K’ol ha-Mevaser

No longer will we stand for rumination, meditation, cogitation, and analysis! No longer will we bother with comparisons, contrasts, contradistinctions, and counterfactuals! Henceforth K'ol ha-Mevaser thumbs its nose at the askers of questions, and regards those who attempt to provide answers with general disdain. Henceforth K'ol ha-Mevaser seeks out a new designation as a journal of Jewish unthought!   Read more →

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Latest Articles

The Art of Hope

Imagine someone who lived a century ago receiving a postcard from Jerusalem. She would probably receive that card with all the delight of one who has touched on the exotic, as one who has come as close as she may ever to Jerusalem.  In that moment, the postcard represents the extent of her ... Read more →

Editor’s Thoughts: Old-New Land: Israel’s Intertwined Past and Present

Sefer Melakhim ends with a scene of terrible disaster. The Jews have been starved, beaten and exiled, their former king now a vassal, totally reliant on the King of Babylonia for food, clothing and freedom.[i] But there is consolation at the end of this exile, as Jeremiah promises, there will ... Read more →

Rav Soloveitchik’s Bold Stance on Kedushat Erets Yisrael

One aspect of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s philosophy that distinguishes him from other prominent Orthodox Jewish thinkers is his boldness in challenging conventional ideas while remaining true to halakhic principles. In one such instance, the Rav breaks away from a prominent opinion among ... Read more →

The Har ha-Bayit Dilemma

From my spot in the Beit Midrash at Yeshivat Hakotel, I looked out upon a clear view of Har ha-Bayit each day. I could see the giant, golden dome dominating the mountain, where kohanim and leviim once served, and I gazed out at a mosque where the mizbeah once stood. However, I remained an ... Read more →

Exploring the Connection Between Yitzchak and Shimshon

Do Yitzchak and Shimshon have anything to do with each other? [i] At first glance one would surely think not, considering that the two live several hundred years apart and that their life paths are  polar opposites. Yitzchak lives before the Jewish Nation existed. He leads a fairly quiet life ... Read more →

Fear Factor: Exposure Therapy and the Walls of Jericho

The first Canaanite city which the Israelites capture in the days of Joshua is Jericho. As part of the preparations for conquering this city, the nation receives one of the most memorable, mystifying military commands in its history. Before ordering the people to launch their offensive, God ... Read more →

The Missing Mitsvah: Rambam’s Omission of Yishuv Erets Yisrael

Rambam is famous for his love for the land of Israel, but his omission of the mitsvah of yishuv erets yisrael from one of his most important works is glaring. In his Sefer ha-Mitsvot, where he lists the 613 commandments, Rambam leaves out the mitsvah of yishuv erets yisrael, a mitsvah we would ... Read more →

Lessons in Mishnaic Moderation from R. Benny Lau

Reviewed Book: Binyamin Lau, The Sages, Vol. III: The Galilean Period (Jerusalem, Israel: Maggid Books, 2013) The Sages: Part III is the third installment of Binyamin Lau’s fascinating attempt to paint the lives and deeds of Hazal through descriptions found in the oral tradition. The first ... Read more →

Interview with R. Yosef Blau: Religious Zionism Today

R. Blau serves as a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS, and is the senior Mashgiach Ruchani at both Yeshiva and Stern colleges. R. Blau is also the current president of the Religious Zionists of America, the American branch of the World Mizrachi movement. AS: What does being a religious Zionist mean to you? ... Read more →

Jerusalem: A City Which Turns to Gold

Jerusalem is considered a sacred city by members of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Its history is rich, filled with ancient artifacts from all eras and cultures. Jerusalem is the epicenter of multiculturalism. However, it has also been the sight of destruction for thousands of years, a ... Read more →

Editor’s Thoughts

Music is a ubiquitous human experience. In the modern world especially, we are inundated with an endless flow of sounds ranging from the simplistic to the intricate, which elicit a full spectrum of emotional reactions. As Jews, we must ask ourselves how to react to the daily experience of ... Read more →

The Magic of Zemirot

A similar scene has played out in my life hundreds of times.  The setting is sometimes my camp’s dining room, a high school retreat, a seminary Shabbaton, or, more recently, Koch auditorium in Stern.  The people are different, yet the roles that they play are similar.  It is the middle of ... Read more →

Is Teshuva Fair? Two Contemporary Views Regarding the Mechanisms of Repentance

Ever since we were children our teachers have taught us to believe that God will forgive our misdeeds if we perform teshuvah. Year after year we review this cardinal teaching of our faith, so that by the time we have graduated out of the Jewish day school system we practically take it for ... Read more →

Jewish Music for Carnegie Hall

The cliché goes, “Music is a language of the heart.”  As a Yeshiva University music major, I believe this claim as long as we take out the last three words.  To say that music only speaks to the heart is like saying that Torah only speaks to the mind.  Like any other language, music can [...]