Blog Posts - Jewish Law



Jewish Law Prohibits Castration of any Male Animal (or Human)

Ben Zoma was asked: 'Is it permitted to castrate a Dog?' He replied: "'Neither shall you do this in  your land', - this means, to no one (including a Dog) that is in your land shall you do this to."- Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 14b Lucky Dog!
by The Judeo-Christian Tradition on Jun 19, 2016

Why Jewish Law Two Thousand Years Ago Abolished the Death Penalty

The reason civilized nations abolished the death penalty was for the sake of the wrongfully convicted, not for the sake of the truly guilty.
by Planck's Constant on May 28, 2016

The Difference between Jewish and Muslim Missionaries

When subjects are not convinced by logical argument to convert, Muslims use more persuasive tactics.
by Planck's Constant on Oct 19, 2015

An Actual Conversation Re: Women Dancing With a Torah on Simhat Torah

Arguments over women dancing with a Sefer Torah on Simhat Torah are by no means new. I had one memorable exchange way back in 2002 when I was doing my rabbinic internship at The Bridge Shul in Washington Heights. The Orthodox communal landscape of Wa...
by YUTOPIA on Oct 4, 2015

An Actual Conversation Re: Women Dancing With a Torah on Simhat Torah

Arguments over women dancing with a Sefer Torah on Simhat Torah are by no means new. I had one memorable exchange way back in 2002 when I was doing my rabbinic internship at The Bridge Shul in Washington Heights. The Orthodox communal landscape of Wa...
by YUTOPIA on Oct 4, 2015

The Eighteen Minute Matzah Myth

Compared to Judaism’s regular dietary laws, the rules for being Kosher for Passover are decidedly stricter. Not only is the punishment for consuming chametz the more severe karet (Ex. 12:15, 12:19), but the chametz is prohibited even in trace a...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 29, 2015

The Eighteen Minute Matzah Myth

Compared to Judaism's regular dietary laws, the rules for being Kosher for Passover are decidedly stricter. Not only is the punishment for consuming chametz the more severe karet (Ex. 12:15, 12:19), but the chametz is prohibited even in trace amounts...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 29, 2015

Reviewing Rabbinic Oversight: A Response to Rabbi Jeffrey Fox

Rabbi Jeffrey Fox recently published a teshuvah regarding the presence of the male Beit Din at the mikvah immersion of a female convert. My response came out to over 20 pages with footnotes and formatting, which I feel would be as annoying to read as...
by YUTOPIA on Dec 11, 2014

The Sixth Commandment is Not About Killing

According to Jewish Law a person who believes himself moral by not killing to save a life is a pious fool and is not simply a danger to his community or village or even his country, but to the whole world.
by Planck's Constant on Aug 27, 2014

Lord, If You Are Willing

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”(Matthew 8:2)Here we have a leper who didn't hesitant to interrupt Jesus with his needs. His disease made him desperate. He had been ostracized...
by Enjoy Work As Leisure on Jun 9, 2014

Halakha vs. Halakhic Gerrymandering - With Visual Aids

Religious Jews often talk about halakhah, and by their self-identification will attempt to frame their practices within a halakhic framework, but few if any can offer a logically coherent or consistent system to describe how halakhah is supposed to w...
by YUTOPIA on May 12, 2014

Halakha vs. Halakhic Gerrymandering - With Visual Aids

Religious Jews often talk about halakhah, and by their self-identification will attempt to frame their practices within a halakhic framework, but few if any can offer a logically coherent or consistent system to describe how halakhah is supposed to w...
by YUTOPIA on May 12, 2014

The Conceits of "Consensus" in Halakhic Rhetoric

Introduction Regular readers of halakhic literature will inevitably encounter appeals to "consensus," either of a select sample of halakhic decisiors, frequently using the Hebrew idiom "rov poskim," or of a community's popular perceptions. The distin...
by YUTOPIA on Apr 6, 2014

The Conceits of "Consensus" in Halakhic Rhetoric

Introduction Regular readers of halakhic literature will inevitably encounter appeals to "consensus," either of a select sample of halakhic decisiors, frequently using the Hebrew idiom "rov poskim," or of a community's popular perceptions. The distin...
by YUTOPIA on Apr 6, 2014

The Conceits of “Consensus” in Halakhic Rhetoric

Introduction Regular readers of halakhic literature will inevitably encounter appeals to “consensus,” either of a select sample of halakhic decisiors, frequently using the Hebrew idiom “rov poskim,” or of a community’s p...
by YUTOPIA on Apr 6, 2014

The True Meaning of the Word Adam

In the Talmud there is nothing racist or personal, just legal.
by Planck's Constant on Mar 28, 2014

Obama Appointments Are Against Jewish Law

Thousands of years ago Jewish law prohibited exactly what Obama is doing: appointing those who are unsuitable for the job they are appointed to because of money donations.
by Planck's Constant on Mar 21, 2014

On Tone and Traditions - A Followup to Fallout

My recent post Women, Tefillin, and the Rise of the Rav seems to have struck a nerve in the Orthodox community. By far, it has elicited the greatest response, and divisiveness, than anything else I have written to this point. For those who have not b...
by YUTOPIA on Feb 25, 2014

On Tone and Traditions – A Followup to Fallout

My recent post Women, Tefillin, and the Rise of the Rav seems to have struck a nerve in the Orthodox community. By far, it has elicited the greatest response, and divisiveness, than anything else I have written to this point. For those who have not b...
by YUTOPIA on Feb 25, 2014

Women, Tefillin, and the Rise of the Rav

לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה: וְלֹא מֵעֵבֶר לַ...
by YUTOPIA on Feb 10, 2014


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