In the movie “The Paper Chase,” a Harvard student rips out a page of the law report so that his fellow student will be unable to read it and will come to the lecture unprepared. About 2,000 years earlier a student lay feverishly ill in the academy of Rabbi Akiva in Bnei Brak. So caught up were the other students in the competitiveness of their learning that they found no time to visit him or take care of him. As the student lay dying, Rabbi Akiva himself entered the sick room, fed him, made him comfortable and swept the dust from the floor. The sick student survived. His peers did not.
For a number of years Mrs. Baum hadn't worked but instead stayed home watching her young children. As their youngest child approached pre-school age, she decided to enter the work force again. Half a year before she planned to return to work, she began sending out resumes, networking and speaking with potential contacts.
"Tonight is Bernie's birthday," Jeremy said to his friend, Adam. "We're planning a surprise birthday party for him. Would you like to join?"
Just Like Carrying In A Karmelis ‘Tithing When Night Falls’ (Eruvin 36a)
Question: Is it preferable to pray at great length or with much brevity?
Football’s 49ers rarely drop the ball. But how many of us make it through 49 nights from the second night of Pesach all the way to Shavuot without losing count? Sometimes we never even make it to the first yard line. We are so busy preparing for second night Seder that we miss evening prayers in shul and forget to count Day One.
Ready And Able ‘Unripe Dates Are Unsuitable For An Eruv’ (Eruvin 28)
When Life Is A Zoo (Eruvin 23b)
Question: When a person buys tefillin, the shel yad often comes with a cover within the cover, which many people leave on during davening. Is this proper?
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)