From Forensics To Philosophy

In preparation for a lecture I recently gave on halachic perspectives toward the determination of identity and paternity via forensic tissue examination, I reviewed Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg’s famous treatment of several agunah cases resulting from the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center, in which he wholeheartedly endorses the reliance upon D.N.A. […]

The Steipler Explains Geometric Progression To the Ungvarer

The year 5736 saw a great debate between several deeply pious and traditional Halachic authorities over the contemporary application of Hazal’s deprecation of the בן נדה / בני תשע מידות: while Rav Ya’akov Yisrael Kanievsky, apparently impelled by his generosity of spirit toward בעלי תשובה and his desire to encourage, rather than retard, their spiritual […]

Mathematical Reasoning and Its Discontents

In the course of preparing the previous post, I encountered this bizarre passage in the commentary to the mishnah of Rav Shimshon b. Avraham (the Rash) of Sens: ובני אדם חכמי המדות אמרו דכל מרובע ב’ קוים במרובע האלכסון שמודדין מדת רחבו ועושין מרובע כמדתו ומודדין מדת ארכו ועושין ריבוע כמדתו ומודדין מדת אלכסון ועושין […]