With the Senate’s recent unanimous vote to keep America on Daylight Saving time year-round, the halakhic world is concerned about a variety of potential ramifications should this bill become a law. Rabbi J. David Bleich considered the issues the last time morning minyan-goers were kept in the dark – revisit his 1974 column on “Daylight Saving Time and Morning Prayer.”
Exactly 120 years ago the world also saw the coincidence of a plague and the shemitta year. Jeremy Brown explores how this gave rise to a variety of halakhic deliberations on how to manage the needs of working the land and producing enough food in Eretz Yisrael, with the obligations of observing the sabbatical year. Those considerations have had long-lasting consequences for shemitta policies on the national scale, and resonate with our own pandemic days.
For this Purim-edition of “The BEST” Jeffrey Saks offers a reading of S.Y. Agnon’s “The Bridal Canopy” and its message for the holiday. “Naturally, if this novel’s plot twist is to take place on any particular day of the year, Purim is pre-programmed for such a thing. On this holiday of masks and disguised identities, what is concealed will be revealed, and God works it all out for his faithful in the end.”
Responding to Eric Lawee’s recent essay about the long-lived ancients of the book of Genesis, Edward Reichman brings to our attention interesting scientific research revealing secrets that lay dormant, in our genetic code, unappreciated for centuries. Might “living until 120” one day be considered a tragically short life?