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Who Owns The Ribbis?

22 Iyyar 5773 – May 1, 2013
In parshas Behar the Torah reiterates some of the halachos of ribbis, and teaches several new halachos as well. The pasuk says that one should not take ribbis from his fellow, he should fear God, “v’chei achicha imach – and your brother shall live with you.” The Gemara derives from the end of this pasuk that if one does charge ribbis and collects it, it must be returned.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Conclusion)

Reb Elimelech personally selected his burial spot, explaining that on that location he perceived the soul of the Baal Shem Tov. Reb Elimelech returned his pure soul to his Maker on 21 Adar, 1787 at the age of 70. Ever since, his burial plot has become a center for prayer and personal requests.

A Journey To Faith: I’m Not Alone Anymore

Growing up with Cerebral palsy, I was angry. I asked, “Why am I disabled? Why is the kid next door Reform and healthy and my family is so religious and I am disabled?” I thought He was supposed to love us, but it seemed He was punishing me.

Lag B’Omer Trivia

18 Iyyar 5773 – April 28, 2013
Some Lag BaOmer trivia you may not know.

Measure For Measure

17 Iyyar 5773 – April 26, 2013
Recently, I was elated to hear that my daughter had left Shaare Zedek hospital content that the surgery to remove a growth under her eyelid had been successful, Baruch Hashem. It is always difficult when a loved one must endure a painful experience while separated by land and sea, but when I heard about the hashgachah she had encountered I was comforted that the One Above was again watching over our family.

Parshas Emor: ‘Stuck In Place’

16 Iyyar 5773 – April 25, 2013
Although it was almost twenty years ago, I think that any of my classmates from second grade remember the time that, “Staum got stuck in his chair.”

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: A Tale of Two ‘Omers’

Here in Eretz Yisroel, one of the most exciting days of the year is Lag Ba’omer. Massive bonfires blaze in almost every empty lot, and multitudes of people throng to Meron to daven and rejoice. The commentators tell us that the reason we celebrate is because the students of R’ Akiva stopped dying on this day.

Q & A: A Sefirah Dilemma (Part I)

15 Iyyar 5773 – April 24, 2013
Question: As the shamash in a small community shul with an aging population, I am faced with numerous challenges. The following is only one of them. During sefirah, different people daven for the amud for Ma’ariv. Once, a bar mitzvah was one of them. On another occasion, a very recent ger lead the service. Were these individuals allowed to lead the congregation in counting sefirah? I also wonder, in general, if everyone should be trusted to lead the counting. What if someone forgot to count on one of the previous nights but does not inform anyone of this? No Name (Via E-Mail)

Daf Yomi

Twin Cities ‘A City Is Given A Karpif’ (Eruvin 57a)

Chadash

This week I will be addressing a question from a previous column – with a new answer. The pasuk in this week’s parshah (Vayikra 23:14) says, “V’lechem v’kali v’karmel lo sochlu ad etzem hayom hazeh ad haviachem es korban elokeichem – And you shall not eat bread [etc.] on this very day until you bring the offering of your God.” This pasuk teaches us that all of the five grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oats, and barley) are forbidden from the time they are harvested until after the korban omer is brought.

The Torah’s System Of Self-Perfection

In one of the many commandments that teach us how to deal with animals, the Torah commands us not to kill a mother and its offspring on one day.

A Drill For A Saw

Betzalel was a "fix-it" man who enjoyed carpentry as a hobby. He did many home improvements himself, which he found both economical and enjoyable. He was now building a swing set for his children, happily sawing, drilling, hammering, and bolting the pieces.

A Break In Mourning During Sefirat Ha’Omer

Question: Why do we interrupt sefirah mourning on Lag B’Omer? When a person observes a personal mourning period (for the loss of a loved one), he never takes a “break” no matter what. Why should sefirah be different?

Eruvei Techumin, Ships, Planes And Mashiach

“On Shabbat, every person must remain in his residence,” said Moshe to the people, forbidding them to walk more than a certain distance beyond their desert encampment. This distance, which measures two thousand amot – about two thirds of a mile – is known as techum Shabbat. It is the same distance that stretched from the perimeters of the Levite cities to their outlying suburbs.

The Power Of A Grateful Heart

For several weeks now we’ve been discussing lack of gratitude – one of the most destructive forces in our society. When people think everything is coming to them, they become selfish, angry individuals. They do not know how to reciprocate. They do not know how to be grateful and, worse still, they become bitter and destructive elements in society. They make miserable sons, daughters and marriage partners. They have no regard for parents, grandparents, Torah teachers and the elderly.

The Faith Of The Remarkable Nation

In its account of the festivals of the Jewish year, this week’s parshah, Parshat Emor, contains the following statement: “You shall dwell in thatched huts for seven days. Everyone included in Israel must live in such thatched huts. This is so that future generations will know that I caused the Israelites to live in sukkot when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your G-d.”

A Tale Of Two Goblets

9 Iyyar 5773 – April 18, 2013
The servant was ecstatic. He was racing to the King’s treasure house to retrieve two precious goblets to place on the King’s very table. Why had he been chosen to be the one to bring these royal treasures? Well, he was the one who had suggested the idea.

Achrei Mos-Kedoshim: Why the Reform Movement Did Not Begin in Northern Africa

Happy Endings. We all love happy endings. Remember the children’s stories that end “and they lived happily ever after”?

A Break In Mourning

8 Iyyar 5773 – April 17, 2013
Question: Why do we interrupt sefirah mourning on Lag B’Omer? When a person observes a personal mourning period (for the loss of a loved one), he never takes a “break” no matter what. Why should sefirah be different?

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