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He must be a very important person to get such an important mitzvah, I heard them say, as Mr. Loewenstein, the local assemblyman, stepped up to recite the Torah blessing before the reading of the Ten Commandments. And Mr. Kleppish was too embarrassed to tell his wife that he only got third galilah on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah. Meanwhile, in the neighborhood shtiebel, Maftir was sold for $500 and petichah for $20.
Do we know which mitzvah is more important than another? Should we give priority to an “important” mitzvah over an “unimportant” mitzvah? Thinking about the kohen performing the rituals of the daily morning sacrifice provides us with an illustrative answer.
Which mitzvah was he to perform first? The distinguished task of preparing the menorah for the evening kindling, or the menial task of sweeping the altar from yesterday’s ashes? First he swept off the ashes and then he prepared the menorah. Because, explains Resh Lakish, the altar was closer to the door through which the kohen entered the sanctuary than the menorah, so that the kohen reached the altar first.
“Ein maavirin al hamitzvot” – do not offend a mitzvah by postponing it, says Resh Lakish. First do the mitzvah that first comes your way. Even if the mitzvah that first comes your way is considered by halacha to be less holy than the second, most agree that the less holy mitzvah should be performed first. The tefillin shel rosh is holier than the tefillin shel yad because it has more letters of God’s name than the teffilin shel yad. Yet the tefillin shel yad is put on first. This, explains Rashi, is because the arm is closer to the hand than to the head.
For the same reason, explain the Tosafists, when replacing the tefillin back in their bag, the tefillin shel rosh should not be placed on top of the tefillin shel yad, for by doing so one would violate the rule of ein maavirim al hamitzvot. This is because the tefillin shel rosh would have to be put aside the next morning while the tefillin shel yad was being donned first, in order to comply with the sequence in which the Torah introduces them, “Bind these words as a sign on your hand and let them be an emblem in the center of your head.”
Similarly, when reciting the verse “You open Your hand and satisfy the need of every human being,” the tefillin shel yad should be touched first. The correct order for donning tallit and tefillin is tallit first and then tefillin. This order respects the rule of maalim bekodesh, ascend in the order of holiness. The rule of maalim bekodesh gives way, however, to the rule of ein maavirim al hamitzvot in the following situation: If one pulls the tefillin out of the bag before the tallit, then according to the Shulchan Aruch, tefillin should be donned first in order not to violate the rule of ein maavirim al hamitzvot. In order to avoid this conflict, the tallit should be put back in the bag on top of the tefillin.
The correct order for reading the Torah on Chanukah Rosh Chodesh Tevet is first the portion of Rosh Chodesh and then the portion of Chanukah. This order respects the rule of tadir kodem – perform first the mitzvah that occurs with higher frequency. The rule of tadir kodem gives way, however, to the rule of ein maavirim al hamitzvot in the following situation: If, according to the Taz, one mistakenly began reading the Chanukah portion first, he should, in order not to violate the rule of ein maavirim al hamitzvot, not interrupt this reading with the Rosh Chodesh reading.
About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.
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Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea
Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.
Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.
How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?
Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.
Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.
The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”
And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).
Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”
Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory
Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus
Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.
A more difficult situation arises when there is no evidence placing the missing husband at the site of the death.
When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.
The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.
Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.
If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.
What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/mitzvah-shopping-yoma-33a-and-57a/2014/01/02/
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