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Text-Message Halakhah Text-Message Halakhah
Friday, July 13, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the ancient moment when the Sages began committing the Oral Torah to writing, through the invention of the printing press, all the way to searchable electronic databases of Jewish texts, each change in communications technology has had an impact on the Torah. 
Hitting the Jackpot Hitting the Jackpot
Thursday, March 8, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Who doesn't like Purim? Besides the costumes and candy, the story itself has all the politics, sex, and violence of a juicy HBO series. In case you missed it: "Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast a pur—that is, a lottery—with intent to crush and exterminate them."
Siren Songs Siren Songs
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by Shlomo Zuckier | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

"For your voice is sweet and your appearance pleasant" (Song of Songs 2:14). On the basis of this verse, Jewish law prohibits a man's listening to kol ishah, a woman's voice in song. Unlikely as it may seem, this prohibition has sparked a controversy that could shake the foundations of Israel's self-defense and self-definition.
Highlights of 2011:<br />Part II Highlights of 2011:
Part II

Friday, December 30, 2011 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Part II of our round-up of the past year's most popular features on Jewish Ideas Daily. (Part I is here.)
Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation recommending that Thursday November 26th of that year be devoted "to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be." 
The Great Orthodox Comeback The Great Orthodox Comeback
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 by Lawrence Grossman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The resurgence of Orthodoxy may be the most profound, and is certainly the most surprising, transformation of Judaism in the past 60 years. 
Reconstructing Judaism Reconstructing Judaism
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Joseph J. Siev | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

At a time when all three major Jewish denominations in America—Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform—find themselves in a state of deep internal fracture, a fourth and much smaller movement, Reconstructionism, has just voted to create a unified body to coordinate the activities of its lay and rabbinical arms.
The Virtuoso of Judaism The Virtuoso of Judaism
Thursday, March 3, 2011 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Religious virtuosity comes in many forms. One of them is the ability to reconcile seeming irreconcilables, like faith and freedom, piety and intellect, revelation and science. The dream of synthesis has lured many in the past two centuries. One who seemed to live it was Joseph B. Soloveitchik.
Secularism and Its Discontents Secularism and Its Discontents
Friday, December 17, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The transformations of Jewish life in the last two-and-a-half centuries still boggle the mind. Deep ruptures opened to separate the present from the past, modernity from tradition, setting terms that have defined the contours of Jewish life until today. How did people try to think their way through the change?
Eruv Eruv
Friday, March 12, 2010 by | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

One of the more obscure municipal systems knocked out of commission by late February's blizzards along the Atlantic seaboard were eruvim. These, as the New York Times explained, are networks of poles and wires that construct symbolic boundaries around Jewish communities, thus enabling the observant to carry objects through outdoor public spaces on the Sabbath. The prohibition against carrying is of ancient vintage, attested in the book of Jeremiah (17:21-22): ". . . and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; neither carry forth a burden out of your houses." The Talmud (Shabbat...
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Editors' Picks
The Idealist and the Pragmatist Daniel Bouskila, Institute for Jewish Ideas. Two of Israel's Sephardic chief rabbis, Benzion Meir Hai Uziel and Ovadia Yosef, had strikingly different views about how Sephardic traditions were to meet Ashkenazic ones in Israel.
Between Tradition and Modernity Ari L. Goldman, Jewish Week. The same week in which the Conservative movement issued guidelines for performing same-sex marriages, it ruled against the use of computers, cell phones, and e-readers on Shabbat.
Transit of Venus Jeremy Brown, Rationalist Judaism. Three rabbinic responsa to the rare astronomical phenomenon visible today, and what it means for a Copernican—and a Jewish—world view.
For Better or for Purse Michael J. Broyde, Jewish Press. The "Halakhic Prenup" is a real solution to the agunah problem. Now it needs to be adopted beyond Modern Orthodoxy.
Morality, Not Theology Meir Soloveichik, Weekly Standard. Mormons trying to talk across doctrinal divides to evangelical Christians can learn from Joseph Soloveitchik's advice on how Jews should—and should not—discuss their faith with Christians.
If You're Reading This, You're Part of the Problem Micah Stein, Tablet. It took 750 buses, a few boats, the involvement of 28 state agencies, and a baseball stadium rented for $1.5 million; but 40,000 men gathered to affirm the dangers of the Internet.
Homosexuality and Halakhah Michael Gold, MyJewishLearning. What do traditional Jewish sources actually say about homosexuality?
Standards and Practices Shlomo Brody, Jerusalem Post. The idea that one may convert without intent to carry out mitzvot is a minority opinion.
Face to Face Gavi Brown, Kol Hamevaser. One was a talmudist, the other an ontologist—yet the two figures' work reveals striking similarities. Either it was a case of plagiarism or an instance of cosmic significance.
The Patrilineal Predicament Naomi Zeveloff, Forward. Nearly three decades after the Reform movement's landmark decision to accept patrilineal Jews, statistics confirm that the worst fears of critics have come true.