The Forgotten Mourners

What is the halakhic status of those mourning the loss of their parents-in-law? Aaron Ross, inspired by his personal experience, grapples with the lack of formal aveilut rituals for non-biological relatives.

A More Holistic Halakhic Approach to Vaccine Inequity

Alan Jotkowitz disagrees with Sharon Galper Grossman’s and Shamai Grossman’s halakhic argument that wealthy nations should provide booster shots to their own populations before contributing doses to poorer countries.

U-shemor Nafshekha: The Curious History of the (Supposed) Mitzvah to Maintain One’s Health

What does the Torah mean when it says to "guard your nefesh (soul)"? Lehrhaus editor David Fried reevaluates the common understanding of a Torah mandate for healthy living.

Third Dose vs. Third World Countries: Halakhah Approaches COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation

The CDC and FDA have recently endorsed booster shots for the Covid vaccine. But there are those who argue that those doses should be allocated to third world countries instead. Sharon Galper Grossman and Shamai Grossman weigh in about what Halakhah has to say about the issue.

Outside Help in the Teshuvah Process

With Hoshanah Rabbah today and the theme of repentance in mind, Jack Cohen explores the role that outsiders play in one's teshuva process through an enigmatic midrash instructing one to return a person to themselves.

Liturgical Repetition: When Singing Becomes Sacrilegious

With the High Holidays approaching, a time iconic for its songful liturgy, Moshe Kurtz scrutinizes the practice of cantors repeating words during davening.

Rabbi Elazar Ben Dordaya: The Master of Teshuvah

Shloime Schwartz looks at the numerous lessons about Teshuvah that the commentaries derive from the story of Rabbi Elazar ben Dordaya.

Secular Music and the Jewish Soul

The Talmud criticizes the heretic Elisha ben Avuyah, or Aher, for listening to Greek music. But what did he do wrong? Todd Berman uses a close reading of Rashi’s comments on the Talmudic passage to explain.

Kamtza and Bar Kamtza in the Age of Cancel Culture

The Talmudic story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza is often used to highlight the destructive consequences of baseless hatred. In an intriguing reading, David Hellman suggests that the hatred that motivated the tale’s participants is more complex than meets the eye.

From Polemic to Pandemic: The Past, Present, and Future of Hazarat ha-Shatz

Post-pandemic proposals to omit hazarat ha-shatz on a permanent basis have been soundly rejected by halakhic authorities. Is this due exclusively to halakhic considerations, or are additional factors at play? Yosie Levine contends that Ashkenazic rabbinic opposition to 19th-century attempts to eliminate hazarat ha-shatz may still be shaping halakhic discourse today.