Justice Denied Revisited

Around this time last year, we discussed the controversy over the theological correctness of the phrase “ולוקח נפשות במשפט” added to ברכת המזון in a house of mourning, in light of the Biblical phrase “וְיֵשׁ נִסְפֶּה בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט” and the Talmudic assertion that “יש מיתה בלא חטא”. I have long had a vague sense of […]

There Is That Is Destroyed Unjustly

For S.B., who is blameless and has not yet tasted sin. A provocative Talmudic agadah asserts that some deaths are unjust, citing as an example the bizarre tale of a minion of the Angel of Death whose misinterpretation of his instructions resulted in the termination of the wrong woman: רב יוסף כי מטי להאי קרא […]

Ideological Certainty and Its Discontents: In Praise Of Epistemic Humility

In response to a question about the propriety of protesting the singing of שיר המעלות to “the [well-]known tune of the [Israeli] National Anthem”, Rav Avraham Weinfeld responds that while the practice is indeed deplorable, as the Zionists are, at least in certain respects, worse than the Reformers, as the latter at least nominally retain […]