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Through The Eyes Of History

13 Tammuz 5773 – June 20, 2013
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.

Daf Yomi

Out Of The Box ‘All May Enter The Heichal To Build, Repair…’ (Eruvin 105a)

Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ (Part VI)

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)

On Beginning Pesachim In Daf Yomi

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.

Used Car

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.

Hashem Is The Ultimate Shadchan

When in a quandary we must always turn to our holy books and search for answers.

Tza’ar Ba’alei Chaim

12 Tammuz 5773 – June 19, 2013
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.

Shabbat In The Pub

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 Sin of Moshe Rabbeinu

7 Tammuz 5773 – June 14, 2013
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.

Yiftach: An Ignorant Leader?

One of the most complex Tanach personalities is the central figure of this week’s Haftorah: Yiftach, the Shofet, Judge.

Postdated

6 Tammuz 5773 – June 13, 2013
"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."

Finding The Right One

She is my first child to reach this stage and, frankly, I’m worried.

Daf Yomi

Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin ‘Transgressing Bal Tigra’ (Eruvin 100a)

Q & A: ‘The Scepter Shall Not Depart From Judah’ (Part V)

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)

May An Impure Minor Enter The Mikdash?

5 Tammuz 5773 – June 12, 2013
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many halachos of tumah. One halacha is that a person who is tamei may not enter the Mikdash. Doing so makes him liable for kareis.

A Word Of Thanks

The highway was packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, and there I sat with hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel, begging the cars to move. My heart swelled at the thought of seeing my son, who was just coming back from his year of learning in Eretz Yisrael. How I had missed him! Though I was used to him being away (if you can ever really get used to a child being away), a special space in my heart was empty – as I waited for him.

Jumping Ship

29 Sivan 5773 – June 6, 2013
No one lives in a vacuum. No, that doesn’t mean we didn’t get sucked up through a vacuum cleaner hose in the pre-Pesach cleaning frenzy, it means that whether we like it or not, our environment—the people and things around us—makes a big impact on who we are.

Searching For A Single Home

According to biblical law, once an area has been converted in to a reshut hayachid by enclosing it with a halachically acceptable eruv, one may carry inside the enclosed area. But according to rabbinical law, it is simply not enough to enclose an area in which one wants to carry with an eruv. This alone will not permit carrying from the home into the street or vice versa. Neither will it alone permit carrying from a condominium apartment into the lobby or other common areas.

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