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Purchasing Agent

24 Tevet 5774 – December 26, 2013
"Yossi is getting married in three weeks," Moshe said to Yehudah. "He mentioned that if a few friends wanted to chip in, he would be happy to get a washing machine as a gift. Are you interested?"

Shabbat, Shabbat Shabbaton

If they would invent a Mah Nishtanah for Shabbat/Yom Kippur, it would go like this: “Why is this Friday night different from all others? On all other Friday nights we enjoy a festive Shabbat meal. Tonight? No dinner!” The question is a good one. According to many opinions, it is a Torah obligation to celebrate Shabbat with three festive meals and it is a Torah violation to fast on Shabbat. Why then, do we not postpone Yom Kippur to Sunday like we do with all other fasts

Child Raising

18 Tevet 5774 – December 20, 2013
Imagine Amram and Yocheved, the parents of Moshe Rabbeinu and Aharon Hakohen. We know who they were, but what do we know of their child-raising techniques? What was the central pillar of their home that helped foster these two spiritual giants?

Firing Line

Mrs. Simon had been teaching for seven years at a girls’ elementary school. The school had expanded rapidly during the previous decade as the local Jewish community grew. Each grade boasted four parallel classes.

Shenayim Mikra V’echad Targum

This week we begin reading sefer and parshas Shemos. The parshah begins with the words “v’eileh shemos bnei Yisrael habaim Mitzraimah.”

Shmot: If Midrash is Real, Why Isn’t It Peshat?

We need to put ourselves into the eyes of Pharaoh's daughter.

Daf Yomi

Where Angels Dare Not Tread ‘There Shall Be No Man In The Tent Of Meeting’ (Yoma 43b)

Q & A: Standing During Birkot Keriat Shema (Part III)

Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Facing The World – Minchat Lechem Hapanim

As I headed to work on the subway one morning, two men boarded the train carrying on their shoulders crates of sandwiches and toiletries. They put the crates down and invited anyone who might be hungry or had not slept in their own bed that night to help themselves from the crates. Everybody hid behind his or her newspaper.

One Nation, Indivisible

When Moshe came of age, he went out to visit his brothers, to share in their suffering. What he saw caused him great anguish.

Yahrzeit: a Time to Remember (2)

Whatever pain or challenge assails us, the parshah of the week will always guide and comfort us.

Six Heroic Women

six heroines, six courageous women without whom there would not have been a Moses.

Parshas Shemos

16 Tevet 5774 – December 18, 2013
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The Peace-Loving Principal

One thing Meir couldn’t abide was machloket. He would fight wholeheartedly on behalf of his pupils in a situation involving a dispute – but not so if it was political, educational, or religious in nature.

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem: The Inside Story

11 Tevet 5774 – December 13, 2013
On the ninth of Teves Ezra HaSofer was niftar. The Gemara (Megilah 15a) tells us that Ezra was actually Malachi – the last prophet. With his passing, the glorious era of nevuah, prophecy, came to an end.

Yosef’s Immunity And Its Message For Our Times

The belief in the power of the evil eye and the desire to ward off its deleterious spell are rooted firmly in Jewish historical consciousness. Indeed, the Talmud is replete with numerous references to the notion of ayin hara and takes its existence for granted.

Vayechi: Who Is Joseph’s Real Father?

When Joseph agrees to bury Jacob in Canaan, Jacob bows to him in relief - why?

Sensitivity Of A Tzaddik

10 Tevet 5774 – December 12, 2013
Yaakov Avinu spent the final seventeen years of his life in Mitzrayim. While there he lived in peace for the first time in many years and remained in that state for the rest of his life. Near the end of his days he called in his beloved son Yosef and made an impassioned request: “Please do not bury me in Mitzrayim.”

Why Did Yosef Have To Swear?

This week’s parshah begins with Yaakov Avinu on his deathbed. He called for and requested of Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but rather in Eretz Yisrael. Although Yosef agreed to fulfill this request, Yaakov asked him to swear that he would keep his word, which he did.

Q & A: Standing During Birkot Keriat Shema (Part II)

Question: I have noticed that some people stand during the Birkot Keriat Shema. I was always under the impression that one is supposed to sit for Shema and its berachot. Is there a source that allows one to stand during this part of the prayer? Menachem (Via E-Mail)

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