פינו במזרח, ואנחנו בסוף מערב

What are we to make of the fact that despite all our pious declarations of misery over our exile and yearning to return to ארץ ישראל, we Diaspora Jews do not generally trouble ourselves to make aliyah? Rav Ya’akov Emden indeed considers the historical Jewish indifference to ארץ ישראל grievously sinful, and the cause of […]

True Neutrality

Our previous post noted the idea, attributed to the Sanzer Rav, that Zelafhad’s daughters’ assurance to Moshe that their father had not been involved in Korah’s rebellion constituted “verbal bribery” and thus triggered his recusal from their petition. It turns out (unsurprisingly) that this exegesis is actually at least a millennium old, with its first […]

To Be A Free People In Our Land

There is a major dispute among the Poskim of the last half-century or so over the proper location for the lighting of the נרות חנוכה in modern day Israel, as well as the more liberal and religiously tolerant regions of the Diaspora. Some maintain that the Halachah reverts back to its original prescription of the […]