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.
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.
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.
A Matter Of Resolve ‘The One Who Searches Recites A Berachah’ (Pesachim 7a)
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)
Money cannot create a bond of love or faithfulness between husband and wife.
Andrew Connor was not born Jewish. He grew up in the Midwest, with almost no Jews around, so Judaism was the farthest thing from his mind. In the course of his military career, though, his unit was served by a Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Hillel. After being seriously wounded and coming close to dying, Andrew had numerous opportunities to discuss the meaning of life with Rabbi Hillel.
Like many religious Jews, our bookshelves contain a variety of sefarim. Among the sifrei Mishnah, the Gemara, the Chumashim, among others, there is one sefer that has special meaning to my family and me.
Question: When called to the Torah for an aliyah, may one recite the berachot silently?
“Just one Shabbos and we’ll all be free!” We all know MBD’s classic song, which swept the Jewish music scene in the 80’s, and it is actually based on the following midrash (Shemos 25:12): “If Klal Yisroel will keep one Shabbos properly, Ben-Dovid (a reference to Moshiach, not MBD…) will immediately come.” However, this requires explanation – why is it that we will be redeemed through keeping Shabbos? Let us discover an amazing new aspect of Shabbos that will also help us to properly utilize the upcoming “Three Weeks” – the days of mourning over the Bais HaMikdash.
Parshas Balak ends with the daughters of Moav enticing the young Jewish men to sin. .. This quickly led to idol worship, and many Jewish men served Baal Peor.
Out Of The Box ‘All May Enter The Heichal To Build, Repair…’ (Eruvin 105a)
Question: As Shavuot is fast approaching – a holiday on which we dwell on the story of Ruth and the origins of the royal house of David – I was wondering if you could help me resolve something. The Mishnah never makes any mention of the Hasmonean kings, the mitzvah to light a Chanukah menorah, or the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days. Some people say that Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi – the redactor of the six orders of the Mishnah and a scion of King David – omitted these topics because the Hasmoneans improperly crowned themselves, ignoring the rule that all Jewish kings are supposed to come from the tribe of Yehudah. They argue that this is also why the Talmud does not include a separate tractate on Chanukah. Is this true? Menachem (Via E-Mail)
As we start Pesachim in the study of Daf Yomi, we see that the Torah commands us to remove leavened bread, chametz, on Erev Pesach, in order to ensure that chametz will be neither seen nor found on our premises during the Yom Tov. The removal of chametz is achieved either by renouncing one’s ownership over it, bitul, or by physically destroying it, biyur. The rabbis established a procedure that combines both bitul and biyur.
Noam had been driving his Toyota Camry for ten years and decided it was time to sell. The car was in good condition overall, but its age was beginning to show. There was a slow leak in the water, which had to be added to once a month; the padding on one of the seats was wearing through; the car had been in two accidents and the trunk door had been replaced; a seat belt was missing’ there were assorted dents and scratches on the outside; the tires and break pads were showing signs of wear and would soon have to be replaced; and the air conditioning was not as powerful as it used to be and there was a rattling sound when it was turned on, but Noam wasn't sure if there was a real problem there.
When in a quandary we must always turn to our holy books and search for answers.
In this week’s parshah Bilam decides to approach Balak with the intention of cursing the Bnei Yisrael. En route his donkey refused to continue on the path, continuing to veer to the side of the road. At one point the donkey smashed Bilam’s leg into the wall. Bilam hit his donkey three different times. The reason that his donkey would not proceed is because it saw that there was a malach standing in the road with his sword drawn.
The GPS had not been invented when Shelly set off on a Friday afternoon many years ago to join the Bnei Akiva camp in the English countryside. The organizers always managed to find a farmer who welcomed young campers under adult supervision; thus they set up their tents and during the week took the opportunity to learn the halachot of building an eruv. There would be no problems on Shabbat and they would be able to carry within the campsite.
The Rambam, therefore, adds a second component: by getting angry, Moshe misled the people as to the nature of God. The masses felt that Moshe's anger was reflective of God's anger.
One of the most complex Tanach personalities is the central figure of this week’s Haftorah: Yiftach, the Shofet, Judge.
"I saw an advertisement for group swimming lessons during the summer," Mr. Leiner said to his wife. "I think it would be good for our Pinchas."
She is my first child to reach this stage and, frankly, I’m worried.
Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin ‘Transgressing Bal Tigra’ (Eruvin 100a)