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Issue 7.4: Freedom

The first documented Jewish child to grapple with the nature of freedom did not do so through the luxuries of the “question-and-answer” style that typify the Seder night.  The child, Moshe, is born into a world of slavery, cast away by his parents at a young age, and raised in a foreigner’s home.  Though Moshe’s interactions with his new “Egyptian” family are not recorded in the Torah, one can  Read more →

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Editor’s Thoughts: “Every Jewish Boy Deserves a Good Egyptian Education”

The first documented Jewish child to grapple with the nature of freedom did not do so through the luxuries of the “question-and-answer” style that typify the Seder night.  The child, Moshe, is born into a world of slavery, cast away by his parents at a young age, and raised in a ... Read more →

Intermarriage in Second Temple Exilic Biblical Literature

Contemporary American Jews often hear of an “intermarriage crisis,” with reportedly half of Jews marrying outside of their faith. [i] [ii] [iii] The precedent for the Jewish reaction to this phenomenon is rooted in biblical scripture. Yet, even in the Bible, the reaction to intermarriage ... Read more →

The Meaning of “Next Year in Jerusalem”

Jews of all backgrounds are familiar with the phrase “le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim,” “Next Year in Jerusalem.”[i]  It makes two appearances annually in Jewish liturgy: at the conclusion of the Passover Seder and at the conclusion of the Ne’ilah service of Yom Kippur.  ... Read more →

The Philology of Freedom: A Diachronic Analysis of Herut and Hofshiut

Many speak of Pesach as the festival of freedom, but the idea of “freedom” is rather abstract. Like “love,” “happiness” and “goodness,” “freedom” is an axiologically-loaded word whose import we intuitively apprehend yet whose precise meaning remains deceptively difficult to ... Read more →

Biblical Leadership Lessons from Dr. Erica Brown

Reviewed Book: Dr. Erica Brown, Leadership in the Wilderness: Authority and Anarchy in the Book of Numbers  (Jerusalem, Israel: Maggid Books, 2013)   Leadership. Unfortunately, there currently seems to be a lack of this most valuable trait in the Jewish community and the world at large. ... Read more →

Charitable Giving and Shemittat Kesafim: Can They Coexist?

The institution of shemittah, in contrast with the way it has in fact been applied is, to say the least, unusual. Comprising two basic elements—shemittat karka, an obligation to let the land lay fallow, and shemittat kesafim, the requirement to forgive most owed debts—to be put in effect ... Read more →

How Halakhah Solves the Agunah Crisis

On a chilly October evening we rallied outside the home of Albert Srour yelling, “Albert Srour: give your wife a get!” and “Albert Srour: stop the abuse!” ORA (The Organization for the Resolution of Agunot) organized the rally in hopes that that our hollering (or the neighbor’s ... Read more →

From the desk of the Chief Procrastinator: Enough With all the Thinking Already!

K’ol ha-Mevaser was established years ago as the official Jewish thought journal of the Yeshiva University undergraduate student body. For years we have faithfully done our utmost to meet this lofty calling and publish articles which provoke the crania of our captivated and often ... Read more →

A Match Made in Heaven? Part I

Itamar Moishe’le Berel Schwartz Itamar.schwartz@gmail.com; Twitter: @IMSchwarzennager Shiur: The top one-no duh! Plan for life: ??? (ra’bbanus, pre-med or lawyer – what other options are there?) Salary: What’s that? Who I am: What kind of paragraph is this. This is ridiculous. How am I ... Read more →

A Match Made In Heaven? Part II

Ms. Perfect 613 Eidel Maidel Ave. Sunnyville, CA 90209 DOB: Old enough to be mature, but young enough to still know how to have fun. Potty-trained: 18 months! Height: Tall and beautiful, but just a little shorter than you. Family: Qenainah Harah , I have three brothers and two sisters ... Read more →

Breaking News: Man Walks into Stern Beit Midrash

It was a calm morning on Thursday, March 6th in the Stern College 7th floor Beit Midrash. Morning seder was about to begin, and the women of Stern were taking their seats in the Beit Midrash. Then something unusual happened.  Suddenly, completely unannounced and with no forewarning, a man ... Read more →

A Perplexing Guide

How to begin such an analysis?[i] As stated in The Sound of Music, “Start at the very beginning / a very good place to start.”[ii] The beginning of the “Writing Guide” is as follows: “Articles submitted to Kol Hamevaser may be written on topics related or unrelated to the official ... Read more →

Editor’s Thoughts: What Do We Mean When We Say “Next Year in Jerusalem?”

The first figure in Jewish history to lead the Jewish people from exile to redemption is Moshe. When God tasks him with taking the Jews out of Egypt, he initially tries to shirk his mission by claiming that the Jewish people would not believe him.[i] When Moshe finally appears before Bnei ... Read more →

Oblique References to the Philistines in the Story of the Ark’s Relocation to Jerusalem

In the second book of Samuel, King David capitalizes on a period of (temporary) calm by arranging for the relocation of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. There are many independent elements to this narrative, many of them puzzling, and each deserving attention in its own right. Let us begin ... Read more →