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All told, nobody is quite sure which day is holier, Shabbat or Yom Kippur. On the one hand it seems Yom Kippur is holier because the Torah refers to it as “Shabbat Shabbaton,” the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. On the other hand, perhaps Shabbat is holier because God sanctifies it, whereas bet din, the Jewish court of law, sanctifies Yom Kippur.
This uncertainty has practical ramifications. Which of the following two prayers does one recite first on Shabbat/Yom Kippur – the Shehecheyanu blessing that celebrates Yom Kippur because Yom Kippur is the holier event, or the Shabbat Psalm of Mizmor Shir Leyom HaShabbat? No one is quite sure. Ashkenazi Jews recite Shehecheyanu first but Sephardi Jews recite the psalm for Shabbat first.
What everybody is sure about, however, is that the confluence of Shabbat and Yom Kippur creates the holiest day. First, Shabbat enhances teshuvah on Yom Kippur because the very word Shabbat includes the principal letters of teshuvah, taf, shin and bet. Second, the most powerful way to serve God is with joy, and Shabbat is a day of joy. Third, the synthesis of Shabbat and Yom Kippur reunites the two sets of the tablets of law, the first that was given on Shabbat and then smashed and the second that was given on Yom Kippur.
The blessing that is made over the Shabbat/Yom Kippur lights, which mentions both Shabbat and Yom Kippur is so powerful that it is no wonder we are lit up on this unique day.
And if one needed any more convincing of the rarified quality of Shabbat/Yom Kippur, we find it in the Havdalah ceremony. Whereas on a regular Yom Kippur we use no besamim for Havdalah, on Shabbat/Yom Kippur we do. That is because we take leave of the special Shabbat guest, the neshamah yeterah.
About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.
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Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.
Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.
Life Before The Printed Word
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Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.
Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.
The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”
And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).
Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”
Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory
Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus
Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.
I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.
A more difficult situation arises when there is no evidence placing the missing husband at the site of the death.
When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.
The child of a Jewish mother from a union with a non-Jewish father is not a mamzer.
Although the conversion ceremony involves more than circumcision and immersion, these are the two essential requirements, without which the conversion is ineffective.
If a man dies childless, the Torah commands the deceased’s brother to marry his brother’s widow in a ceremony known as yibum, or to perform a special form of divorce ceremony with her known as chalitzah.
What if, at the moment of the late brother’s death, the surviving brother cannot effect yibum because the widow is a niddah?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/shabbat-shabbat-shabbaton/2013/12/26/
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