Continuing the theme of desire that we introduced in the last posting, Judaic commentaries have often wondered about the famous proscription of the Decalogue: “You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:17). What exactly is Moses speaking about? This question has led many great rabbinic scholars to conclude that the Torah is not legislating a mere feeling; it is actually more concerned about action. Like many fleeting thoughts that come to our conscious mind in the course of a day, coveting is ...Learn More Share
Who says religious people aren’t funny? Where is Jay Leno when you need him?
From the rabbinic savants who introduced separate sidewalks, segregated buses, and separate shopping hours for men and women in Israel, their rabbis are now encouraging Haredi airline passengers to hang a new type of mechitza – a halachic barrier to separate the sexes – around the top of their airplane seats, to shield their eyes from immodest clad female neighbors and in-flight movies.  From what I ...Learn More Share
Shmarya Rosenberg posted a correspondence he had with Rabbi Moshe Feinstein on the plight of Ethiopian Jewry. It is a valuable historical document–one that will most likely be studied by future generations. Here is the record of his correspondence with Rav Moshe Feinstein.
Recently, I found Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s 1984 teshuva-letter on Ethiopian Jews stuck between two file folders. (You can click the thumbnail image for a larger, more readable image or download a PDF.) This letter was written in response ...Learn More Share
I personally know of many prodigal sons and daughters of Lubavitch, people who left the famous Hasidic movement for a variety of reasons. Their stories are all too familiar to me. Some became disillusioned with its values and philosophy; others could no longer reconcile the contradictions of a modern vs. pre-modern lifestyle. In each of these personal narratives, it is always the individual who redefines his or her own identity.
For members of any closed society, it is typically the community ...Learn More Share