally expelled from Christian countries, those who remained had to convert to Christianity and maintain their Jewish identities at the risk of their lives. Many attempted to...

I. RASHBASH AND CHUMRA Religious life tends toward conservatism, retaining the practices and rhythms of prior years. New stringencies are often derided as fanaticism, an offensive rejection of earlier generations’ religiosity....