Saturday, July 04, 2020


An Open Letter to Mr. Jamaal Bowman

Dear Mr. Bowman,

News reports indicate that you were recently endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose record on Israel is deeply distressing and disappointing. Following your expression of gratitude regarding her endorsement, I began looking into your position vis-à-vis Israel.


Justifying OU-Certified Dairy English Muffins

A Possible Problem With Dairy English Muffins

Chazal (Pesachim 36a) decreed that bread must be pareve, lest we eat dairy bread with meat or meat bread with dairy. Accordingly, since dairy English muffins are bread, they should be forbidden by virtue of this rabbinic decree.


The Battle That Was Not a Battle

Parshat Shelach

The well-known story related to us in our haftarah this week, the story of Yehoshua’s spies and the events that took place in the city of Yericho even before its conquest, parallel the primary story found in our parsha. In past articles, we discussed some of the differences between


‘You and the Stranger Shall Be Alike Before the Lord’

“There shall be one law for you and for the resident stranger; it shall be a law for all time throughout the ages. You and the stranger shall be alike before the Lord; the same ritual and the same rule shall apply to you and to the stranger who resides among you” (Numbers 15:15-16).

The Torah in


Insights Into the Plague of ‘Dever’

We are all used to this word as the fifth plague. But it only appears one time in that plague. It has a life of its own elsewhere in Chumash and Nach.

1. In the fifth plague, it is only mentioned one time, at Ex. 9:3. But it is mentioned at 5:3 (pre-plagues), and at 9:15 (plague of hail).

In the


The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Reviewing: “Tribal Blueprints: Twelve Brothers and the Destiny of Israel,” by Nechama Price. Maggid Books. 2020. English. Hardcover. 308 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1592645459.

With a few rare exceptions, perhaps Iyov being the most prominent, all of the Biblical figures were very real people.


Insights Into Learning

Reviewing: “Tzurba M’Rabanan—Volumes 1-5,” by Benzion Algazi. Doron Podlashuk, Eli Ozarowski, translators. Mizrachi Press. 2019. Paperback. English. 344 pages.

One of the challenges of learning Talmud is that it is not organized linearly. And if one wants to master an entire


The Torah: A Love Story

Highlighting themes from: “The Narrow Halakhic Bridge: A Vision of Jewish Law in the Postmodern Age,” by Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth. Urim Publications. 2020. English. Hardcover. 511 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1602804074.

According to tradition, the Shavuot holiday celebrates the day the Jewish


Yeshiva President Rabbi Lamm, Harrison Ford and Humility

This article originally appeared in the L.A. Jewish Journal and is reprinted with permission. https://jewishjournal.com/judaism/317044/rabbi-lamm-harrison-ford-the-meaning-of-humility/


On Racism

Like many of you, I watched the George Floyd video and felt sick to my stomach. Why again? Why have things still not changed? The shock gave way to anger—at the police officer, the disregard for human dignity and the sheer injustice of it all. And then came the sense of helplessness. What can I do? This is too much. After giving much


YUConnects ‘Zoom With Whom?’ Offers Virtual Dating Opportunities

What happens when you mix five eligible men with five compatible women in a lively Zoom conversation? Lots of dates, for one thing. YUConnects’ “Zoom with Whom?” virtual social events have been on a roll since Pesach. With an average of four events a week and a remarkable 60% “match rate” (or follow-up dates), this


Bright, Talented Graduates Are Not Defined by Circumstance

Editor's note: This is the text of the address that Rabbi Daniel Alter gave at the Moriah 2020 eighth grade graduation ceremony.


I want to be perfectly frank with you. I had a whole graduation speech prepared for the unique circumstances of this