We Pity the Fools

C.S. draws our attention to an interesting discussion of R. Yitzchok Zilberstein. Here’s Kikar Shabbat’s summary in its headline: פסק: ‘לא להתפלל על מי שהלך בהתרסה בלי מסכה, וחלה’ The headline, however, is clickbait; the subheadline is already somewhat more nuanced: הכרעה חסרת תקדים היוצאת מתחת ידיו של הגר”י זילברשטיין – הנחשב לאחד מגדולי פוסקי […]

Ascetics, Aesthetics, and Cosmetics

My halachah column for this past year’s פרשת נשא: In Parashas Naso (6:11), a Nazarite is commanded to bring a sin-offering. As we have noted in previous years, the Talmud (Bava Kama 91b) cites an explanation that this is to atone for the sin of having (unnecessarily) deprived himself of the enjoyment of wine. Elsewhere […]

Signing Up To Soldier On the Sabbath

In honor of my friend R. LCdr. Eric Kinzbrunner, who (about a dozen years ago) “cut the first piece of [his] wedding cake with his 34-inch Navy sword, which had been ritually cleansed, or toveled, for the occasion“. CS brings to our attention Noah Lang’s determination to become an Orthodox Jewish marine. In Lang’s manifesto, […]