Annual Conference on the Status of Women in Israel Raises Difficult Questions


The 13th annual conference was held on Thursday, March 14, 2019, with the generous support of Professor Alice Shalvi, former Rector and Acting President of Schechter. Among the speakers were women leading the successful effort to pass a law that incriminates consumers of prostitution. The law was passed at the end of 2018, shortly before the upcoming elections to the Knesset were declared. The new law will come into force within 16 months, together with a rehabilitation program for women involved in prostitution, and will impose fines on consumers. Israel is the eighth country in the world to legislate such a law.

How Should a Person Repent for Causing an Accidental Death? Volume 12, Number 2 February 2018


Question: If a Jew causes the accidental death of another person, what can he or she do in order to repent for that action?
Responsum: In Genesis, Chapter 4, Cain kills Abel in a fit of jealousy. God punishes him by sending him into exile (v. 12 ff). The punishment of exile was later used by the bible to punish accidental homicide. If Reuven killed Shimon by accident, Reuven had to flee to a city of refuge and stay there until the High Priest died. (1) The main purpose of this exile was not teshuvah or repentance, but to prevent the relatives of Shimon from killing Reuven (Numbers 35: 11-12; Deut. 4:42; Joshua 20:3 ff.).

The Complexities of Purim


Purim is a holiday whose meaning is shrouded in mystery. The only clear element is what we are commanded to do on Purim as set forth at the end of the Scroll of Esther: read the Megilla, hold a festive meal, and give gifts to the poor. This last mitzvah is not an administrative detail of a system of social justice. Yes, the Jewish people are commanded to pay a tax of half a shekel, as we read onShabbat Shekalim, the Shabbat preceding Rosh Chodesh Adar. But gifts to the poor are another matter; giving charity is an expression of the direct, mutual economic responsibility between people.