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7 Kislev 5778 -
? Friday, November 24, 2017


Which Mitzvah Comes First?

The Gemara in Pesachim 58b derives from the pasuk in this week’s parshah, “V’arach aleha ha’olah” that the tamid must precede all other korbanos. The drasha is from the letter “hei” that signifies the known one – in this scenario, the korban that is known to be the first korban.

Billionaires

“If you have children, you are a millionaire. And if all of your children have children, you are a billionaire.”

Giving Up On Rebellious Children? (Part One)

Based on the response to my recent columns, it seems the problem of parents struggling with rebellious children may be more prevalent than even the pessimists among us had assumed. As we approach Pesach, the great yom tov during which we confront the Haggadah’s four sons –one wise, one wicked, one simple and one who does not know how to ask – we need to remember that these sons are in our midst in every generation and that we invite all four to join us at the Seder.

Reconciliation vs. Vengeance

Judaism is less a philosophical system than a field of tensions – between universalism and particularism, for example, or exile and redemption, priests and prophets, cyclical and linear time, and so on.

The Message Of The Haggadah

Hashem's reason for redeeming us from Egypt was not so that we could be free, but so that we could be free to accept the Torah at Har Sinai and service Hashem.

Reluctant Reference!

Mr. Lazer ran a successful restaurant. He employed close to twenty people: a chef, cooks and a baker; waiters and waitresses; supply and maintenance personnel; and two cashiers. At the end-of-year accounting, something seemed amiss. There was a small but noticeable discrepancy in the cash receipts of his enterprise. In the following semi-annual account, a similar discrepancy was noted.

Blood On The Mizbeach

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many different halachos that pertain to korbanos. Regarding the korban olah, the pasuk tells us that the entire animal must be brought on the mizbeach and is burned.

Q & A: Preparing For Pesach

Question: We are ba’alei teshuvah in the process of becoming more observant. We wish to kasher our home and utensils for Passover with minimal expense. Do you have any suggestions? Names withheld by request

Daf Yomi

The Kotel And The Mall ‘Sratya u’Platya’ (Eruvin 7a)

When A Pause Makes All The Difference

Question: Does it matter where one pauses when one recites the daily prayers?

Toveling

“You must sanctify yourselves and be holy,” the Torah tells us, “for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” The service of God in our lives should simulate the service of God in the Temple. Just as the kohen, the priest, was required to enter God’s Temple in a state of taharah, spiritual cleanliness, we are required to enter God’s world in a state of taharah.

Dealing With Rebellious Teenagers

Last week I shared a letter from a troubled mother. Her story is typical of many ba’al teshuvah families who discover the Torah way of life in their middle years only to encounter resentment on the part of their adolescent children. Very often these teenagers become angry at the new restrictions in their home.

Shabbos Mevorchim Nissan: Spring … Rebirth … Renewal

On this Shabbos, Shabbos Parshas Ha’Chodesh, we bentch the new month of Nissan — referred to in the Torah as Chodesh Ha’Aviv, the month of spring. Rosh Chodesh falls on Yom Shlishi (Tuesday), heralding the start of a new lunar year and commemorating the inception of the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh.

Parshiyot Vayakheil-Pekudei

When Bnei Yisrael donated money to build the golden calf all they got was a very small calf. This was despite a very successful fundraising campaign. Yet nobody questioned where all the money went.

Visiting The Sick On Shabbat

Visiting the sick, bikur cholim, is one of the mitzvot listed in the prayer “Eilu devarim she’ein lahem shiur” – “These are the things that have no measure.” According to our sages, the Torah itself stresses the importance of bikur cholim in several places.

Q & A: A Sabbath Desecrator Leading Services (Part VII)

Question: May someone who desecrates the Sabbath lead the services if he has yahrzeit? If yes, may he replace someone else who has yahrzeit? Hayim Grosz (Via E-Mail)

Daf Yomi

Waiting For Kiddush ‘Mazal Bears No Influence…’ (Shabbos 156a)

Men Are From Mars

The Torah specifies that the washbasin in the Mishkan was made of copper taken from the mirrors that the women brought as donations. Rashi explains that by telling us where the copper came from the Torah is teaching a significant lesson.

Tzitzit – Inside Or Out?

Question: Must a Jew’s tzitzit strings hang on the outside of his pants?

Guardian’s Oath!

"Look at this sefer," Yoel said to his friend Menashe. "It's written by Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt"l." "I've seen that sefer," replied Menashe. "It's very good. I was thinking of buying it." "That's not all," added Yoel. "Look inside..." Menashe opened the sefer. Inside he saw a signed inscription by Rav Eliyahu. "Wow! How did you get an inscribed copy?" he asked.

The Nature Of A Melachah

The Gemara in Shabbos 49b discusses different options regarding what the 39 melachos correspond to. One opinion in the Gemara holds that they correspond to the 39 times that the Torah uses the word “melachah.”

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