Priestly Purity and the Pious

My weekly lecture (available at the Internet Archive) and column for this past פרשת אמר considered the halachic debate over כהנים visiting the graves of the righteous: In parashas Emor, kohanim (Aharonic priests) are prohibited from defiling themselves by contact with the dead. This includes visiting gravesites. Over the centuries, it has become increasingly customary …

Of Things That Never Were and Never Will Be

My lecture (available at the Internet Archive) and weekly column for these past פרשיות תזריע ומצורע discussed the Talmudic principles of מאי דהוה הוה and דרוש וקבל זכר, and the practical applicability of the laws of נגעי בתים in particular: Parashiyos Tazria and Metzora contain the detailed laws of several forms of tzaraas (commonly, but …