At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.
Guarding the Temple Even Today! ‘Kohanim Were Stationed in Three Places’ (Tamid 25b)
Question: At the conclusion of the Amidah, should the chazzan say “Yiyu leratzon imrei fi… – May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable before you, G-d, my Rock and Redeemer”?
Mr. Gottlieb, though not wealthy, was known for his generosity. He scrupulously gave 10 percent of his earnings to charity, and often much more. Among his regular charities was Yeshivas Ohr Israel. At the recent Dinner, Mr. Gottlieb pledged $10,000 toward the Yeshiva's scholarship fund.
Kishka ‘Their Consumers Are Not Human!’ (Me’ilah 20b)
A Transfusion, An Element Of Life ‘Blood From A Sanctified Animal Is Forbidden’ (Me’ilah 12)
Question: I have heard that some halachic authorities disapprove of placing a silver atarah on a talit. Is this true?
In addition to karet, there is another type of premature death at the hand of God known as “mita bedei shamayim.”
Question: During Kriat HaTorah, many congregations recite a general prayer for ill people. What is the source of this custom? Also, in many congregations, instead of the gabbai announcing each name, all of the shul’s members are asked to silently say the name of the ill person to themselves while the gabbai remains quiet for several moments. Is this proper?
When The Service Is Done ‘Once Permitted To Kohanim, Me’ilah Does Not Apply’ (Me’ilah 4b)
Yankel drove with his wife to the yeshiva's annual dinner. "I hope we'll be able to find parking," she said.
Each morning at about 7:10 a.m. my mother, still in her housecoat and slippers, would wake me for school. One wintry Monday morning I opened my eyes to see her leaning over my bed. She was in hat and coat and her hands were cold from the weather outside.
A Bride And Groom On Their Wedding Day ‘Except For The Day After Yom Kippur’ (Kerisos 25a)
Question: If a person has a number of personal concerns that need to be thought out and analyzed, can he go to shul to do this?
Question: How much matzah must one eat at the Pesach Seder?
Beware Of The Fruit! ‘A Mis’asek Is Excluded’ (Kerisos 19a)
It's 1 p.m. on Friday, Erev Pesach. The rabbi had already sold the chametz at 10 a.m. But I forgot to sell mine. Now the synagogue office is closed and I can't get hold of the form the rabbi uses to sell the chametz. The Torah requires me to remove all chametz from my house on Pesach. But I just cannot bring myself to throw out that Glenfiddich. Is there a way the whisky can remain in my house during Pesach, and would I be able to drink it after Pesach?
Question: What is the basis of the custom to refrain from eating matzah for a period of time before Pesach?
On the bima of the beis medrash stood a maos chittim "pushka" (collection box) on behalf of "Matzos Chesed Organization." The gabbai emptied the box every few days, typically finding $200-$500.
Seizing An Opportunity? ‘A Person Is Believed Regarding Himself More Than 100 Witnesses’ (Kerisos 11b-12a)
Question: If someone passes away on one day but is buried the next day, when does the son stop saying Kaddish and when should he observe the yahrzeit – 11 and 12 months, respectively, after the day of death or 11 and 12 months, respectively, after the day of burial?
Temple Management 101 ‘The Rest Were Given To The Craftsmen As Wages’ (Kerisos 6a)
If you pay only $5 or if you creep back, retrieve your $10 bill and make off with the money and the flowers. Doing that would be a breach of trust.
The act of temurah, consecrating another animal in place of an already consecrated animal, incurs the punishment of malkot - lashes. This is somewhat surprising. There is a halachic rule that a prohibition that does not involve an overt act does not incur the punishment of malkot – “lav she’einbBo ma’aseh, ein lokin alav.” Why then does a person incur malkot?
Question: When we pray, are we requesting or demanding that God fulfill our wishes?