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Worthwhile Wear And Tear

14 Heshvan 5774 – October 17, 2013
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.

Parshas Vayera

13 Heshvan 5774 – October 16, 2013
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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

8 Heshvan 5774 – October 11, 2013
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

7 Heshvan 5774 – October 10, 2013
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

6 Heshvan 5774 – October 9, 2013
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).

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