Can G-d Change His Mind? - English
The Torah contains instances where G-d appears to have reconsidered His decision, often in response to human action. How can an eternal G-d be subject to change? Does that mean the earlier decision was wrong? Is G-d’s word not final? Download Paper
The Third Temple — Today? - English
This paper seeks to crystallize the Torah commandment to build a Temple. To whom does it apply? When is the commandment in force? And if we do build a Temple today, what status will it have? Download Paper
Take One for the Team - Hebrew
A village in Africa was quarantined to stop the spread of ebola. Healthy people were trapped in that village as well, doomed to a certain death. What is the Jewish ethical view of this scenario? Is the individual ever sacrificed for the good of the community? When do we violate one principle in pursuit of another? Download Paper
Kosher ‘Frankenfoods’? GMOs in Halacha (Sources)
Scientific advances have unlocked some of the ‘source code’ of living organisms, where by splicing genes from, say, arctic salmon into strawberries, or mice into chickens, we can produce strains of plants and animals which grow better, are more resilient, and are more beneficial economically or otherwise.
While discussion abounds regarding the long-term health effects of these developments, what is the Torah’s view on such manipulation? Do the ethos of kilayim preclude meddling in G-d’s domain? Or does the command to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Bereshis 1:28) provide the ethical mandate to do just that?
What are the Halachic ramifications? Is the act of implanting the gene –in flora or fauna- a violation of kilayim? What is the kosher status of the resulting hybrids? Does the status of the donor carryover to the recipient? What if the transferred genes affect the presence of the traditional kosher signs? (a tuna with no scales, a shark with scales)? Is an Esrog which has been thus modified considered a Murkav, disqualifying it from use for the Mitzvah?
Is there a spiritual effect? Do the characteristics of those animals which the Torah deems negative carry over into the new creature? Would consuming this (otherwise Kosher) creature bring spiritual coarseness (timtum halev)?
A collection of Tshuvos and articles in Hebrew and English. Download Sample