Blog Posts - Jewish Law / Halakha



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

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

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

Introduction to the Laws of Eiruvin Series

In my Current Jewish Questions series we recently completed a three part sub-unit covering a basic introduction to the laws of eiruvin. For those interested in a general overview of the laws of eiruvin, I am collecting the links in this convenient po...
by YUTOPIA on Oct 24, 2013

Mainomides' / Rambam's Haggadah

As a public service for those with shorter attention spans, here is the text of Maimonides' Haggadah, which you will notice is slightly abridged from our popular versions. Feel free to compare and extrapolate what does and does not appear in the diff...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 25, 2013

Mainomides’ / Rambam’s Haggadah

As a public service for those with shorter attention spans, here is the text of Maimonides’ Haggadah, which you will notice is slightly abridged from our popular versions. Feel free to compare and extrapolate what does and does not appear in th...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 25, 2013

Hora'at Sha'ah and The Real World Rabbinate

My friend, colleague, former chavruta, and one-time intern at The Stanton Street Shul, Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld was just recognized by The Forward as one of America's Most Inspiring Rabbis. Usually these designations provide recognition for a job well do...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 21, 2013

Hora’at Sha’ah and The Real World Rabbinate

My friend, colleague, former chavruta, and one-time intern at The Stanton Street Shul, Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld was just recognized by The Forward as one of America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis. Usually these designations provide recognition for a job w...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 21, 2013

A Brief Introduction to Yayin Mevushal

With Passover just a few weeks away, many Jews are stocking up wine for the seder’s four cups per person. One question which I often receive is to explain the halakhic distinction between “yayin mevushal” or “cooked wine”...
by YUTOPIA on Mar 10, 2013

Ep. 88 Halakhic Process 11 - Marit Ha'ayin / How Not To Be Seen

Rabbi Yuter challenges the conventional assumptions regarding "marit ha'ayin" and the concern for public perception in Jewish practice. Continue reading →The post Ep. 88 Halakhic Process 11 - Marit Ha'ayin / How Not To Be Seen appeared first on...
by YUTOPIA on Dec 9, 2012


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