Let me apologize if the following material seems obtusely worded. Some rabbis have a serious problem expressing coherent thoughts that appeal to common sense. Clearly, some of our ancestors were lacking in this department. The Talmudic style of reasoning called, “pilpul” (“peppered” didactic reasoning) can appeal to the inner sophist we all have. At times, I like to refer to this style of argumentation as, “rabbinicspeak,” and to understand or argue with it, you have to almost think like a ...Learn More Share
This past week, the Jewish Star updated its article about the maverick Modern Orthodox named Rabbi Avi Weiss, who recently backed down from a confrontation with the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America) over his decision to offer ordination to a Sara Hurwitz, as an Orthodox rabbi.
Frankly, I am not surprised at all by the series of events that ensued. Surprisingly, Agudath Israel spokesman Rabbi Avi Shafran admitted that the issue whether women may become rabbis or not is not a ...Learn More Share
Whenever I teach a class on Leviticus, inevitably my students ask: “What is the psychology that inspires one to offer a sacrifice in general, and the burnt offering in particular? Why is the burnt offering mentioned first in the opening chapter of Leviticus?”
To the modern mindset, the mentality that believed in animal sacrifices must seem very strange. Even Maimonides viewed sacrifice as a form of retrogressive religion, tolerated in the Torah only because of the unsophisticated spiritual maturity of the ...Learn More Share
JONATHAN ROSENBLUM is a fine and articulate Haredi columnist for the Jerusalem Post. In one of his most recent articles, Rosenblum writes about the Haredi rabbinic decision to “declare war” on the Internet. “Declare war” you say? Ah, them’s fightin’ words!
On the surface, the Haredi Guardyoureyes looks like an organization that has some positive potential. After going to the website, the webmasters state its purpose in unambiguous terms:
Welcome to GuardYourEyes, a vibrant network and fellowship ...Learn More Share
One of my favorite concepts in logic is the reductio ad absurdum (Latin: “reduction to the absurd”) argument, which is a logical method of argument that proves the falsity of a premise by following its implications to a logical but absurd conclusion.
“Fortifying the Walls of Conversion” ?
Today, at a conference dedicated to “fortifying walls of conversion,” the Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger expressed moral support for Rabbi Sherman, who annulled thousands of conversions carried out by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, ...Learn More Share