Aspaqlaria Blog

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Vayichal Moshe – Moshe Implored

While looking at Unqelus this week, I had a thought that is an application of the idea in Prayers and Requests. (See also Meshekh Chokhmah – Vayechi II – My Sword and My Bow.)...

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Why So Many Laws of Berakhos?

When learning about berakhos, whether the halakhos or the latter third of the mesechta, I like to emphasize the following point… The vast majority of berakhos are derabbanan. So, why so many different berakhos,...

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Brisker Dialectics

I think Rav Yosef Ber Soloveitchik’s fascination with Neo-Kantianism was in part due to the similarity between a Kantian antinomy or neo-Kantian dialectic and the Brisker chaqira.   (Another factor was simply that neo-Kantianism...

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Shemos: From Vigilante to Lawgiver

A post on Facebook by Jeremy Phillips raised the question of why Hashem chose a vigilante to be His lawgiver. He got me thinking. Hashem even lauds Moshe’s vigilantism in the Torah when he...

Halakhah is a Floor - Not a Ceiling! 0

Toward a Torah Definition of “Ethics”

A short thought, maybe “just” a conversation starter… There is a paradoxical obligation: it is prohibited to conform in all ways only to the letter of the law. One must stay well within it...

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Reconsidering The Aruch HaShulchan

Any exploration of the Aruch HaShulchan must first consider this question: Is halacha a set of rules that we follow or the system by which we reach those rulings?

Learning and Teaching 0

Learning and Teaching

I The pasuq (Devarim 28:61, parashas Ki Savo) reads, if we would translate it naively (ignoring the point we’re about to see in Rashi): גַּ֤ם כׇּל־חֳלִי֙ וְכׇל־מַכָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א כָת֔וּב בְּסֵ֖פֶר הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּ֑את יַעְלֵ֤ם...

The Burial Site of Rabbi Meir 0

Midrashei Halakhah

There are two kinds of medrash (which should technically be called “midrash” to be grammatically correct). Midrashei Aggada are non-halakhic statements, those of mussar, Jewish thought, Qabbalah, and the like. The thought is usually...

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Yeru+Shalem

The first time we encounter Yerushalayim (Bereishis 14:18), it is under the rule of Malki-Tzedeq, a “kohein leKeil elyon — a priest of the most high G-d”, under the name “Shaleim”. The other half...