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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....

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...