Category Archives: Communal Matters

The Millennia-Old Problem of Yom Ha’atzmaut in America

I asked a friend tonight if he could identify the most recent time in Jewish history that every single Jew was in the Land of Israel at the same time. He noticed that it wasn’t the time of Yehoshua, because … Continue reading

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Parshat Pinchas: Advocacy and Partnership in Zealotry

This past week we read one of rarest of all Haftarot (thanks to Shlomo for this link), one that has not been read since 2005 and will not be read again until 2035. What makes the Haftarah so rare is … Continue reading

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Frum … or Krum?? – Hiding Bread Before Bedikat Chametz

And now, once again, it is time for our all-too-infrequent consideration of trends and whispers in the Jewish community as seen through the rarified light of actual Halachic analysis. Is it Frum, or is it Krum? As always, there can … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters, Frum ... Or Krum??, Pesach | 2 Comments

I Totally Live This: Reflections on the Upcoming Israeli Civil War

As background to this post, one might benefit from reading the actual new Israeli Draft Law (link). I am working on a separate post which will serve as a guide to reading this law, which will appear foreboding to us … Continue reading

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Review of Koren’s New Youth Siddurim

Feb. 2015 update: I just saw a friend’s newer copy of the Ani Tefillah Siddur, and was pleased to see that it includes Chol Hamoed, including full services for Hoshana Rabbah and Hoshanot. So those critiques in my review should … Continue reading

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I Have Seen the Future of Jewish Education, and It Is Us

A great deal has been made lately of the latest in Jewish educational technology, a sweeping program called Mercava. I have written frequently on this blog about the importance of integrating technology in the Judaic studies classroom and have broadly … Continue reading

Posted in Classroom Experiences, Communal Matters, Jewish Education (meta) | Leave a comment

The Night Time is the Right Time: A Selichot Chronology

I gave a Shiur yesterday (sources are at this link) on what the right time is to say Selichot. Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the lively give-and-take. Some thoughts that came out of the Shiur: 1) … Continue reading

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Aruch Hashulchan Yomi – Thoughts and a Proposal

*** June 2020: Updated post endorsing AishDas’ new Aruch Hashulchan Yomi program: Aruch Hashulchan Yomi (see Calendar at this link) begins a new cycle this Rosh Hashana, which appears to be a massive coincidence – according to the Calendar, … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters, Halacha | 15 Comments

Women’s Ordination Is Here … Would You Like to Change Something Else?

News appeared this week (link) that Rabbi Avi Weiss’ Semicha of three women this past Sunday included language allowing them to “determine Halakhik rulings for the Jewish people” and “serve as a decisor of Jewish Law” (or in the Hebrew … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters | 2 Comments

The High Price of a Free Ticket: Aliyah and the Leadership Gap

An Oleh on a Bike Two summers ago, the last time that we were in Israel, my wife and I spent a beautiful afternoon with friends of ours who have made Aliyah to Yad Binyamin, a popular (if rustic) new … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters | 3 Comments