Out With the Old, In With the New

In the parashah lectures I delivered last week, I discussed the practice of R. Nosson Adler (of Frankfurt), recorded by his reverential disciple Hasam Sofer, to avoid calling up to the Torah for the aliyah of Levi on the holiday of Succos one who consumes hadash, since by that time of the year, hadash barley […]

Parashas Kedoshim: A Man’s Word Is His Bond

My weekly halachah column: In parashas Kedoshim (19:36), the Torah commands: “Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have”. The plain meaning of hin is a particular measure of volume, but the Talmud (Bava Metzia 49) interprets the word hermeneutically in the sense of hen (“yes”), and thereby derives […]

Parashas Aharei Mos: The Luck of the Draw

My weekly halachah column: In parashas Acharei Mos (16:8-10), the Torah mandates the casting of lots to determine which of the pair of selected goats shall be “for Hashem” – i.e., offered as a normal sacrifice, and which “to Azazel” in the wilderness. This is one of two Biblical commandments to cast lots, the other […]