Schuhe and Handschuhe

My weekly halachah column: In Megilas Rus (4:7), it is recorded that: “Formerly, this was done in cases of redemption and exchange transactions to validate any matter: One would draw off his shoe (na’alo), and give it to the other. This was the process of ratification in Israel.”1 While many have understood this verse as […]

אפשר לתקן

There are opinions among Hazal that Yosef nearly sinned with Potiphar’s wife before ultimately resisting the temptation: אמר רב חנא בר ביזנא א”ר שמעון חסידא יוסף שקידש שם שמים בסתר הוסיפו עליו אות אחת משמו של הקב”ה … Rav Ḥana bar Bizna says that Rabbi Shimon Ḥasida says: Joseph, who sanctified the name of Heaven […]

Marrying For Looks and Money

Almost a decade ago, we noted that at least a couple of the רודפי הפשט take for granted that Jacob fell in love with Rachel due to her beauty. I recently discovered that this assumption appears in the halachic literature as well: Rav Yaakov Reischer invokes it to infer that marrying for looks or money […]