Is Love Blind?

The central narrative in parashas Hayei Sarah is the mission of Avraham’s servant to obtain a wife for Yitzhak. It is generally assumed, by midrashim, other commentaries (including Ibn Ezra, in a passing remark in parashas Yisro1), and contemporary Orthodox students of the Torah that the servant in question was Eliezer, but the servant is […]

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, […]

The Law of War

My weekly lectures for parashas Shelah (including handouts), on the topic of halachic perspectives on the law of war, are available at the Internet Archive. I subsequently recorded a lecture on the halachic justifiability of Shimon and Levi’s massacre of Shechem – a (temporally) shorter, and perhaps tighter and more rigorous, treatment of some of […]