Life

What is the Measure of a Great Community?

February 9, 2016, by

What is the measure of a great community? What are the metrics and tools we use to evaluate the success of a society? In this week’s parsha, Mishpatim, the Torah tell us that we must not cause pain or suffering to a widow or orphan. So strict is this law, that God promises that one

Is the Fake Excuses App Kosher?

February 8, 2016, by

We’ve all been in uncomfortable situations in which a well-intentioned but socially awkward person will not leave us alone. Sometimes we have other pressing business. Other times we simply have given enough time to this needy person and need to move on with our day. Extracting ourselves from those situations can be tricky. A new

Is Powerball Kosher?

January 20, 2016, by

The recent frenzy over the billion dollar plus Powerball prize raises a serious question about the halachic and moral viability of lotteries. There is more to discuss than just the greed, which we addressed in the past. We must remember that until relatively recently, lotteries were illegal in most states and were instead run by

Jacob: The Forefather Who Taught Us a Secret of Parenting

December 24, 2015, by

As we conclude the four parshiot that deal with the stories of Jacob and his sons, we are again confronted by unresolved questions about Jacob’s actions as a father. The question of how could Jacob openly favor Joseph surfaces again in our parsha: it appears that Jacob repeats the same mistake by openly favoring Ephraim

Meet Your Long-Lost Jewish Family—In India!

November 4, 2015, by

Known for its exhilarating tours across the Holy Land, OU Israel thought it was high time for an off the beaten track adventure overseas. They’ve set out to discover India—Jewish India. And unlike Columbus, they made sure to hire top-notch navigators. Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky and Dr. Ari Greenspan, a globe-trotting duo for over three

Should Jonathan Pollard Bentch Gomel?

November 4, 2015, by

Jonathan Pollard is scheduled this month for release after spending thirty years in prison. He was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to spying on the United States. There are two possible responses to release after such a long sentence. One is to become bitter over the time lost, the life that could

Working Out in a Skirt: I (Kind of) Disagree

November 3, 2015, by

Last month, there was a news story in which an Orthodox Jewish woman sued her gym for refusing to allow her to work out in a skirt. Yosefa Jalal of Crown Heights sued Lucille Roberts (a women’s-only gym franchise) for violating federal, state and city religious discrimination statutes. I saw this posted and re-posted on Facebook

Torah Against Terror?

October 27, 2015, by

In the wake of the recent spate of terror attacks in Israel, there have been calls for people to take action to prevent these attacks. Some of the specific actions being sought are for people to learn Torah. Thus, for example, in the US there is a “Shmira Project” – organizing people to learn Torah

Midwest NCSY Welcomes a New Sefer Torah to the Jewish People

October 19, 2015, by

NCSY Turns an unfortunate event into a unforgettable learning opportunity When Midwest NCSY found itself with a posul, unusable, Sefer Torah at its annual winter Shabbaton, they turned an unfortunate situation in to an unforgettable learning opportunity: the chance to welcome a new Sefer Torah to the Jewish people—a Sefer Torah that was partially written

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