For Medieval Sephardim, Marriages Were Made in Heaven. For Medieval Ashkenazim, They Were Made by Matchmakers

April 19 2017

French and German halakhic writings from the Middle Ages make frequent mention of the use of professional matchmakers, consider the breaking-off of an engagement a source of embarrassment for which one family may seek damages from the other, and encourage parents to wait until girls reach majority before letting them be betrothed, so that they can consent to the union. By contrast, Spanish rabbis of the same era make scant mention of matchmakers, see the breaking of an engagement as an insignificant thing, and have few qualms about betrothing children. Surveying and analyzing these differing approaches, Efraim Kanarfogel argues they reflect fundamentally different views of marriage:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Ashkenazi Jewry, Halakhah, History & Ideas, Jewish marriage, Middle Ages, Sephardim

 

The UK’s Ban on Hamas Is a Belated Step in the Right Direction

Nov. 29 2021

Twenty years after Britain outlawed Hamas’s military wing, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has decided to proscribe the entire organization. Stephen Daisley applauds this decision, but observes that London does not yet seem to recognize the dangers of what Hamas represents:

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, United Kingdom