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

“Nose be-Ol Im Havero:” A Burden Worth Carrying

I am lonely. Let me emphasize, however, that by stating “I am lonely” I do not intend to convey to you the impression that I am alone. I, thank God, do enjoy the love and friendship of many. I meet people, talk, preach, argue, reason; I am surrounded by comrades and acquaintances. And yet, ... Read more →

On Torah Values and the Courage to Rebuild: A Review of The Legacy

Reviewed Book: R. Berel Wein and R. Warren Goldstein, The Legacy: Teachings for Life from the Great Lithuanian Rabbis (New Milford, CT and Jerusalem, Israel: Maggid Books, 2012).  Available for purchase at or via   “Lithuanian Jewry is no more,” writes ... Read more →

Editors’ Thoughts: The Technological Revolution and the Jew

  The production of technological works entails reconstructing the natural world for use against itself. Where once there was a rocky plane, now there is a walled city separating its inhabitants from the outside. Where once there were disparate natural resources, now there are machines that ... Read more →

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editors, In the last issue of Kol Hamevaser, the article entitled “Our Side of the Mehitsah: An Open Letter,” written by Davida Kollmar, was beautifully and tactfully written. It touched upon many issues of women’s roles in the synagogue and expressed many concerns that I share with ... Read more →

Shut Down the Bible Department

Shut down the Bible Department?  What can be wrong with teaching Bible in Yeshiva College? Unfortunately, a great deal. For better or for worse, the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews grow up believing that Moshe wrote every word of the Torah as dictated by God. They also believe Moshe ... Read more →

In Memory of Three Great Jewish Visionaries

When the prophet Eliyahu ascended to heaven in a mighty whirlwind, drawn by horses and chariots of fire, his disciple Elisha bore witness to an event at once magnificent and unspeakably traumatic. Elisha remained on earth, bereft of his beloved teacher, and cried out, “Father, father! The ... Read more →

An Interview with Rabbi Dan Marans

  Rabbi Dan Marans is the executive director of the Zomet Institute.  Zomet is a non-profit, public research institute dedicated to seamlessly merging halakhic Judaism with modern life.  For over thirty years, Zomet’s staff of rabbis, researchers, and engineers has devised practical and ... Read more →

A Yawning Gulf? Attitudes Toward the Death Penalty in the Torah and Hazal

A man is trapped in a closed, concrete room. All routes of escape are blocked and heavily guarded. Just outside, a group of trained, highly skilled men intend to kill him with cold precision. An outsider landing in the middle of this scene would be shocked, and employ all his resources to ... Read more →

Moshe and Rabbi Akiva: The Symbolic Relationship Between Two Great Leaders

What was R. Akiva’s beginning? They say he was forty years old and had not learned[i] anything. Once he came to the well and asked, “Who hewed this stone?” They said to him, “The water that consistently falls on it every day.” [Furthermore,] they said to him, “Akiva, have you not ... Read more →

All About the Blue

Reviewed Book: Baruch Sterman, The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2012)   In the past twenty years, a new candidate has emerged for the biblical tekhelet, a central component of the mitsvah of tsitsit as ... Read more →

The Paper Trail of Jewish Postcards

Jewish ascendency to the highest echelons of science and technology—“high tech”—is a uniquely modern phenomenon. The rise of Jewish leaders in technological firms, Michael Dell (Dell), Andrew Grove (Intel), and Lawrence Ellison (Oracle), not to mention the praise that critics from David ... Read more →

Editors’ Thoughts: The Riddle of Worship

I must confess; when I sat down to write this introduction, I found myself overwhelmed by a sense of chasing phantoms through a foggy maze. Upon my capture of a thought, it either evaporated before I could grasp hold, or else fractured into a thousand other thoughts. There appeared to be so ... Read more →

Our Side of the Mehitsah: An Open Letter

One of the main focuses of Jewish life in the Modern Orthodox community, at least among adults, is the synagogue. And yet, there are several aspects of synagogue life that alienate half of the Jewish population. Many synagogues do things that make women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. These ... Read more →

Creating Community: Prayer at Stern

When one thinks of any Jewish community, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a synagogue. As soon as Jews form a new community, the very first structure put in place is the synagogue, a place of prayer, Torah study, and social gathering. It is a communal space where Jews are invited ... Read more →