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5 Adar 5778 -
? Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Unreasonable Rental

The first storm of the winter arrived. The skies turned black and the rain fell heavy. The trees swayed back and forth as the wind howled outside. Here and there, branches snapped off and fell to the ground.

Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part V)

Question: I was recently discussing the sorry state of religion in Eretz Yisrael with some friends, noting that unfortunately a majority of the population consists of non-observant Jews. I expressed my view that this fact explains why Moshiach has not yet come. I avidly read your column and am anxious to learn your view of this matter. No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

First Come, First Served

You’ve been too busy to open your mail. When you finally do, it is overflowing with bills and letters. Solicitation letters from the Jewish hospital, a gemach (interest-free loan fund), the yeshiva and the synagogue.

‘Stand Your Ground’ And Halacha

Question: Can you “stand your ground” according to halacha as George Zimmerman allegedly did when he killed Trayvon Martin?

The Sensitivity Of A Tzaddik

When Yaakov met Rachel at the well, he experienced conflicting emotions. He felt tremendous joy at having finally met his bashert, yet he raised his voice and cried. Rashi explains that he cried because he came empty-handed. He said, “My father’s servant came with ten camels laden with gifts and finery, and I come with empty hands.”

Stones To Tefillin

The Magen Avraham, in siman 42:3, says that one should not reverse the straps from his tefillin (shel yad and shel rosh), making the part that was originally tied as either a “yud” or a “daled” into the opposite end – which is either wrapped around the fingers, or just left hanging down. The reason for this is because the part of the strap that was tied as a “yud” had more kedushah.

Dashed Expectations and Single Daughters (2)

The first thing you need to do is bring your burden to our loving Father. Speak to Hashem from the heart.

The ‘Perfect’ D’var Torah

Several years ago, my wife and I were in Boro Park for a wedding. Early the next morning, we received news from Yerushalayim that we had a new grandson.

Shabbos Mevorchim Kislev

On the 25th day of Kislev the holy light of Chanukah shines upon us to conquer the darkness, and proper adherence to its mitzvah purifies our souls. It is written that Chanukah is an extension of Rosh Hashanah and thus a most effectual time for teshuvah.

The Real Scoop

A lot of life comes down to one choice – are we committed to things and behaviors that have real, lasting value, or are we ready to give them up for a momentary thrill?

Parshat Toldot

Esav truly thought he was getting the better part of the deal. He considered that as a hunter, whose life is constantly at risk, it was likely he would die before his father anyway. Therefore, when an opportunity to sell the birthright presented itself he jumped at it and immediately profited from the sale.

Toldot: a Conversation for the Ages

What does the parsha teach us about the nature of heritage?

With The Congregation Or After?

Question: When a person has an aliyah, should he recite the phrase “Baruch Hashem ha’mevorach l’olam va’ed” together with the congregation or should he wait for the congregation to conclude and then recite this phrase by himself?

Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part IV)

Question: I was recently discussing the sorry state of religion in Eretz Yisrael with some friends, noting that unfortunately a majority of the population consists of non-observant Jews. I expressed my view that this fact explains why Moshiach has not yet come. I avidly read your column and am anxious to learn your view of this matter. No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

I Have Yichus

The Imahos were all barren. According to a midrash, it wasn’t that they were simply incapable of having children, they lacked the very organs necessary to conceive. Knowing this, Yitzchak and Rivkah davened for a miracle.

Daf Yomi

A Cakewalk ‘Through It The Water Trickled Out’ (Shekalim 17a)

Exercise Caution

The bell rang for afternoon break in Mishpat Emes High School. The boys, who had been learning intensely all morning, headed out to the schoolyard for a half-hour break to get some fresh air and stretch their muscles with physical activity.

Was Yaakov Obligated To Respect Yitzchak?

After Yaakov received the berachos from his father and was leaving the room, the pasuk says, “Vayeitzei Yaakov mei’eis penei aviv, Yitzchak – And Yaakov left the face of his father, Yitzchak.” Rav Meir Simcha of Davinsk wrote in his sefer on Chumash, Meshech Chachmah, that the reason why the pasuk used a strange wording – leaving his face – is because the Gemara in Yuma 53b says that when a talmid leaves the presence of a rebbe he should not turn his face to leave; rather, his face should remain in the direction of the rebbe. Rav Meir Simcha continues by citing the Gemara: Rava acted in this manner when leaving his rebbe, Rav Yosef. Therefore the pasuk is teaching us that Yaakov followed this same process.

Breakfast And Happiness (Part I)

After having written this column for so many years, and covering so many topics, I am (finally) bowing to the numerous requests to write about our blessed family. More specifically, I shall commit to paper everyone’s favorite routine: the scene at our breakfast table.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

A Life-Saving Mitzvah

With Sukkos well behind us, we are back to our normal workday mode, our post- holiday routine. The sukkah, our temporary dwelling for eight days, has been dismantled and we have returned to our comfortable, permanent homes. Likewise, our Daled Minim have been discarded, having served their purpose. We’re done with those mitzvos (at least for this season).

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