Pulling Permits For A Sukkah

Here is my weekly halachah column for Sukkos: The Torah reading for Shemini Atzeres (Devarim 16:13) contains the commandment: “chag ha’Sukkos ta’aseh lecha shivas yamim” (You shall make the festival of Sukkos for a seven day period). The Talmud understands the word lecha to mean that a sukkah must be one’s own: R. Eliezer rules […]

The Fate of Lot’s Wife

I have long marveled at Ralbag’s provocative reinterpretation of the fate of Lot’s wife: וכאשר הוציאו [המלאכים] אותו [לוט] החוצה אמרו לו שימהר לרוץ כדי שינצל ולא יביט מאחריו כדי שלא יתעכב מהבריחה ולא יתעכב בכל הככר כי כל הככר יפסד אבל ימלט בהר הסמוך לשם כדי שלא יספה … והנה הביטה אשת לוט מאחריו […]

Truth and Beauty III: A Tale Told By Two Chabadnik-Brisker-Mizrahisten

We recently discussed R. Avraham Borenstein’s analysis of the question of whether it is preferable to use an Israeli citron that is definitely kosher, albeit not beautiful, or a Corfian one that is beautiful but of dubious kashrus. A variation of this dilemma was famously considered by Rav Chaim Soloveitchik: he (of course) was going […]