Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Blog Has Moved

After a great get-together last night, we are ready to move the blog to a new format that has more functionality and is more esthetically pleasing. Please change your browser bookmarks to this website: All new posts will be there only. All old posts will remain here and there.

Note that, in the past, there have been complaints about changes. That is why I gathered a focus group to test out the new blog. I received a lot of good feedback and made changes to the format based on it. However, the response was overwhelmingly favorable. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments to the Welcome post on the new blog.


Comments on old posts will stay here. The Disqus comments will slowly be copied to the new blog while the Haloscan/JS-Kit comments will remain here. That way everyone will be able to access all old comments. Just please give me some time to migrate all the comments. I will begin with the most recent posts so the conversation can continue on the new blog.

Weekly Links

Rules: link

  • Drug bust at Israel airport, Hasidic Jews arrested (time for another Tehillim gathering?): link
  • The cost of being Jewish: link
  • Rabbinic group’s resolution expands women’s role: link

  • Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    Parashah Roundup: Matos-Masei 5770

    by Steve Brizel

    The Book of Memories
  • R Berel Wein suggests why the Torah records the names of the stops and encampments of the Jewish People: link
  • R Shlomoh Riskin explains why the Torah uses Shevatim and Matos: link
  • The Nesivos Shalom, as explicated by R Yitzchak Adlestein, explains why Parshas Maasei is a mission statement for every Jew: link

  • Top Ten Signs You Read Hirhurim Too Much

    As presented by Joel Rich

    Courtesy of R. Moshe Schapiro, Gaava"d of the Gottesman Library.

    Welcome to the Hirhurim Dinner

    This slide show is going on in the background right now.

    Get-Together: Today

    Today is the day. Information here: link

    Even if you have not RSVP'ed, you can just walk in.

    Note that we are in the midst of a heat wave. There will be plenty of water but please dress business casual. There is no need for jackets or suits, although I will be wearing a tuxedo.

    Please try to daven Mincha beforehand but if you cannot, the shul will have an 8:20 minyan.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Is Creativity Possible in the Information Age?

    We live in an age where more information is available with greater ease than ever before. This applies to Torah just as much as any other subject, perhaps even more. The ingathering of exiles that broke down (to some degree) communal barriers, the relatively low cost of publication thanks to printing technology, the electronic revolution that opens entire libraries through your computer, and the widespread wealth that allows people to take advantage of these technologies offer unprecedented amounts. But is all this information stifling?

    Shabbat Mevarchim

    By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

    There is an ancient custom to bless the upcoming Jewish month on the Shabbat which precedes Rosh Chodesh. These Shabbatot when the new month is blessed are referred to as “Shabbat Mevarchim”. A central feature of this prayer is the public announcement of the exact time the new moon, known as the “molad”, is set to appear.[1] The molad is the exact moment of the moon’s renewal. Recall that at the concluding moments of every lunar cycle the moon is positioned directly between the earth and the sun and is completely invisible.

    Monday, July 05, 2010

    Get-Together: This Wednesday

    This Wednesday July 7th is the Hirhurim get-together/dinner (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5). All readers, commenters and friends of the blog are invited to this free event. Free mugs and trinkets will be available, while supplies last.

    Please RSVP to the event using this online form: link.

    Sunday, July 04, 2010

    Drinking Wine During the Nine Days and the Authority of the Shulchan Aruch

    Guest post by Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz

    The Shulchan Aruch records a tradition to refrain from drinking wine during the period of the nine days leading up to Tishah be-Av. In a recent lecture delivered in Teaneck, Prof. Daniel Sperber argued that the entire passage in the Shulchan Aruch is based on a faulty interpretation of a passage in the Talmud Yerushalmi (Sperber’s full analysis of this issue appears in his monumental work, Minhagei Yisrael).

    Friday, July 02, 2010

    Weekly Links

    Rules: link

  • 'The End of Men' ... in Judaism?: link
  • New issue of Jewish Review of Books: link
  • We can make a difference in our children’s lives: link

  • Thursday, July 01, 2010

    Audio Roundup C

    by Joel Rich

  • Rabbi Shmuel Marcus -Birthdays and Yahrtzeits: link

    With the 100th audioroundup I thought it appropriate to lead with this shiur which contains some positive and negative opinions concerning "celebrating" birthdays and yahrtzeits – bottom line use/view as a positive opportunity for introspection and future positive impact. (Kach Mkublani mbeit avi abba zll"hh)

  • Quick Takes

    Does the internet make you dumber?
    A few weeks ago, much was made of a new book which claims that technology makes people less able to think critically and concentrate. The hype did not impress me. What we're dealing with is an onslaught of information and people have to develop internal filters. You have to know when to turn everything off and, when it's on, how to find the good information while avoiding the bad. Even before the internet, many people procrastinated, had trouble focusing, and ignored their spouses and children. It's hard to blame that on the internet.

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