Friday, February 12, 2010

New Periodical: Hakirah vol. 9 (Winter 2010)

There is a new issue of Hakirah vol. 9 (Winter 2010):

  • No, Rashi Was Not A Corporealist by R. Saul Zucker - Responds to R. Natan Slifkin's article in the previous issue. Brings proof from other comments of Rashi that he was not a corporealist and from history that such a position was uncommon among scholars. Most significantly, points out that the accusation of corporealism often meant an impure philosophical conception of God and not actual corporealism.

  • Click here to read more
  • Rashi's Stance On Corporealism: A Response To Rabbi Zucker by R. Natan Slifkin - An attempt at a point-by-point refutation of R. Zucker's response. I find it unconvincing, although I think they are both wrong for assuming that Rashi had a consistent method and that you can infer philosophical principles based on the method he applies in any given case. R. Zucker tells me that he is preparing a response to R. Slifkin's response to his response to the original article.

  • To Flee Or To Stay? by Joe Bobker - A facinating discussion of the dilemma facing Jewish leaders before and during the Holocaust, with plenty of detailed stories. Main point: These were people trying their best to do the right thing in a very confusing time.

  • "They Could Say It, We Could Not": Defining The Charge Of Heresy by R. Natan Slifkin - Arguing that minority opinions on matter of faith can be dismissed by consensus and deemed heretical, and that communities can define the beliefs that are acceptable for members.

  • The Respect We Owe Each Other - For The Sake Of Our Children by Dr. Aharon Hersh Fried - Parents complain about teachers who undermine them and vice versa. Tries to explain the problem as a lack of understanding and communication, and offers practical recommendations to resolve this.

  • Get-Refusal and the Agreement for Mutual Respect: Israel Today by Toenet Rachel Levmore - Advocates for rabbinic prenuptial agreements in Israel but fails to note that R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv rejects its validity and R. Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg has only approved its used outside of Israel. (UPDATE: Levmore contacted me and claims that R. Elyashiv's position has never been publicly confirmed and that R. Goldberg has approved the Agreement for Mutual Respect.)

  • Mourning Abusive Parents by Dr. Joel B. Wolowelsky - Psychological insight to the halakhic and personal dilemma of mourning abusive parents, adapted from his forthcoming book from OU Press.

  • Mishneh Torah - Science and Art by Asher Benzion Buchman - A fascinating article examining non-halakhic aspects of the Mishneh Torah, mainly the implication of the book's structure.

  • "To Know the Forbidden and the Permitted": An Analysis of Rambam's View of the Purpose and Goals of Talmud Study by R. Yitzchol Shapiro - According to the Rambam, you should learn Torah in order to know the practical halakhah.

  • Anatomy and the Doctrine of the Seven-Chamber Uterus in Rabbinic Literature by Dr. Edward Reichman - Another gem by Dr. Reichman in his unique style of explaining rabbinic writings based on an historical study of science.

  • Counting Blessings: The Role of Numbers by Sheldon Epstein and Yonah Wilamowsky - I don't know. I like Math; I like Torah. I don't like mixing them together even though it looks like this article resolved a Torah question.

  • Abraham Ibn Ezra's Non-Literal Interpretations by R. Norman Strickman - Conclusively demonstrates that Ibn Ezra's commentary is "a literal interpretation augmented when necessary by philosophy, astrology, and even midrashic interpretations."

  • השמות המיוחדים מאת ר' יוסף יצחק ליפשיץ - According to the Rambam, the biblical prohibition against saying God's name in vain only applies to the Tetragrammaton and there is a rabbinic prohibition against saying the name Ad-nai. Other opinions are stricter.

  • מכתב מן הרב משה סאלאוויציק אל הרב דוב כ"ץ - A letter by R. Moshe Soloveichik to R. Dov Katz about his son's candidacy for the position of Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv.

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