Articles by Daniel Shlian

Editor’s Thoughts: Nature and Its Discontents

  The word “nature” is rich with differing meanings. When a chemist describes something as “natural,” a purveyor of organic food products might disagree[i]. One person’s proclivity in any number of realms might be described as unnatural by those who do not share them, but is ... 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 →

Who Has the Last Word on God’s Word? “Not in Heaven” and the Oral Law

One of the most fundamental axioms of the rabbinic tradition in Judaism is that of the preeminence of the Oral Law over its Written counterpart. The halakhic system codified in the Talmud often makes little or no effort to reconcile its conclusions with the plain meanings of the Pentateuchal ... Read more →