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 […]

A Man’s Word Is His Bond

We have previously discussed the derivation of Halachic and ethical principles from the moral sensibilities of non-Jews and their culture, and particularly the question of whether non-Jewish reprehension of conduct that we consider acceptable means that we must abstain from it to avoid engendering a חילול השם. I recently encountered several additional sources on this […]

Minding One’s Yeas and Nays

In an interview with Slashdot, Richard Dawkins explains why atheists and skeptics should be less respectful toward religion, or perhaps why the attitude he advocates does not constitute disrespect (he is somewhat confusing): Slashdot: In a TED Talk you gave a few years ago, you finished by speaking about how 9/11 changed you, and said […]