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The Location of Kever Rachel (Archeology Part 3)
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We have a 1700-year old tradition that Kever Rachel is south of Jerusalem and textual plus archeological evidence that it’s located to the North of Jerusalem. How do Chazal reconcile the two? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, October 17th, 2018, 8 Cheshvan 5779 sponsored by Maureen Friedman in memory of Mr. Fred […]
The Role of Archeology in Halacha and Machshava (part 1)
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Archeology has been used, often with an agenda, to try to prove or disprove the Biblical narrative. When artifacts are unearthed, can we use the findings to determine psak (e.g. ancient mikvaot, techelet, Tefillin, the weight of a shekel) Watch part two here Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, October 3rd, […]
Davening at Kivrei Avot
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What are the sources for and against davening at the graves of ancestors or tzadikim? What are we meant to do at Kever Rachel? Are we asking her to daven for us, are we addressing her or are we merely davening in proximity? 5 sources for and 5 sources against davening at Kivrei Avot. Download […]
Davening to and through Malachim
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In the Selichot alone (notably in מכניסי רחמים) we address the malachim (angels) 22 times. The Rambam vehemently opposes such a practice in his introduction to Perek Chelek. The Rambam understands that the essence of Avodah Zarah is praying to an intermediary. On the other hand, Rashi seems to indicate that we do pray to […]
Segulot
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The Torah warns against superstitious practices and says to go to the leaders instead. What are the problems with superstitious practices? The kabbalistic (Ramban and others) and rational/philosophical approaches (Rambam and others). גורל הגר”א “פסוק לי פסוקיך” Download the mekorot here Sponsored in memory of Esther bat Meijer on her Yahrzeit, Tzom Gedaliah. May her […]
Shaving and Shavers in Halacha (Part 2)
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Listen to part 1 Electric shavers in halacha. How close a shave is permissible? The Gemara says the prohibition related to shaving is using a razor (תער) and destroying the hair (לא תשחיתו) as opposed to cutting. What if only 1 criterion applies? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, August 22nd, […]
Shaving and Shavers in Halacha (Part 1)
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Do Jews have to have beards and if not, what can be used to remove them? A shaved head as an ancient sign of slavery. What are the פאות – corners – of the head that cannot be “rounded”? What area is halachically defined as the beard (זקן)? What kind of shaving is prohibited? What […]
The Mechitza – Three Models (Part Two)
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Is a mechitza meant to merely separate men and women or to prevent them from seeing one another? Three עזרת נשים models, current and historical – a balcony, a separate section, or a separate shul. The Chatam Sofer, the Seridei Eish, and Rav Moshe Feinstein. Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, […]
The Mechitza: Three Halachic Reasons
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What is the origin for the mechitza if it isn’t codified in any of the major halachic works? Three halachic reasons for having a mechitza in a synagogue/shul. Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, August 1st, 2018, 20 Av 5778