Monthly Archives: June 2015

Benjamin Cardozo: The Nature of the Judicial Process

Benjamin N. Cardozo: The Nature of the Judicial Process (Yale University Press, 1921, Renewed 1949, printed 1964.)   We do not pick our rules of law full-blossomed from the trees. Every judge consulting his own experience must be conscious of times when a free exercise of will, directed of set purpose to the furtherance of the common good, determined the form and tendency of a rule which at […]

The Sense of the Queer and Tefillin

Ever since I put on Tefillin at bar mitzvah age, I have wondered  how strange they were. What other people in the world wear boxes on their heads?  I certainly would not expect such behaviour from someone educated and refined in the 21st Century. Except we, Jewish children,  grew up with Tefillin. Everyone in our society, everyone in our world wore Tefillin. So the sense of the “queer” […]

Historical Origins and Continued Sanctity

Judaism by definition is historical. The story begins with Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov and then continues with Yaakov’s children, describing their descent into Egypt. It is not reasonable to think that the Galut, the Diaspora in Egypt would not affect the  lives of Yaakov’s descendants in Egypt.  It is also apparent that Moshe, Aharon, and the Elders who attended court visits to the  Pharoah saw him in all […]

The Laws of Tefillin in the Mishneh Torah

רמב”ם הלכות תפילין ומזוזה וספר תורה פרק ד הלכה כה קדושת תפילין קדושתן גדולה היא שכל זמן שהתפילין בראשו של אדם ועל זרועו הוא עניו וירא שמים ואינו נמשך בשחוק ובשיחה בטילה ואינו מהרהר מחשבות רעות אלא מפנה לבו בדברי האמת והצדק, לפיכך צריך אדם להשתדל להיותן עליו פ כל היום שמצותן כך היא, אמרו עליו על רב תלמידו של רבינו הקדוש שכל ימיו לא ראוהו שהלך ארבע […]

The Reasons for the Mitzvot Part 2

According to the Rambam, there are some parables in which “each word has a meaning.”  There are likewise some commandments concerning which “the particulars of, and conditions for, them have become clear.” As a matter of fact, Maimonides suggests that more particulars could be understood if we have more historical information; specifically, particulars concerning sacrifices and uncleanness. Furthermore, he completes the parallel by applying the same thesis to […]


דברים פרק ד ה) רְאֵה לִמַּדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוַּנִי יְקֹוָק אֱלֹהָי לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: ו) וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם כִּי הִוא חָכְמַתְכֶם וּבִינַתְכֶם לְעֵינֵי הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן אֵת כָּל הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה וְאָמְרוּ רַק עַם חָכָם וְנָבוֹן הַגּוֹי הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה: Behold I have taught you statutes and ordinances to perform in the midst of the land which you are coming to inherit. Be […]