CHICAGO RABBINICAL COUNCIL
THE REBBETZIN SHOSHANA SCHWARTZ, ע”ה
TORAH ESSAY CONTEST:
Section A: Introduction and Rules
OBJECTIVE: TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO EXPLORE HALACHIC ISSUES AND SELECTIONS OF TANACH THROUGH THE RESEARCH AND WRITING SKILLS PROMOTED IN OUR YESHIVOT AND HIGH SCHOOLS
The essay contest is open to all seniors in Orthodox Jewish high school programs in the Chicago metropolitan area who will attend a Yeshiva or seminary in Israel for the 5783 (2022-2023) academic year.
Entrants select a topic in Halacha or TaNaCH to research with the goal of increasing understanding in light of classical Jewish sources.
Essays may be written in English or Hebrew. Primary sources in their original language and formulation are preferred over secondary sources and translations.
Careful attention must be given to proper attribution of sources. The essay must be accompanied by “works cited”.
A panel of judges will evaluate each essay on the following criteria:
- Research: Thorough and accurate citation of primary sources.
- Organization: Presentation of material in a clear and convincing manner.
- Creativity: Shedding new light and insight through careful analysis of sources.
- Style: Employment of good writing skills, including grammar, syntax, and usage.
- First Place Essay in Categories 1 and 2: $1,000
- Three Honorable Mention Essays in each category: Each will receive $300.
RULES FOR SUBMISSION OF YOUR ESSAY:
Your essay must have a cover page with the following information:
- Your name, home address, email address, home phone number, your school, and the title of your essay.
- Your name should appear only on the cover page. Please do not put your name on any page of the essay or on your bibliography.
- Your title should appear on each page of your essay.
Deadline for submission: Friday, April 29, 2022
All essays will be evaluated by our judges without knowledge of the author of the essay.
Essays should be mailed or brought to:
Chicago Rabbinical Council
2701 W. Howard Street
Chicago, Illinois 60645
Please direct all questions to Rabbi Michael A Myers at: email@example.com
Section B: Letter to Students / Topics
These past months of the pandemic have presented many challenges to everyone. You, as students, have made many difficult, yet necessary adjustments. Your desire to continue intense Torah learning despite the obstacles that we have all endured is worthy of particular praise.
We at the Chicago Rabbinical Council join in acknowledging your achievements. For the second year, we proudly present this year’s expanded Rebbetzin Shoshana Schwartz Essay Contest to all eligible senior students in our schools.
You may submit an entry in one of two categories. We will select a first place winner and three runners-up for each category.
CATEGORY 1: TaNaCH
The same general rules apply as in past years. You may choose any topic or episode in TaNaCH that you wish.
CATEGORY 2: MAINTAINING HALACHA THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
Choose from the following topics:
- Does Halacha allow for the system of prioritizing medical treatment and allotment of supplies and equipment known as “triage”?
- בדיעבד and שעת הדחק considerations
- Balancing safety concerns with halachic imperative (e.g. Mikveh, Bris, etc.)
- Realistic health concerns, generalized government policy and Halachic imperatives
- Halachic norms in attaining a balance between communal unity and individual expression
- Application of the Halachic principle of דינא דמלכותא דינא
- אבלות during a pandemic (Tahara, Burial, Shiva, Stone dedication)
- Celebrating שמחות from a distance (Bris, Bar/Bas Mitzva, Weddings, Sheva Brachot)
- Productive Disagreements v. מחלוקת שלא לשם שמים
- גיטין with social distancing and travel restrictions
- חשן משפט matters concerning contracts and employees in a pandemic
- The requirements for supervision and accommodations during a pandemic when normal access to inspect ingredients and production may be reduced.
Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc)
2701 W. Howard St., Chicago, IL 60645
P: 773.465.3900 F: 773.465.6632