Is The Torah Pro-Life or Pro-Choice?

With this new Alabama law which outlaws most kinds of abortions, I have observed that the Orthodox Jewish community is more diverse in their opinions on abortion than I had previously imagined. I have heard many argue that being anti abortion is a Christian thing, and that halacha / Judaism is much more lenient on abortions. I won’t lie, I found this to be very…

Some Thoughts at the End of 5778

This will be my third Rosh HaShana since I left Kollel to go to work. Since I left the structure of spending fourteen hours a day studying – I’ve found it really hard deal with certain questions of priorities and time management. I feel like in the working world, we’re constantly having to define our values and aspirations much more so than in Yeshiva or…

DoYY is Moving

Hello Friends! I’d like to inform you that I am moving my blog to be hosted on here on Github . I’ve decided I’d rather not continue paying for hosting. I’m still building up the Github/Jekyll blog from scratch, so it’s still a little rough around the edges. In the future, I intend to make posts shorter and more “tech” related. I hope to get…

Sefirah and LagBaOmer Part III

To recap here is a general timeline of the development of the mourning customs during the days of Sefiras HaOmer: Some time during the first century CE Rabbi Akiva’s students all die during a period between Passover and Shavous Sixth Century The talmud records the story as an example of Rabbi Akiva’s teaching that if you taught students when you were young, you should teach…

Jewish Mourning Customs Between Passover and Shavous

Before dissecting it, let’s first lay out what the accepted modern-day understanding of the origins of Sefira and Lag BaOmer customs are according to the classical Jewish sources. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim siman 493) says: נוהגים שלא לישא אשה בין פסח לעצרת עד ל”ג בעומר מפני שבאותו זמן מתו תלמידי ר’ עקיבא אבל לארס ולקדש שפיר דמי ונשואין נמי מי שקפץ וכנס אין עונשין…

Haircuts, Bonfires and Weddings: Lag BaOmer and the customs of Sefira

It is customary for all Jews to observe some customs of mourning during the days of Sefiras HaOmer – between Pesach and Shavous – and to have a festive day on either the 33rd day of the Omer – or for Sephardim the 34th. These customs are binding for all observant Jews as codified in the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch etc. That said, it…

Who Is This Rabbi?

Many have asked me to explain who the Rabbi in this picture is and why I use his likeness in my blog sometimes. His name is Rabbi Yoel Shorin zt”l but he was more widely known as the Poltava Illui (The Prodigy from Poltava). He was a student of Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin zt”l (the Netziv) and was the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Torah…