Women, Tefillin, and the Rise of the Rav

לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה: וְלֹא מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲבָר לָנוּ אֶל עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה: דברים ל:יב-יג

It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” (Deut. 30:12-13)

My previous post publicized a recent letter (PDF) authored by Rabbi Hershel Schachter of Yeshiva University. At the time of posting I did not have time for a thorough analysis, but several people took offense at my initial glib reactions on social media, calling it various forms of “disrespectful” or “not nice.” While I found these responses to be somewhat ironic given that R. Schachter himself used his letter to delegitimize those with whom he disagrees by comparing them to Korach and stating that they violate yehareg ve’al ya’avor, the rebuke is nevertheless well taken. Given his perceived stature in the Orthodox community, R. Schachter’s letter deserves a thorough analysis, as I’ve done before regarding his approach to Jewish law, especially as it pertains to the imposition of select religious authority.

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Rabbi Hershel Schachter on Women Wearing Tefillin

I recently received the following missive from Rabbi Hershel Schachter regarding the recent controversy regarding women wearing tefillin. I do not have time at present to translate or comment, but the full text is included in the post below with the original PDF available here (errors in the transcription/formatting are mine alone).
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Kosher Kitchen Crash Course 2 – Dishes and Ovens (Sources Only)

With apologies to my loyal followers, the audio from tonight’s Kosher Kitchen Crash Course will not be uploaded as the recorder died midway through the class. It is particularly unfortunate since it was, for me at least, a great deal of fun. Still, I will upload the source sheet as it may be useful for those who are interested. It is conceivable I will give both parts of the class again at some point in the future.

Kosher Kitchen Crash Course 2 – Dishes and Ovens Sources (PDF)

Posted in Current Jewish Questions.

Ep. 139 Laws of Shabbat 10

This class concludes Chapter 6 of Maimonides’ Laws of Shabbat, discussing employment of and partnerships with non-Jews on Shabbat.

Laws of Shabbat 10

Posted in Laws of Shabbat.

Ep. 138 Kosher Kitchen Crash Course 1 – Theory and Definitions

Rabbi Yuter begins his Kosher Kitchen Crash Course with an overview of the theory of how kashrut works, focusing on examples most relevant for maintaining a kosher kitchen.

Kosher Kitchen Crash Course 1 – Theory and Definitions Sources (PDF)

Kosher Kitchen Crash Course 1 – Theory and Definitions

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Ep. 137 Laws of Shabbat 09 – Amira L’Akum 1

This class covers chapter 6 of Maimondes’ Laws of Shabbat, introducing the prohibition of “amira l’akum.”

Laws of Shabbat 09 – Amira L’Akum 1

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Ep. 136 Laws of Shabbat 08 – Shabbat Candles and Preparation

Rabbi Yuter’s class begins Chapter 5 of Rambam’s Laws of Shabbat, including a discussion on the liminal state of “bein hashemashot” and its halakhic implications.

Laws of Shabbat 08 – Shabbat Candles and Preparation

Posted in Laws of Shabbat.

Ep. 135 Laws of Shabbat 07 – Hatmana

This installment of Laws of Shabbat Chapter 4, discussing the rabbinic prohibition of hatmana.

Laws of Shabbat 07 – Hatmana

Posted in Laws of Shabbat.

Ep. 134 Laws of Shabbat 06

In this relatively short class, Rabbi Yuter completes chapter 3 of Rambam’s Laws of Shabbat covering the topic of leaving food to cook on Shabbat.

Laws of Shabbat 06

Posted in Laws of Shabbat.

Ep. 133 Current Jewish Questions 40 – Egalitarianism

Rabbi Josh Yuter presents his framework for understanding the controversial topic of Egalitarianism in Judaism, using Biblical and Rabbinic Laws to define the parameters of the Torah’s ethical imperatives.

Current Jewish Questions 40 – Egalitarianism Sources (PDF)

Current Jewish Questions 40 – Egalitarianism

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