Issue 10.1 Derekh Ha-Limmud

In the newly published Toras HoRav volume titled Halakhic Morality, Rabbi Soloveitchik distinguishes between two aspects of Jewish life: a derekh ha-hayyim and signon ha-hayyim. The derekh ha-hayyim, way of life, is universal. As signified by the Shulhan Arukh, each Jew needs to follow the basic path of halakha. There are no exceptions. However, the signon ha-hayyim, style of religious life, provides the opportunity for an individual to imprint their own style onto their avodat Hashem.  Read more →

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Issue 10.1 Symposium

Kol Hamevaser is excited to announce that this year, we are launching a new section featuring a symposium on issues pertinent to the Yeshiva University undergraduate community. Contributors to these symposiums will include Yeshiva University faculty members and thinkers who will share their ... Read more →

Issue 10.1 Derekh Ha-Limmud

In the newly published Toras HoRav volume titled Halakhic Morality, Rabbi Soloveitchik distinguishes between two aspects of Jewish life: a derekh ha-hayyim and signon ha-hayyim. The derekh ha-hayyim, way of life, is universal. As signified by the Shulhan Arukh, each Jew needs to follow the ... Read more →

Orthodoxy, Unorthodoxy, and Paradox: Review of “Faith Shattered and Restored: Judaism in the Postmodern Age,” by Rav Shagar

Like so many American Orthodox Jews, I had scarcely heard of Rabbi Shimon Gershon Rosenberg, or “Rav Shagar,” until relatively recently, despite having spent two years learning in a hesder yeshiva. In fact, I had never heard of him at all while in Israel, but began to slowly take notice as, ... Read more →

An Interview with Rabbi Saul Berman on “The Status of Women in Halakhic Judaism”: 44 years Later

This year we are launching a new section containing either interviews or essays revisiting articles from the post-World War II era that were groundbreaking and formative for our community. Kol Hamevaser writers will examine the influence of these articles and provide information and analysis ... Read more →

Conflict and Paradox: Balancing Emotion, Intellect, and Neo-Hassidut

  The following is a response to the Volume 10, Issue 1 Symposium. Click here for the symposium prompt and links to other responses.    When one approaches a piece of the Rav’s writings, the reader must be aware that in that context he may not be presented with the full picture. ... Read more →

The Rav Between Halakhic Men and Lachrymose Lubavitchers

The following is a response to the Volume 10, Issue 1 Symposium. Click here for the symposium prompt and links to other responses.    Rabbi Soloveitchik’s telling of the well-known anecdote of his father, Rav Moshe, and the Lubavitcher ba’al tokea plays a curious role in Halakhic Man. ... Read more →

Blowing and Bawling

The following is a response to the Volume 10, Issue 1 Symposium. Click here for the symposium prompt and links to other responses.    Halakhic Man was not intended as an exhaustive account of Judaism. The “halakhic man” is an ideal type, as the Rav explains at the beginning. The Rav ... Read more →

The Mishnah Berurah’s Treatment of Kabbalistic Sources

Prior to the emergence of the Zohar in the early fourteenth century, the halakhic system that guided the normative behavior of practicing Jews remained closed, allowing for modification or additions only through terminology and methodology that neatly aligned with its specific fashions. Due to ... Read more →

Midrash and Intertextuality: Stringing like Beads the Words of Torah

In Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah, Ben Azzai is described as stringing the words of Torah together like beads, from the Torah to the Prophets, and from the Prophets to the Writings. Sitting and interpreting, with fire blazing around him, Ben Azzai tells R. Akiva, “I am sitting and stringing [like ... Read more →

Of Concepts and Precision: Understanding Torat Brisk

During the lifetime of Rabbi Hayyim Soloveitchik (1853-1918), a revolution occurred in the world of Talmud Torah. Despite the well known aversion of the leaders of this movement to publish, what has been termed the “Brisker method” caught fire in yeshivot and quickly became an extremely ... Read more →

Talmud Torah and Biblical Scholarship

The question of Orthodox responses to modern Biblical scholarship is not new. As early as 1960, Tradition published an article surveying the Orthodox attitudes thus far. The question remains relevant for a number of reasons. First, new Biblical scholarship is constantly produced through ... Read more →

Why and How We Study Mahshava

In the fall of 2011, I was asked to teach a two-semester course in mahshava to all first year semikha students in Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS). Previously, the curriculum for ordination at RIETS focused on Talmud and halakha, and included practical rabbinic courses as ... Read more →

Letter from the Editor

In the newly published Toras HoRav volume titled Halakhic Morality, Rabbi Soloveitchik distinguishes between two aspects of Jewish life: a derekh ha-hayyim and signon ha-hayyim. The derekh ha-hayyim, way of life, is universal. As signified by the Shulhan Arukh, each Jew needs to follow the ... Read more →

Letter from the Editor

For my post high school gap year I studied in an Israeli Midrasha. While at first I struggled to catch on to classes in hebrew and grappled with cultural differences like casual lice breakouts, army time, and the consumption of whole cucumbers for breakfast, I eventually grew to love the ... Read more →