n some synagogues the Gabbai corrects the Torah reader every time he makes even the slightest error in pronunciation or cantillation, while, in others, the Gabbai only corrects the Torah reader if he/she makes and error which changes the meaning of the text. Which practice is more correct?
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.
Belief in God is an intuitive belief given our neurobiological makeup. Intuitive reasoning tends to change over a lifetime to the degree that one’s frames of reference change over time. It therefore stands to reason that belief in God may also change over time. Indeed, a number of studies found this to be the case.
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?
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
In light of the recent arrest of three women at the Kotel for the “crime” of singing aloud and wearing a tallit, we are republishing our responsum from February 2010. – David Golinkin
It is customary to serve meals and hold communal dinners in a synagogue sanctuary or Bet Midrash on Shavuot, Pesah, Shabbat and on weekdays. Doesn’t this contradict a specific law found in the Talmud and the Codes that it isforbidden to eat in a synagogue or Bet Midrash?
Is it permissible for women to read Megillat Esther in public on Purim?
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.
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.