Flora and Pfingsten

My weekly פרשה lectures and הלכה column for the past פרשיות אחרי מות-קדושים discussed the Biblical prohibition against “walking in the ordinances” of the Gentiles. As I discuss, a debate over the scope and parameters of this prohibition is apparently behind the controversy over the custom (or family of customs) of the arraying of trees, […]

Copying Cruciform Churches, Campanas, Circuses and Colosseums

We recently mentioned in passing Rav Zvi Hirsch (Maharaz) Hajes’s prohibition of bell ringing to gather the populace for prayer; here is his discussion in full. He begins by prohibiting the deliberate construction of octagonal, and certainly quadrilateral, synagogue buildings, “in the form of the halls of the nations” [perhaps a reference to the cruciform […]