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A Megillat Esther (“Scroll of Esther”) written by a 14-year-old Jewish girl from Rome was revealed in Israel and will be auctioned off in Jerusalem, November 2021. Credit: Kedem Auction House.

Scroll of Esther written by 14-year-old Italian girl to be auctioned off in Jerusalem

A Megillat Esther (“Scroll of Esther”) written by a 14-year-old Jewish girl from Rome was revealed this week in Jerusalem. The discovery, especially significant as Scrolls of Esther inscribed during that time period by women are few...
Rabbi Moshe Tendler. Courtesy of Yeshiva University/The Commentator.

Jewish ethicist Rabbi Moshe Tendler, 95, leaves medical and religious worlds more enlightened

Listening to Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler, who died last week at the age of 95, one never knew what to expect. Laced in scientific language, with biblical quotes and references from the Talmud, the...
A synagogue in Efrat, Gush Etzion, June 27, 2021. Photo by Gershon Elinson/Flash90.

Rabbis: Unvaccinated worshippers may not pray in synagogue

Rabbis in Israel are launching a campaign against COVID-19 vaccine refusal, including a recent rabbinical ruling that unvaccinated individuals may not enter synagogues, participate in a minyan or be called to the Torah. Chief Rabbi of Ramat...
Collecting hay piles for bales in central Israel. Aug. 20, 2018. Photo by Anat Hermony/Flash90.

Jews worldwide join Israel’s farm families for challenges and blessings of ‘shmita’ year

“Grant blessing on the face of the Earth and from its goodness satisfy us, blessing our year as the best of years. Blessed are you G-d who blesses the years.” — Morning prayers If you look...
From left: Rabbanit Chamutal Shoval, Rabbanit Dr. Hannah Hashkes and Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis. Photo by Gershon Ellinson.

Graduation marks new class of leaders in Jewish law

The Susi Bradfield Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership (WIHL) of the Ohr Torah Stone network commemorated the graduation of its 2021 class, attended by hundreds of family and friends. Three women—Rabbanit Dr. Hannah Hashkes, Rabbanit...
An employee in Israel's education field receives a COVID-19 vaccine injectionon on Jan. 12, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Get vaccinated now; the Torah commands it

During my visits to coronavirus wards at hospitals across Israel, I encountered a most worrying statistic. All of the hospitalized were relatively young people who had not been vaccinated. A few minutes after one...
A patient receiving a vaccine. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90.

Senior Israeli rabbis urge haredi communities to get COVID-19 vaccine

Senior rabbis in Israel on Tuesday issued a decree urging haredi communities to receive the coronavirus vaccine, declaring that “according to all acceptable medical parameters, it has been proven that the vaccines are safe.” The decree was...
Rabbi Benny Lau. Credit: Spokesperson unit of the President of Israel.

Same-sex couples may become parents, Israeli Orthodox rabbi rules

A religious-Zionist rabbi has decided to tackle a hot-button issue—couples from the LGBTQ+ community raising families. On Saturday night, Rabbi Benny Lau, formerly of the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem. published a document—“Couplehood and Relationships for...
Jewish residents in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., participate in a “porch minyan,” April 30, 2020. Photo by Dovid Zaklikowski.

With synagogues shuttered, ‘porch minyans’ grow in Brooklyn

The streets of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, N.Y., were eerily empty at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Normally, children are out playing and parents rushing home from work or errands, with crowds of people out...