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With The Congregation Or After?

Question: When a person has an aliyah, should he recite the phrase “Baruch Hashem ha’mevorach l’olam va’ed” together with the congregation or should he wait for the congregation to conclude and then recite this phrase by himself?

I Have Yichus

The Imahos were all barren. According to a midrash, it wasn’t that they were simply incapable of having children, they lacked the very organs necessary to conceive. Knowing this, Yitzchak and Rivkah davened for a miracle.

Daf Yomi

A Cakewalk ‘Through It The Water Trickled Out’ (Shekalim 17a)

Exercise Caution

The bell rang for afternoon break in Mishpat Emes High School. The boys, who had been learning intensely all morning, headed out to the schoolyard for a half-hour break to get some fresh air and stretch their muscles with physical activity.

Fruit At The End Of A Meal

Question: Is it necessary to recite a berachah before eating fruit at the end of a meal? I’ve seen different people do different things.

Taxi Standstill

At 5:00 sharp Zvi headed out of the office to the street. He raised his hand and hailed the next available cab. He provided the cabbie his address and was surprised to find that the cab driver was a religious Jew.

Daf Yomi

Pristine Exemplar ‘Let Him Fill His Mouth With Water’ (Shekalim 9a)

Daf Yomi

In Our Days ‘We Do Not Seize A Surety From Minor Children’ (Shekalim 3b)

How Important Are Ethics?

Question: In our daily prayers we state that Talmud Torah – the teaching of Torah – is equivalent to all the other mitzvot. What, however, comes under the category of “teaching Torah”? Does someone who teaches students how to behave ethically come under the category of a teacher of Torah?

Worthwhile Wear And Tear

Last week Am Yisrael suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, zt"l. The greatest tribute we can give to such an outstanding talmid chacham is to repeat and share his Torah. The following article is based on a responsa of his in Yabia Omer (vol. II, C.M. #7). May this learning be l'iluy nishmaso.

Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Part II)

Continuing with our examination of Pesachim as per the Daf Yomi cycle, the Seder commences with Kiddush recited over the first cup of wine. Whereas Kiddush may be recited before nightfall on Shabbat, it must be recited after nightfall on Seder night. Unlike Shabbat and Yom Tov, on Seder night there is a requirement that each participant drink from his own cup.

Backfired Lesson

Yisrael, Shlomi, and some other teenage friends swam regularly at the local pool, which had special men's hours. They all brought locks with them to secure the lockers, except Shlomi. He would simply put his clothes in the locker, with the wallet in his pants pocket, and shut the locker door.

Daf Yomi

A Case Of Mistaken Identity ‘And Two Cooked Foods’ (Pesachim 114a)

Checking Clothes Before Shabbat

Question: The Talmud (Shabbat 12a) notes, “Rabbi Hanina said: One should examine one’s clothes on the eve of Shabbat before nightfall [to ensure that one is not carrying anything] for one may forget and go out [carrying]. Rav Yosef said this is an important law for Shabbat.”

Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Pesachim Perek 10)

There are lots of back seat drivers at the Seder. Your kezayit (portion) of matzah is not big enough, they chide. Red wine only; shmurah matzot or nothing; don’t start the Seder before nightfall; must finish the meal before midnight; don’t drink wine between the four cups; the Seder plate set in the wrong order. This article is intended as a defensible guide for the brave volunteer who leads the Seder (the ba’al haseder).

Celebration Versus Serenity

It’s 12:30 on a Yom Tov, Monday morning. You are about to leave the synagogue for the third day in a row. As you look around, you notice, even as you try to ignore it, a certain wilting of the spirit. A belabored pace. How good you felt on Friday night, with the onset of Shabbat. An effortless serenity set in then.

Verbal Stipulation

Chaim had an old car that he would regularly rent to the fellows of his kollel for a nominal fee. Moshe asked if he could use the car for the afternoon to do a couple of shopping errands. "With pleasure," Chaim said. "However, before you take the car, I'd like you to read this statement of terms."

Daf Yomi

An Expression Unique in Shas “I Am Neither Wise…” (Pesachim 105b)

Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance

Hashem appeared to Noach and told him the world had turned to wicked ways and was to be destroyed by a deluge. Hashem commanded Noach to build a teivah, an ark, so that he and his family would be saved.

Naming Children (Part II)

It is important to note that not all names may be designated. There is, for example, a tradition that Ashkenazic Jews do not name their children after a living person. Yet, neither the Bible nor the Talmud make any reference to this prohibition. Indeed, just the opposite. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Sha’arei Halacha U’Minhag, Yoreh De’ah, Volume III, p.298) notes that from verses in Genesis (See Genesis 11:24-26) it is evident that Terach (father of Abraham) named his son Nachor during the lifetime of his father, Nachor.

Pasul Esrog

After davening on Hoshana Rabbah, Mr. Hadar fondly packed away his esrog. "Maybe I'll fill it with cloves and use it for spices at Havdalah," he thought. "Or maybe I'll make jelly out of it."

Naming Children (Part I)

Designating proper names for one’s children is not always easy. When my wife, Shoshana, gave birth to our first child in Chicago – a girl – she informed me that according to tradition, the wife is entitled to name the first child. I didn’t agree, but recognizing that this was her tradition and not wishing to cause any controversy or anguish, I readily submitted.

Daf Yomi

He Might Extinguish It ‘A Torch Is The Best Way Of Performing The Mitzvah’ (Pesachim 103b)

Daf Yomi

The Letter Of The Law? ‘If He Was…Unable to Enter Because of the Camels’ (Pesachim 94a)

Open Parking Lots On Shabbat (Part II)

Question: Is it proper for Orthodox synagogues to have their parking lots open on Shabbat?

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