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Gil Student

Hanukkah and Independence Day

December 24, 2009, by

Is Hanukkah merely a holiday telling us a heroic story of battles won and political victories gained, like the American Fourth of July or the French Fourteenth of July? A […]

Rav Soloveitchik on Parashat Vayeshev

December 14, 2009, by

The story of Hanukkah is typical of all our confrontations in the Galut, the Diaspora. In aristocracy, each family has a coat of arms, an emblem. What was the emblem […]

Difficult Judaism

November 18, 2009, by

I remember hearing or reading that R. Moshe Feinstein blamed the mass defections from Jewish observance in America during the first half of the twentieth century on a simple phrase: […]

Rav Yitzchak Blau on Parashat Chayei Sarah

November 18, 2009, by

Sarah’s biblical epitaph enumerates the years of her life in an unusual fashion, with the word “years” repeated three times: “one hundred years and twenty years and seven years” (Genesis […]

Rav Soloveitchik on Parashat Vayera

November 18, 2009, by

When the three travelers, angels in disguise, came to visit Abraham, the ailing patriarch chose to disrupt a conversation with God in order to greet them (Gen. 18:1-2). Thus Chazal […]

Saying Shema Better

October 28, 2009, by

The Mishnah (Berakhos 15a) records a dispute over whether you can fulfill your obligation to recite the Shema if you are not careful in how you pronounce it (kara ve-lo […]