Voting One’s Conscience

Dylan Matthews, in a Washington Post “Wonkblog” post, illustrates the concept of “strategic”, “tactical”, or “insincere” voting1: Why is Harry Reid always voting against his own plans? Forty U.S. senators voted to block a final vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be defense secretary. Of those, 39 were Republicans opposed to the nomination, at least […]

G-d Damn It!: Jewish, Christian, and Legal Perspectives

Several days ago, we discussed R. Chaim Ozer Grodzinski’s responsum on printing Hashem’s name in a language other than Hebrew in newspapers. Here is my halachah column for this week: In parashas Re’eh, Hashem commands us to obliterate the names of other gods, but “You shall not do this to Hashem, your G-d.” (12:3-4) One […]

Of Rabbinic Wills and Halachic Ways

In the course of my study of the various reasons proposed for the Biblical prohibition of ריבית, I encountered this famous (or notorious) passage in the תורה תמימה: והנה דבר ידוע הוא, שבדורות האחרונים המציאו היתר הלואה ברבית בהיתר עיסקא שנבאר ענינו בסמוך, ולכאורה דבר פלא הוא שלא מצינו כל רמז קל בתורה להמצאת היתר […]