Issue 8.2: Judaism and Other Faiths

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has given us the Torah of truth, planting everlasting life in our midst. Blessed are You, Giver of the Torah. -Blessing after Torah Reading, ‘The Koren Siddur’...  Read more →

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Latest Articles

Jewish Music for Carnegie Hall

The cliché goes, “Music is a language of the heart.”  As a Yeshiva University music major, I believe this claim as long as we take out the last three words.  To say that music only speaks to the heart is like saying that Torah only speaks to the mind.  Like any other language, music can ... Read more →

Infinite Glue

 “I have five days of music in my iTunes library.” “When do you listen to it?” “In my room to chill out, or while I’m exercising.” “[Clueless Freshman (a.k.a. Me)] Why isn’t there any singing on campus? [Well-adjusted Super Senior]No one has time.” Melody has been a ... Read more →

Music to My Ears: A Scientific Elucidation of Kol Ishah

The interpretation of the prohibition of hearing a female voice has evolved through halakhic discussion. A woman’s voice, as assessed by the Jewish sages, is considered to be attractive and/or sensuous and therefore, the rabbis set up laws to prohibit men from hearing female voices when ... Read more →

Prayer to a Beat

This summer I sat towards the back of a Kabbalat Shabbat service in the Slifka Center at Yale University as an advisor on the Tikvah-Straus High School Summer Program. In front of me stood the opening of a joke: a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, a Conservative Jew, and an Orthodox Jew following the ... Read more →

An Interview with Cantor Bernard Beer, Head of the Belz School of Jewish Music

Cantor Beer has been on the staff of the Belz School of Music since 1967, and has been the head of the school since 1985. DN: When were you inspired to become a professional hazzan (cantor)? CB: I would say, in a way, I was almost born into it. I lived in Borough Park. In […]

Impressionism and Jewish Art

  I had something I painted from my window in Le Havre: the sun in the fog and in the foreground some masts sticking up. They wanted to know its title for the catalogue; [because] it couldn’t really pass for a view of Le Havre I replied, ‘Use Impression.’ Someone derived ... Read more →

Editors’ Thoughts: A Remarkable Student Body

Four years of involvement with Kol Hamevaser, including two years with its editorial board, leave me feeling sentimental. I have tremendous appreciation for the staff writers, the larger community of event participants, and the readers, especially those among them who confront us with their ... Read more →

Avoiding Mixed Messages: Learning to Take Pride in Our Diversity

      When I decided to attend Stern College for Women, I was warned that I would be in a bubble for the entirety of my college experience. I had conversations with concerned friends and family members who feared that I would not learn to interact with the larger world community. And, ... Read more →

Adjusting Our Microscope

I am a Jewish undergraduate student on a secular campus. At universities like mine, there is a diverse array of intelligent, moral Jewish students. And yet, despite the different political and religious backgrounds, many of these students unite in appreciating the nature and urgency of the ... Read more →

Israel’s Best PR Campaign

Dear Elisheva, One year ago on Shavu’ot I came across a disturbing article describing a violent price tag attack perpetrated by Israeli citizens of Yitshar against their Palestinian neighbors. I was troubled by this event in particular, troubled by the sense that I had been hearing of too ... Read more →

The King and I: Maimonides and the Besht’s Views on Man’s Obligation to Cleave to the Divine

Introduction We all grew up hearing stories about mighty kings who ruled their kingdoms from their magnificent palaces. Often, the plot in these stories involves a lower-class commoner who moves into this palace, transcending his social status and breaking through the proverbial palace walls. ... Read more →

Morality and Advertising

As you walk down the street, a sign catches your eye. “Happy Hour” is written in neon lights, “$3 martinis.” You find the advertisement enticing, but why? If you decide to enter the bar, will you really experience a “Happy Hour” as the sign promises? If you buy the martini and do ... Read more →

The Right to Life for the Nation of Amalek

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you left Egypt. That he met you on the way and struck you, all the feeble behind you, and you were tired and weary and he did not fear God. And it shall be, when Hashem your God grants you rest from all your surrounding […]

An Interview with Rabbi Yehoshua Fass

Note to Readers: R. Yehoshua Fass is the co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps people from North America and the UK make aliyah.  The organization aims to ease the transition of émigrés to Israel as much as possible. Since its founding, Nefesh ... Read more →