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4 Kislev 5778 -
? Tuesday, November 21, 2017


May Tisha B’Av Be Annulled?

Question: Does a contemporary bet din have the authority to annul Tisha B’Av considering that the fast day is rabbinical, not biblical, in origin?

The Lines Before Sefer Devarim

This week we begin reading Sefer Devarim. The Gemara in Baba Basra 13b says that four blank lines must be scratched onto the parchment between each of the sefarim of a Sefer Torah (i.e. between Sefer Bereishis and Sefer Shemos).

Daf Yomi

The Shoemaker’s Children ‘If One Can Eat, One Can Sell’ (Pesachim 21a)

Q & A: Kiddush Levanah And Repeating Verses Three Times (Part II)

Question: I have numerous questions about Kiddush Levanah. First, why is this prayer called Kiddush Levanah? Shouldn’t it be called Chiddush Levanah considering that the prayer concerns the renewal – not the sanctification – of the moon? Second, why do we greet each other with the words Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levanah and why do we repeat the greeting three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Third, why does Kiddush Levanah – and other prayers – contain verses (aside from the Shalom Aleichem greeting) that we are supposed to say three times? Please elaborate on this mitzvah. Ira Warshansky (Via E-Mail)

Man: Preprogrammed For Greatness

“The ox knows its owner; the donkey the stall of its master; Israel doesn’t know, My nation doesn’t contemplate.” – Yeshayah 1:3 With these words, Yeshayah HaNavi begins the rebuke of his generation, a generation that strayed, that has left the ways of the Torah and turned to other gods and foreign ways.

My Happiest Tisha B’Av

I knew it wasn’t the right attitude to have but Tisha B’Av 30 years ago was one of the happiest days of my life.

Parshat Matot Massei

Louis XVI hoped that July 21, 1791 would be a turning point in the French Revolution. It was, but not quite the way he had hoped it would be. Louis had planned to cross into Austria, raise an army and invade his home country of France to crush the revolution. In fact, Louis and his family nearly made it to the border. They were a mere thirty miles away from putting his grand scheme into action. But a stable master recognized him when the carriage stopped to rest. The National Guardsmen were alerted and intercepted his carriage forcing him and his family to return to Paris embarrassed and humiliated. The French Revolution was about to take a dangerous and radical turn.

No Good Reason

The three weeks period between the 17 of Tammuz and Tisha b’Av, besides being a time to remember and mourn the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim, is a very special time to focus on love. The spiritual root cause of the churban and all the other tragedies of Jewish history that resulted from it was sinas chinam, disliking and hating each other for no good reason. So it only makes sense that the way to remedy this is to go out of our way, especially during these three weeks, to try to like and love each other -- even for no good reason.

Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av

On this coming Shabbos Parshas Matos-Masai we bentch Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av. Rosh Chodesh (on Yom Sheini - Monday, July 8) marks the start of the mournful “nine days” during which we restrict many activities normally taken for granted, such as eating meat and drinking wine (Shabbos is an exception), the purchasing and wearing of new clothes, doing laundry (the washing of children’s clothing may be permitted; consult your halachic authority), listening to music, swimming and participating in joyful pursuits.

Thoughts On My Visit To South Africa

Hashem has His own timetable and He allowed me to make my journey.

Catch 22

On Shabbat one should eat three meals. The Friday night and the Shabbat morning meals require Kiddush with wine and two challot, lechem mishneh, and the third meal, the seudah shlishit, requires lechem mishneh. The correct time for seudah shlishit is the afternoon. But what if it’s Shabbat Erev Pesach, when no chametz may be eaten after the fourth halachic hour of the day? No problem, some might think. Let’s use matzah for seudah shlishit. But that cannot be done either, because one may not eat kasher l’Pesach matzah on Erev Pesach and though it is Shabbat, it is also Erev Pesach. So if you cannot use challot or matzah for seudah shlishit, what should you do?

Lottery

Chaim and Zev had been roommates in yeshiva for a number of years. They had purchased, often jointly, many pictures of gedolim to adorn their walls. One of the most beautiful ones was a hand drawing of Rav Elyashiv, zt"l, that was not easy to find anymore.

An Aliyah For Someone Who Isn’t Fasting

Question: May a person who ate on Tisha B’Av receive an aliyah?

Q & A: Kiddush Levanah And Repeating Verses Three Times (Part II)

Question: I have numerous questions about Kiddush Levanah. First, why is this prayer called Kiddush Levanah? Shouldn’t it be called Chiddush Levanah considering that the prayer concerns the renewal – not the sanctification – of the moon? Second, why do we greet each other with the words Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levanah and why do we repeat the greeting three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Third, why does Kiddush Levanah – and other prayers – contain verses (aside from the Shalom Aleichem greeting) that we are supposed to say three times? Please elaborate on this mitzvah. Ira Warshansky (Via E-Mail)

Arei Miklat

In parshas Masei the Torah discusses the halachos regarding when one person accidentally kills another. The Torah says that a relative of the victim (goel hadam) may avenge the death of his relative by killing the murderer who acted accidentally. According to the Torah, the perpetrator must go to one of the arei miklat (city of refuge). While in the ir miklat the goel hadam may not kill the murderer who acted accidentally. If he does kill him while he was in the ir miklat, he will be liable for murder.

Tisha B’Av Musings

My 40th birthday was looming, and the doctors were taking no chances. Every pre-natal visit was a repeat performance of the earlier ones. I was practically read the riot act, made to feel like the most irresponsible mother in history.

The Breakfast Of Champions (Part II)

Brief synopsis: Monona Grove High School in Wisconsin was a most unlikely candidate to make it to the 1998 high school basketball championships, referred to as “State.” Especially so since the coach is a very young rookie named Dan Zweifel, who replaced the veteran Coach Verhelst. Andy Witte, the team’s star player, will do anything to please Coach V.

Parshas Pinchas: ‘Shabbos For Shabbos’

A friend recently related the following personal story: “A few months ago I was invited to a wedding of close friends. Though the bride and groom were from New York they were celebrating their wedding in a resort village in Mexico, south of Cancun. I, and other guests who were Shomer Shabbos arranged all the food.

Two Days Of Rosh Chodesh

In this week’s parshah the Torah lists the different korbanos that we are to bring on the various different days of the year. In perek 28, pasuk 11 the Torah commands us as to which korbanos we must bring on Rosh Chodesh. In the times of the Beis HaMikdash, Rosh Chodesh was determined by the actual birth of the moon. Witnesses would testify before beis din that they saw the rebirth of the new moon, and beis din would pronounce that that day was Rosh Chodesh.

Daf Yomi

A Matter Of Resolve ‘The One Who Searches Recites A Berachah’ (Pesachim 7a)

Q & A: “Kiddush Levanah, Verses Repeated Three Times” (Part I)

Question: I have numerous questions about Kiddush Levanah. First, why is this prayer called Kiddush Levanah? Shouldn’t it be called Chiddush Levanah considering that the prayer concerns the renewal – not the sanctification – of the moon? Second, why do we greet each other with the words Shalom Aleichem at Kiddush Levanah and why do we repeat the greeting three times? Is it because we have not seen a new moon for a whole month? Third, why does Kiddush Levanah – and other prayers – contain verses (aside from the Shalom Aleichem greeting) that we are supposed to say three times? Please elaborate on this mitzvah. Ira Warshansky (Via E-Mail)

Hashem Is the Ultimate Shadchan (cont.)

Money cannot create a bond of love or faithfulness between husband and wife.

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