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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....

I. UNITY OR COMMUNITY? In 1546, a rabbi tried to unite the Jewish community of Patras, in western Greece and at the time part of the Ottoman Empire. Or as the...

A casino visit can be a fun way to spend your leisure time and money but is it a kosher trip? There is more to discuss than just the greed that energizes...

I. LOWER EAST SIDE DISPUTE The question has arisen numerous times whether a community may buy a church building to be used as a shul. In the 1850’s, such a question...

The modern era presents unique challenges to traditional religion. Most changes are matters of a phenomenon’s extent, quantity rather than quality. However, a greatly expanded phenomenon may require a different...

How we treat the Torah impacts what we learn from it. The Torah in its broadest sense is a source of knowledge, a combination of divine revelation and human interpretation....

The complex nature of halachah leads to multiple opinions on various issues — expert judgment often varies. We expect that two scholars who legitimately disagree still respect each other’s right...

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...