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1 Tevet 5778 -
? Monday, December 18, 2017


How Important Are Ethics?

Question: In our daily prayers we state that Talmud Torah – the teaching of Torah – is equivalent to all the other mitzvot. What, however, comes under the category of “teaching Torah”? Does someone who teaches students how to behave ethically come under the category of a teacher of Torah?

Worthwhile Wear And Tear

Last week Am Yisrael suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef, zt"l. The greatest tribute we can give to such an outstanding talmid chacham is to repeat and share his Torah. The following article is based on a responsa of his in Yabia Omer (vol. II, C.M. #7). May this learning be l'iluy nishmaso.

Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Part II)

Continuing with our examination of Pesachim as per the Daf Yomi cycle, the Seder commences with Kiddush recited over the first cup of wine. Whereas Kiddush may be recited before nightfall on Shabbat, it must be recited after nightfall on Seder night. Unlike Shabbat and Yom Tov, on Seder night there is a requirement that each participant drink from his own cup.

Is Bris Milah A Mitzvas Assei She’hazman Gramma?

The Gemara in Kiddushin 29a derives from a pasuk in this week’s parshah that women are exempt from performing a bris milah on their sons. The pasuk says: “ka’asher tzivah oso Elokim” (Bereishis 21:4). The Gemara takes from the word “oso” (him) that women are exempt. The Rishonim there are disturbed by the following question: why is it necessary for this pasuk to be written in the Torah when it is a mitzvas assei she’hazman gramma (time-sensitive mitzvah), which women are exempt from performing?

Putting Ideals Into Action (II)

If you are a blessing to others, life takes on a different meaning.

The Shtender And The Wine Glezel

My home is furnished simply. One notes the customary family photos and bric-a-brac that makes a house a home, but certain items are my priceless treasures.

The Rebbe’s Assurance

The current situation with Syria reminds me of an episode that occurred in January 1991 in Toronto. I had taken my son for swimming lessons while my wife stayed in the car, anxiously listening to the news about Israel. Those were very tense times, with Iraq threatening to attack Israel with chemical weapons, God forbid.

Lot’s Choice

Kindness and hospitality came easily to Lot. As a nephew to Avraham, these qualities were part of his DNA; as a ben-bayis who was raised in Avraham's household bringing in guests was what came naturally.

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: The Inauguration Festivities

The special days of Tishrei have come and gone. But hopefully, we managed to elevate our level of spirituality so that we now feel closer to Hashem, even if just a little bit. I think that now is the right time to approach an extremely mystical aspect of Shabbos.

Backfired Lesson

Yisrael, Shlomi, and some other teenage friends swam regularly at the local pool, which had special men's hours. They all brought locks with them to secure the lockers, except Shlomi. He would simply put his clothes in the locker, with the wallet in his pants pocket, and shut the locker door.

The Five-Star Hotel Called Life

When Avraham Avinu was informed that his nephew Lot was captured, he waged war against the combined armies of the four kings. Miraculously, he was victorious and freed Lot.

Daf Yomi

A Case Of Mistaken Identity ‘And Two Cooked Foods’ (Pesachim 114a)

Q & A: They Live In the Land (Part I)

Question: I was recently discussing the sorry state of religion in Eretz Yisrael with some friends, noting that unfortunately a majority of the population...

Parshas Lech Lecha

The Weekly Luach - Shabbos Times

Checking Clothes Before Shabbat

Question: The Talmud (Shabbat 12a) notes, “Rabbi Hanina said: One should examine one’s clothes on the eve of Shabbat before nightfall [to ensure that one is not carrying anything] for one may forget and go out [carrying]. Rav Yosef said this is an important law for Shabbat.”

The Courage Not To Conform

Leaders lead. They don’t conform for the sake of conforming. They don’t do what others do merely because others are doing it. They think outside the box. They march to a different tune.

Q & A: ‘Tal U’Matar’ When a Person Leaves Israel After the 7th of...

What does a person do if he left Israel after the 7th of Cheshvan (October 11, 2013), where they already commenced saying "Ve'ten tal u'matar", but before they start saying it in galut?

Putting Ideals Into Action

It really hit home when you pointed out that on Yom Kippur G-d forgives us with a smile and loving embrace.

All Of His Wonders: Our Purim Miracle

On the exalted Purim day, my husband collects money for needy families, as is the custom of many good-hearted Jews. Last Purim before sundown, he entered the home of his last stop, a home filled with many people. Upon receiving some generous donations, he reached for his pocket to keep these contributions safely together with the rest of the money he had gathered. To his great chagrin and shock, he put his hand into an empty pocket.

Seder Night And Back Seat Drivers (Pesachim Perek 10)

There are lots of back seat drivers at the Seder. Your kezayit (portion) of matzah is not big enough, they chide. Red wine only; shmurah matzot or nothing; don’t start the Seder before nightfall; must finish the meal before midnight; don’t drink wine between the four cups; the Seder plate set in the wrong order. This article is intended as a defensible guide for the brave volunteer who leads the Seder (the ba’al haseder).

The Punishment Of Not Performing A Bris

In this week’s parshah, Hashem commands Avraham in the mitzvah of bris milah. The pasuk says that if one does not perform a bris he will be chayav kares. The Rambam writes in Hilchos Milah (1:2) that one who did not have a bris milah performed when he was a child must do so when he is an adult. He is mevatel a mitzvas assei every day that he delays doing so.

Parshat Noach: Escaping The Flood Waters Of Today

You thought that the Flood, the Mabul, was something that happened a long time ago. I did too—until I saw the Radak on a pasuk in this week’s haftarah. “For this to Me is like the waters of Noach. Just as I swore that the waters of Noach shall never again pass on to the earth, so too I swore never to be completely irate or fume at you.’ (Yeshaya 54:9)

Re-Creation

The world was created soooo long ago that we can feel like it’s “old news.” But by just opening our eyes and seeing the amazing design of the natural world around us, we can feel like we have front-rows seats to creation. Hashem made the world and everything in it -- including us -- with a master plan. By tuning in to the awesome design in everything around us, we can feel connected to that plan and to Him.

Parshat Noach

Though history offers no hard and fast laws like we find in physics, it does provide us with some guidelines. One of the most important is that when it comes to making plans, “the enemy gets a vote” or as Winston Churchill put it: “However absorbed a commander may be in the elaboration of his own thoughts, it is necessary sometimes to take the enemy into consideration.”

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