Yearly Archive: 2012

Taamei haMitzvos 0

Taamei haMitzvos

Until adultery became too commonplace (in the days of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai, shortly after the destruction of the Beis haMiqdash) a wife whose husband suspected her of having an affair could forbid her...

Don’t Present Oneself as a Liar! 0

Don’t Present Oneself as a Liar!

צריך שיהיו תפילין עליו בשעת ק”ש ותפלה. A man must have tefillin on at the time of reading Shema and prayer [Shemoneh Esrei]. – Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 25:4 בשעת ק”ש ותפלה: ר”ל לכל...

No rest for the weary… 0

No rest for the weary…

(This post is a different treatment of the same themes as “Mas’ei — the Journey as a Name of G-d“.) וַיֵּשֶׁב יַעֲקֹב בְּאֶרֶץ מְגוּרֵי אָבִיו בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן. And Yaaqov settled in the land of...

Yir’ah and its Middos 0

Yir’ah and its Middos

The story so far… Words are how we divide the space of ideas into more specific “countries”. Our choice of vocabulary therefore not only reflects our thoughts, but shape them. And more importantly, they...

Torah im Small Jugs 0

Torah im Small Jugs

What is the role of the laws of business listed in Choshein Mishpat (the quarter of the Tur and Shulchan Aruch on financial matters)? One approach could be that working for income is a...

The Country of Yir’ah 0

The Country of Yir’ah

The time it took me to write my previous post grew long, so I cut it down to being set-up material for this one just to get it out the door. Here was the...

Awe and Fear 0

Awe and Fear

In a relatively recent post (“Confrontation and Babel“) I invoked a quote from R’ J.B. Soloveitchik’s Confrontation to highlight the linkage between language and worldview, and thus between language and religion. Rabbi Soloveitchik writes:...

The Avos Kept the Torah 0

The Avos Kept the Torah

There is a 3 way dispute on Yuma 28b about whether the avos kept all of halakhah, or just those mitzvos already given: Rav: The avos kept the entire Torah R’ Ashi: … even...

Teaching Non-Jews Their Torah 0

Teaching Non-Jews Their Torah

In my previous post I discussed the basic problems with effective interfaith dialog. All of which may be unimportant if Judaism is a prosletizing religion. Not in the sense that anyone would suggest that...

Confrontation and Babel 0

Confrontation and Babel

וַיְהִי כָל-הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת, וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים. And the whole earth was of one speech and of one set of ideas. – Bereishis 11:1 I blogged in the past about the difference between thinking in...