Category: Jewish Culture

As word gets around of my proficiency and legality in performing weddings I’ve been getting more questions about the laws of weddings and keeping track of everything which is required. I complied a checklist for the first wedding I officiated and I’ve already needed to forward much of the contents a few times to other people asking similar questions. So once again as a combination of personal convenience and public service, I give to you the Jewish Wedding Checklist.
I’m going to assume that you have the big things like a wedding date, a hall, F.L.O.P.1 (or F.L.O.P.S2 as the case may be) taken care of and I’m going to focus on the aspects relating to the actual marriage ceremony. Note that some of the things will be taken care of by the mesader kiddushin or the caterer/wedding hall. While this should be useful in preparing for the ceremony and knowing what to expect, all halakhic matters should be discussed with your mesader kiddushin.

Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha

You might remember the post we did a while back on extravegant Bat Mitzvahs. Today’s Fark links to a cameramen’s detailed account of the $10 Million Bat Mitzvah held at…

Jewish Culture News & Events

Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha Jewish Thought, Theology, and Machshava

Menachem Butler has an excellent post on the current non-existence of Hamevaser. Having been involved with Hamevaser during a significant transitional period, I’d like to add a personal perspective as to the how’s and why’s Hamevaser is no more.

Academia Jewish Culture

Nine years ago Edah entered into the Modern Orthodox world with much fanfare and controversy. Touting the slogan “The Courage to be Modern and Orthodox,” Edah seemed poised to combat the perception of Orthodoxy moving increasingly “towards the right” with Yeshiva University leading the way.1 Those against Edah likened them to Korach or Conservative Judaism in breaking away from “the tradition.” Edah’s supporters felt they finally had a voice within the often stifling Orthodox world and optimism for effecting actual changes in their communities. The dissension was so great that there were even rumblings of a formal schism within Orthodoxy. Regardless of how one considered Edah, there was a near universal feeling that Edah was going to be significant.

Nine years later, we have the ingenious revelation that Edah is closing down its operations. For the past few years it seemed evident that Edah as an organization had been in a gradual decline. The initial lavish conventions held in eventually became glorified yimei iyyiun at the Skirball center. Aside from producing a consistently solid journal, Edah had been relatively quiet in terms of its programming and contributions in the Modern Orthodox world.
Considering all the hype which has followed Edah, its inconspicuous closing seems anticlimactic though not altogether unexpected. Today on YUTOPIA, we take a brief look back at our experiences with Edah and offer our take of what once the most controversial organization in Modern Orthodoxy.

Jewish Culture

A new Miramax film Keeping Up With The Steins explores the increasingly ostentatious world of Jewish celebrations. From what I can pick up from the trailer, the Adam Fiedler (Jeremy…

Jewish Culture

Jack Abramoff is about to be sentenced for that whole messy lobbyist scandal thing. Not surprisingly, here comes the support from the rabbi: The former Republican superlobbyist may have fleeced…

Jewish Culture

There’s a great article in the L.A. Times about a diamond deal gone bad. What makes this so fascinating is that the diamond industry is one of the few which…

Jewish Culture Law

To answer the question that’s been on everyone’s mind, I did not get hammered at Sunday’s Chag Hasemikha (although I probably could have were I keeping score). For the most…

Academia Jewish Culture Personal

Thanks to a mistake in one of my brackets this year1 I had the following she’eilah: Question: Are you allowed to have North Carolina winning a Texas vs. UConn final?2…

Jewish Culture Jewish Law / Halakha