Thoughts for the New Year: “Man Was Created on Rosh Hashanah” and “Of Uman, Community and 21st Century ‘I'”


With the high holidays approaching, the Schechter Institutes wish you and your loved ones a most festive and meaningful holiday experience. Dr. Tomer Persico, a respected researcher and lecturer on contemporary spiritual culture and frequent contributor to Israeli media, joined the Schechter faculty last year with the launch of our newest M.A. specialization – Spiritual Education. He is also a popular lecturer in TALI’s spiritual education program – Neshama Yetiera.

Is it permissible to practice reading the Torah from a Torah Scroll? Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin


Is it permissible for a child to practice reading the Torah from aSefer Torah [Torah scroll] in preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony? A rabbi wrote to me that “there is a problem halakhically to take a Torah out when it’s not for the need of thetzibur [=congregation]”. Any thoughts on whether this is forbidden?

The Status of Women in Jewish Law: a Dialogue with Shmuel Rosner in the LA Jewish Journal Responsa in a Moment: Volume 7, Issue No. 9, July 2013


In late 2012, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies published my new book The Status of Women in Jewish Law: Responsa. The following dialogue about that book was published in the LA Jewish Journal in June-July 2013. Headings have been added here at the beginning of each exchange. DG

Is it Permissible to Change the Wording about the Sacrifices in the Middle Blessing of the Musaf Service? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 5, Issue No. 3, January 2011


In light of the fact that many modern Jews do not feel comfortable asking God to restore the sacrificial service in the Temple, is it permissible to change the wording of the middle blessing of the Musaf service which asks God to restore the sacrificial system? This responsum is based on my lecture at the conference “The Actuality of Sacrifice” which took place at the Schechter Institute on January 9, 2011.

Why Don’t We Read a Scroll on Hanukkah? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 5, Issue No. 1, November 2010


The holiday of Hanukkah has many beautiful customs such as the dreidl, latkes, and sufganiyot, but there is one custom which we would expect to find on Hanukkah which seems to be missing – the reading of a scroll in public. After all, on Purim we read the Scroll of Esther every year in order to publicize the miracle. Why don’t we read a scroll on Hanukkah in order to publicize the miracles which God wrought for our ancestors in the days of Matityahu and his sons? The result is that most Jews only know the legend about the miracle of the cruse of oil (Shabbat21b) and not about the actual military victories of the Maccabees.