Our Complete Torah vs. Their Idle Chatter – Influences Of Secular Law and Politics On the Halachah

I gave a lecture with this title earlier today; audio and source sheets, in various file formats, are available at the Internet Archive. Many of the sources that I discuss have been previously discussed on the blog (here, here, here and here) but there is also novel material. Of particular interest are a couple of […]

Art and Literature In the United Kindgom

I recently returned from a visit to the United Kingdom, where I saw a matinée performance of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1 at the reconstructed Globe theater. In two key scenes, Falstaff eloquently declares his preference for life over honor. The first occurs on the eve of the climactic battle: Honor prickes me on. But […]

Two Epsteins On the Agunah Problem

I have previously suggested that Abravanel’s declaration that “death with honor is better than a life of shame and ignominy” is grounded in the Iberian culture in which he flourished. Today, however, I saw the attribution of quite a similar sentiment to the product of a very different era and culture – Rav Moshe Mordechai […]