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 […]

The Fate of Lot’s Wife

I have long marveled at Ralbag’s provocative reinterpretation of the fate of Lot’s wife: וכאשר הוציאו [המלאכים] אותו [לוט] החוצה אמרו לו שימהר לרוץ כדי שינצל ולא יביט מאחריו כדי שלא יתעכב מהבריחה ולא יתעכב בכל הככר כי כל הככר יפסד אבל ימלט בהר הסמוך לשם כדי שלא יספה … והנה הביטה אשת לוט מאחריו […]

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 […]