Monday, 3 August 2015

Media: Double Standard

Guest Blogger:
R Ben Blech:

I sent this to the NYTimes letters - but of course they wouldn't print it. It needs however to be stressed by all of us in the aftermath of the horrific stabbing:
«Your headline on the horrific stabbing at the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem begins with the description of the assailant as "Ultra-Orthodox." It would suggest a higher level of piety, a greater expression of Orthodox faith - when any Rabbi or scholar of Judaism would tell you this act was the utmost desecration of every Jewish and biblical value. Extremist, fanatic, perverted come to mind as more appropriate prefixes than "Ultra." The Times is usually very careful not to identify ISIS barbarism as exemplifying traditional moderate Islam. I urge you to be equally careful with descriptions for those who bring only shame and disgust to every religious Jew.»

Kol Tuv,

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Off the Path of Orthodox -

Off the Path of Orthodox --By Talia Lavin in The New Yorker--7/31/15

Kol Tuv,

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Even Ho'Ezer Siman 66

Here is a quick outline of some interesting points we discussed re: denominations with regard to
Kessef M'dina vs. Kessef Tzori
KM vs. KTz

1. Value of coins covers:
A. Even Ho'ezer re: K'tubbah
B. Yoreh Dei'ah re: Pidyon habbein
C. Tangentially; Orach Chaim re: Machatzit Hashekel

2. Q: What is status of Machatzit Hashekel?
A: No D'oraito because we use half of KM as opposed to KTz

B. Not even a D'rabbanan because no B'rachah...
C. Ergo a Zecher l'mikdash b'alma
D. Contrast this to S'firat ha'Omer - which is also a Zecher per most Poskim - yet also has a B'rochoh. So it seems to be at least a full-fledged D'rabbanan or even a D'oraito according to some.

3. What kind of Kessef is a K'tbbah for a B'tulah?
A. Rabbenu Tam: 100% D'oraito ergo KTz

B. Rif, Rambam, M'Chabbeir and others: 100% D'rabbanan ergo KM

C. Rosh, Mordechai, and current Minhag Ashk'naz: while the Rabbanan created the k'tubbah, nevertheless they insisted on d'oraito money - KTz. Perhaps this is due to "assu hizzuk l'divreihem". Ergo it is a hybrid.

D. Sheetat Agudah / Maharil as quoted by Rema - needs more elaboration.

4. Pidyon Habbein -
A. Still Mid'oraito
B. Ergo requires KTz

Kol Tuv,

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

JVO Blog: The Distinctiveness of Judaism – Midat Sdom and Sodomy

Jewish Values Online ( is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the denominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members of their Panel of Scholars. Nishmablog, over the years, has also featured the responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. 

Recently, the Jewish Values Online website has offered a new service -- a blog which presents comments on various topics within Judaism and the Jewish world. See

Rabbi Hecht is now also a blogger on this site and will be developing a series entitled  
The Distinctiveness of Judaism

His Second post  
Midat Sdom and Sodomy 
is now available at

Monday, 27 July 2015

Muslim women expresses her support for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount

The Jewish Standard:

A Muslim women expresses her support for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and a peaceful coexistence between all peoples. Notable is the interviewer is Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the activist who survived being shot in an assassination attempt due to his Temple Mount activism. Since his recovery, Glick has redoubled his efforts at building bridges with moderate Muslims who seek a peaceful relationship between the nations.

Kol Tuv,