פדיון, Paper and Payments

My weekly halachah column and lecture for this past פרשת בא discussed the status of paper money in halachah in general, and its use for פדיון הבן in particular. In the course of my study of the literature, it seemed to me that the vibrancy and pragmatism of the (primarily nineteenth century) פדיון הבן discussion […]

Imitatio Dei, With Science

I recently gave a lecture on Torah perspectives on genetic engineering. One classic source commonly adduced as a potential argument against such tinkering with nature is a rationale offered by Ramban for the prohibitions of interbreeding: והטעם בכלאים, כי השם ברא המינים בעולם, בכל בעלי הנפשות בצמחים ובבעלי נפש התנועה, ונתן בהם כוח התולדה שיתקיימו […]

Wives, Work and Wages

Over the past couple of years, I gave several lectures, and published a couple of my weekly halachah columns, revolving around the right of a wife to make charitable donations without her husband’s consent: Vayakhel: Wives, Work and Wages In the course of its narration of the donations to the Tabernacle, the Torah relates (35:22): […]