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It’s Official: No Circumcision in Germany – Jewish Hospital Bans the...

13 Tammuz 5772 – July 3, 2012
The Jewish Hospital in Berlin has suspended all religious circumcisions of children following a ruling delivered by a German court banning the practice.

Why Women Are Obligated To Build The Beis HaMikdash

17 Sivan 5772 – June 6, 2012
The Rambam, in Hilchos Beis Habechirah 1:12, derives from the pasuk in this week’s parshah, “u’veyom hakim es haMishkan… – and on the day the Mishkan was set up…” (Bamidbar 9:15), that the Beis HaMikdash can only be built by day, not by night. Further in that halacha the Rambam writes that both men and women are obligated in the mitzvah of building the Beis HaMikdash. The Kesef Mishneh explains that the source for the halacha that women are obligated in this mitzvah is from the pasuk in parshas Vayakhel: “v’kol ishah chachmas lev beyada tavu – and every wise-hearted woman spun with her hands.”

Counting The Previous Day’s Sefirah

17 Iyyar 5772 – May 9, 2012
One who forgets to count sefirah at night may count during the day without a berachah, and then continue counting the rest of the days with a berachah. If one forgets to count sefirah at night and does not remember to count by day, he may not count with a berachah thereafter.

Metzitzah B’Peh – Where We Are And Where We Need To...

21 Nisan 5772 – April 12, 2012
As a vascular surgeon for over 20 years I care for wounds daily. As an occasional mohel for 30 years I am familiar with all aspects of milah. I thus feel obligated to share my perspective on this most important topic. If I don't, who will? In order to decide halachic matters, rabbis need accurate and representative medical input. This is my only goal.

Double Bris In The Amazon

8 Nisan 5772 – March 30, 2012
Against all odds, the spark of Judaism continues to burn brightly in the Amazon as two members of the Brazilian city of Porto Velho underwent a bris milah performed by a renowned Argentian mohel just days after Rosh Chodesh Adar.

My Machberes

29 Adar 5772 – March 22, 2012
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Shidduch Challenges: Nothing Has Changed

10 Shevat 5772 – February 2, 2012
We have myriad matchmaking programs all over the world, from word of mouth to computerized, from well-intentioned individuals and professional shadchanim to singles organizations.

Who Shechted The Korban Pesach?

3 Shevat 5772 – January 26, 2012
In this week’s parshah Hashem instructs Moshe to tell the Bnei Yisrael that each household should take for themselves, on the 10th of Nissan, a lamb or a kid within its first year for the korban pesach.

Women And Bris Milah

17 Tevet 5772 – January 11, 2012
After Moshe had agreed to go to Pharaoh to beseech him on Klal Yisrael’s behalf, he began traveling to Mitzrayim with his wife Tziporah and their sons – including the newborn.

Accomplice To Evil

12 Kislev 5772 – December 7, 2011
Shechem, the son of Chamor, set his sights on Dina. He carefully laid a trap to entice her out of her tent, and then kidnapped and defiled her. When Yaakov and his sons heard what had been done, “they were extremely distressed . . . [and said] ‘So shall not be done!’ ”

The In-Law Relationship

19 Heshvan 5772 – November 16, 2011
Dear Dr. Yael: I wish to share some thoughts with you and Despondent Daughter-in-Law (Magazine, 10-28-2011). I am a happily married woman who has a great relationship with my mother-in-law. Although it might seem to others that my mother-in-law sometimes favors her other children’s families over mine, I don’t let that bother me – I have a different approach toward the whole situation.

Why Did Avraham Not Perform A Bris Earlier?

5 Heshvan 5772 – November 2, 2011
In this week’s parshah, Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to perform the mitzvah of bris milah. We once discussed a question that several Achronim ask regarding this mitzvah, and I want to share some new thoughts on the matter.

Orthodox Homosexuals And The Pursuit Of Self-Indulgence

14 Sivan 5771 – June 15, 2011
Recently, while doing research for a news article I was writing for The Jewish Press, I found myself watching a YouTube clip concerning Jewish homosexuals. About two minutes into the clip, my heart suddenly dropped. There speaking on my computer screen was a young man I had once known as a sweet frum boy. Today - as I discovered from the YouTube video - he is an open homosexual.

Nineteenth-Century Sabbath Observance

28 Iyyar 5771 – June 1, 2011
The previous two columns discussed kashrus and bris milah observance in America during the 19th century. The trend was that until about 1860 most Jews were careful to observe these mitzvos. However, in the latter part of the century many Jews abandoned keeping kosher both at home and in public. Bris milah, though, was generally observed throughout the entire century.

Nineteenth-Century Bris Milah Observance

30 Nisan 5771 – May 4, 2011
Last month's column dealt with the observance of kashrus by Jews in America during the 19th century. Up until about 1870 German Jewish immigrants went to considerable effort to make sure they could eat kosher meat and poultry. Almost every Jewish community of more than 15 families employed a professional shochet. Smaller communities were served by volunteer shochtim. However, with the spread of the Reform movement in the latter half of the century, Jews began to abandon kashrus.

Tender Reminiscences: Chief Rabbi Carlebach And My Family

28 Sivan 5770 – June 9, 2010
A few months before my family emigrated in 1938 to the United States from Hamburg, Germany, I had the special privilege at the bris of my brother, Micha, to sit on the lap of Chief Rabbi Joseph Carlebach, zt"l, a revered rabbinical giant of his age.

‘Playing’ It Safe For Your Children

26 Tishri 5770 – October 14, 2009
A few years ago I wrote in this column that at the bris of my oldest son - held in a shul whose members were for the most part elderly - a wizened old man approached me, peered into my face and muttered in a raspy voice with a Yiddish accent, "May your children sit shiva for you." I was too stunned to say anything to him and just shook my head as he walked away. I thought, "nebach, he must be demented."

We Are Invisible: Making The Caregiver Visible

15 Av 5769 – August 5, 2009
As we saw last week, the response to the articles entitled The Loss of Femininity (July 3, July 10, 2009) showed an overwhelming number of women identifying with the loss of femininity as they care for their ill spouses. Along with this loss came letters expressing the loneliness they feel, because their spouse's illness prevents many caregivers from attending s'machos of friends and family.

Am Yisrael Chai

1 Adar 5766 – March 1, 2006
February/Adar is birthday month in the Kupfer family, with four out of five members born during this period.

Those Darn Cell Phones

4 Tevet 5766 – January 4, 2006
Whenever I have a speaking engagement, I always ask people to turn on their cell phones.

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