What’s In A Name?

My weekly lectures (available at the Internet Archive) and column for this past פרשת במדבר discussed the legitimacy of the use of non-Jewish names by Jews: In parashas Bemidbar (1:2), Hashem commands Moshe to count the Jews “with the number of their names”. The Sforno explains that this census (as opposed to the one at […]

Automatic Agency

My weekly halachah column for parashas Shelah: Parashas Shelach (15:21) contains the commandment to separate challah: “Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto Hashem an heave offering in your generations.” The challah that is separated is given to a Cohen; in contemporary times, it is burned. Normally, separating challah is the prerogative […]