Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Days, and The Ten Branched Menorah

My weekly parashah lectures and halachah column for this past פרשת צו discussed the establishment of days of thanksgiving, as well as other rituals of thanksgiving. One fascinating practice that I discussed in the lectures is the custom of some Syrian Jews, of Sephardic extraction, to kindle an extra light on each night of חנוכה. …

Sliding Down the Slippery Slope of Circumstantial Evidence

My weekly parashah lectures and halachah column for this past פרשת ויקרא discuss the acceptability (or lack thereof) of circumstantial evidence in halachic civil and criminal procedure. A central source is Rambam’s adamant insistence that anything short of eyewitness testimony is absolutely unacceptable in capital cases: המצווה המשלימה ר”צ האזהרה שהזהרנו מלהוציא לפועל את העונשים …

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): …