Even Moses, who spoke with God one on One, was not allowed to see Him during his lifetime. “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.”
Question: Should a person recite kiddush standing or sitting on Sukkot? If he stands, should he sit down after saying the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah or remain standing?
Pomp And Circumstance ‘Endeavor to See the King’ (Berachos 58a)
The Lady Of The House ‘One Blesses First On The Wine…’ (Berachos 51)
Question: A basic Jewish belief is that everyone ultimately will be judged. This final judgment is called din v’cheshbon, judgment and reckoning – see Avot 3:1. What is the difference between these two terms? What is din and what is cheshbon?
It was Yom Kippur eve. The shul began filling rapidly as the time approached for Kol Nidrei. Herzl Machlis sat in his seat, cloaked in his tallis and kittel, quietly reciting Tefillah Zakkah, composed by the Chayei Adam 150 years ago.
Why is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, so different from other Jewish holidays? On the face of it, it does not seem to follow any pattern. It is celebrated for two days, not only in the Diaspora but also in Israel. Yet the Sages refer to the two days of Rosh Hashanah as one long day – yoma arichta.
Shehakol Bread? ‘One Recites A Blessing On The Primary Food’ (Berachos 44a)
One cold December evening, I walked into my father’s book-lined study to light the Chanukah candles, which were placed beside the window that overlooked a high street in North London.
Dr. Oren had a small psychology practice and rented office space from his colleague, Dr. Wieder, on Thursday afternoons. The rent amounted to $500 for the month. Since the two usually did not see each other, the arrangement was that Dr. Oren would leave the rent money in the top drawer of the desk.
A Vicious Cycle ‘Many Different Kinds Were Set Before Him’ (Berachos 41a)
However remote the prospect of acquittal, a Jew must never give up. God commands us to challenge indictment with prayer. And the rabbis urge us to confront sentencing with hunger strikes. And so, the Midrash tells us, when Moses stood before God, at a loss for words with which to defend the sin of the golden calf, God Himself donned a tallit, took to the prayer stand, and showed Moses how to pray and what to say:
It would be reasonable to assume that a language that contains the verb “to command” must also contain the verb “to obey.” The one implies the other, just as the concept of a question implies the possibility of an answer. We would, however, be wrong. There are 613 commandments in the Torah, but there is no word in biblical Hebrew that means “to obey.” When Hebrew was revived as a language of everyday speech in the nineteenth century, a word, letsayet, had to be borrowed from Aramaic. Until then there was no Hebrew word for “to obey.”
A Two Way Street? ‘Joining Geulah To Tefillah Is Preferable’ (Berachos 30a)
Mr. Morris was home one evening, when an acquaintance, Mr. Roth, knocked at his door. "May I have a word with you?" Mr. Roth asked. "Certainly, come in," Mr. Morris said, welcoming him into the living room. "Perhaps you've forgotten," Mr. Roth began, "but last year I lent you $500, which you never repaid." Mr. Morris scratched his head and thought for a moment. "I never borrowed from you," he replied.
No Cell Phones Please! ‘A Kerchief That One Designated For Storing Tefillin’ (Berachos 23)
Prayer is always an avenue to God. But in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, and during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, God lends a particularly sympathetic ear.
What About Ma’ariv? ‘The Bridegroom Is Exempt From Kerias Shema’ (Berachos 16a)
Excitement was in the air as the 12th Siyum HaShas of the Daf Yomi cycle approached. Mendy, who had joined the Daf seven and-a-half years earlier, eagerly anticipated taking part in this major event at MetLife Stadium along with 93,000 other participants.
Kerias Shema Twice At Night? ‘When One Reads Shema’ (Berachos 8b)