Congregation Toras Yisrael decided to hold a learning program on Friday morning, Chol Hamoed Pesach. Two weeks before Pesach, the gabbai in charge of the program discussed possible guest speakers with the shul rabbi, Rabbi Brick.
What is chametz? What are the various categories of chametz? Does the prohibition of chametz on Pesach apply also to non‑food products? Can medication containing chametz be taken on Pesach? Can vitamins produced with no Pesach supervision be used? What about liquid medicine such as cough mixture? Can non- supervised body soap or liquid detergent be used? What about toothpaste? May one use rubbing alcohol? May one eat egg matzah?
Taste is everything – ta’am ke’ikar. The taste of forbidden food is treated in halacha as the forbidden food itself and is equally forbidden. If the taste of forbidden food has been absorbed into a cooking vessel, such a vessel may not be used on Pesach unless it undergoes a process known as hechsher or hagalat keilim - popularly referred to as kashering.
A Gadol’s View Confirmed ‘Majority Rules’ (Eruvin 16a)
Question: May one use grape juice for the arba kosos?
Mr. Lazer ran a successful restaurant. He employed close to twenty people: a chef, cooks and a baker; waiters and waitresses; supply and maintenance personnel; and two cashiers. At the end-of-year accounting, something seemed amiss. There was a small but noticeable discrepancy in the cash receipts of his enterprise. In the following semi-annual account, a similar discrepancy was noted.
The Kotel And The Mall ‘Sratya u’Platya’ (Eruvin 7a)
Question: Does it matter where one pauses when one recites the daily prayers?
“You must sanctify yourselves and be holy,” the Torah tells us, “for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” The service of God in our lives should simulate the service of God in the Temple. Just as the kohen, the priest, was required to enter God’s Temple in a state of taharah, spiritual cleanliness, we are required to enter God’s world in a state of taharah.
Visiting the sick, bikur cholim, is one of the mitzvot listed in the prayer “Eilu devarim she’ein lahem shiur” – “These are the things that have no measure.” According to our sages, the Torah itself stresses the importance of bikur cholim in several places.
Waiting For Kiddush ‘Mazal Bears No Influence…’ (Shabbos 156a)
Question: Must a Jew’s tzitzit strings hang on the outside of his pants?
"Look at this sefer," Yoel said to his friend Menashe. "It's written by Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt"l." "I've seen that sefer," replied Menashe. "It's very good. I was thinking of buying it." "That's not all," added Yoel. "Look inside..." Menashe opened the sefer. Inside he saw a signed inscription by Rav Eliyahu. "Wow! How did you get an inscribed copy?" he asked.
If you took a bus to synagogue on a rainy Shabbat or Yom Tov day, with umbrella in hand, would that be OK? There is no melachah involved because you are not driving. There is no amira le’nochri (asking a non‑Jew to perform a melachah on your behalf) involved because you are not asking the non‑Jew to drive for you. He is driving of his own accord for other non‑Jews. There is no violation of techum Shabbat (the prohibition not to travel on Shabbat or Yom Tov more than 2,000 amot beyond one's residence), because the bus travels only in the city.
The Golds were planning a two-week vacation. Mrs. Gold did not want to travel with her jewelry, but was concerned about leaving it in their apartment while they traveled.
Question: The Talmud (Ta’anit 29a) notes that we should be more joyous starting from the beginning of Adar. Does this period of joy continue after Purim?
Out On A Limb ‘One May Reset A Fracture’ (Shabbos 148a)
Question: Why did Mordechai refuse to bow to Haman, thus endangering the entire Jewish people? Couldn’t he have simply fled Shushan?
Treifa Cow’s Milk? ‘A Toldah Of Dash’ (Shabbos 144a)
If you eat mayonnaise with everything, or you attended Breuers, or you wash your hands before Kiddush, you are probably of German Jewish descent. The first two inferences are understandable. Where does the third one come from?
"Today we will continue learning about oaths," Rabbi Dayan began his shiur. "Does anyone remember what we learned last lesson? How many cases are there in which the Torah imposes an oath in beis din?"
Just because God has given us a weekly lifetime subscription to paradise, we should not take Shabbat for granted. No gift should go unacknowledged and no giver should go forgotten.
"Today we will learn about oaths," Rabbi Dayan announced to his shiur. "There are many sugyos [passages] in the Gemara that deal with imposing an oath."
Circumcised At The Hand Of Heaven? ‘A Drop Of Blood Must Be Taken’ (Shabbos 135a)
Question: When may a Jew rely on Hashem and when must he engage in activities to secure his own needs?