Friday, May 20, 2022


Interpreting Extraneous Vavs: Yevamot 68-69

Rabbi Akiva (ben Yosef) and Rabbi Yishmael (ben Elisha), two fourth-generation Amoraim, famously have different approaches to Biblical interpretation. While both developed hermeneutical rules—e.g., Rabbi Akiva expounding miut/ribuy and Rabbi Yishmael expounding kelal/prat (Shevuot 26a)—Rabbi Yishmael is often deemed the more


In Our Hands

הַכֹּל צָפוּי, וְהָרְשׁוּת נְתוּנָה ובְטוֹב הָעוֹלָם נִדּוֹן (אבות ג:טו)

After emphasizing the preciousness of man (Mishnah 14), Rabbi Akiva continues in Mishnah 15 by speaking about the relationship between Hashem’s knowledge of man’s deeds


The Power of the Moadim

The second half of Parshat Emor deals with the chagim, the holidays that populate the Jewish year. Although the chagim are mentioned in a number of other places in the Torah as well, it is in this week’s parsha that the major mitzvot associated with each chag are explicated and discussed. For this reason, these passages are often


The Impact of Weekly Feedback: Building Meaning for Better Teaching

As a math teacher of 9th to 12th grade students, I frequently reflect on how feedback is given in math classes and the contents of that feedback. But I am also a GLC (grade level coordinator, a sort of “grade dean”) for the entire ninth grade. In that role I spend a lot of time talking to students and parents, both those in my classes


The Root for ‘Round’: Ayin-Gimel-Lamed

fEveryone agrees that the root עגל fundamentally means “round” in Tanach. (See, e.g., “agol” at I Kings 7:23.)

But an issue in this root is the word עגל (calf). Is it just a coincidence that this animal has this name? Or can we say that it is called this because of its “rolling and


Where We Belong

A number of years ago, after hailing a cab in Jerusalem and settling in for the ride, I noticed the driver’s name: Chaim Ben Attar.

Chaim Ben Attar?!

“Are you a descendant of the holy Ohr HaChaim?” The sainted Rav Chaim ben Attar, originally of Morocco,


An American Unsung Hero of the Shoah: Stephen Klein

Part I

Against the background of turmoil in post-war Europe, the Vaad Hatzala had been established in November 1939. At the urging of Rabbi Hayyim Ozer Grodzinski, the leading rabbinical authority in Lithuania and world Jewry, Rabbi Eliezer Silver established the Orthodox Rabbis’ Rescue


The Intersection of Historical Precedent and Halacha

Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Even when there is a historic establishment of bad law. One of the unfortunate aspects of the hyper-partisan nature of Congress over the last 40 years, dating back to the congressional hearing of Robert Bork, is the politicizing of the Court. Robert Bork built a philosophy based upon a


A Good Resume Is Crucial

In this column, Eli Garfinkel, owner of Placemint Agency in Lakewood, New Jersey, will be answering your questions about getting a first job, getting a new job, hiring great employees and more.

I am looking for work and haven’t been getting many interviews. I actually do very


Camp Dovid Hockey Announces New Director for Summer 2022

Camp Dovid is proud to announce Eric Gellman as the new camp director. Camp Dovid, founded in 1999 by Rabbi David Beitler, is a five-day hockey “season” where boys are able to play on teams made up of fellow Jewish boys from the tri-state area. Known for his charisma, Rabbi Beitler, z”l


Camp Shalom’s Nosim Division Is Going the Distance

A brand new daily travel camp is being added to Camp Shalom’s extensive summer programming. Nosim Boys and Nosim Girls are for sixth- to eighth-graders who love to get up and go, see the sights, travel to new places, but all with the comfort of returning home each night. Campers will


Bergen County Native Leads Drive For Visionary New Jewish High School in Miami

A rising star in the field of Jewish education, with firm roots in Bergen County, noticed a glaring deficiency in the gamut of Jewish day school options. Fortunately for him, and the rest of the observant American Jewish community, this leader met other leaders who shared his vision and together, they are working

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