Sunday. Many of us do not go to work. There is, however, so much to do at home. How many of us have the self-control to make Sunday a voluntary day of rest and refrain from balancing our checkbooks, paying our bills, clearing out the attic, or mowing the lawn?
Egypt, the country that bragged that no slave had ever escaped its land, stood by helplessly as the Chosen Nation triumphantly left. Yet even at this moment, Pharaoh sent spies along to follow them. After three days, his agents reported back that the Jews had veered off course. Pharaoh called out to his people, “Let us reclaim that which is ours,” and he led them in pursuit.
Question: Many chazzanim say the words “ga’al yisrael” before shemoneh esrei quietly. Is this practice proper?
The Carpenter’s Folly ‘All Holy Writings…Require Geniza’ (Shabbos 115a)
Question: May someone who desecrates the Sabbath lead the services if he has yahrzeit? If yes, can he replace someone else who has yahrzeit? Hayim Grosz (Via E-Mail)
In this week’s parshah the Torah informs us that after Bnei Yisrael miraculously crossed the yam suf, they traveled in the desert without water for three days. The Gemara in Baba Kama 82a expounds on this pasuk and explains that the word “water” is a reference to Torah. So the pasuk is actually telling us that Bnei Yisrael went three days without Torah – and they wilted.
Reb Dovid Blinder was a noted scholar and pedagogue in Russia in the late 1800s. He was called ‘Blinder’ (blind man) because he never lifted his head to look outside his immediate area. Among his other achievements, he had the distinction of teaching Rav Chaim Brisker in his youth.
Is it just me? Maybe it’s the aging factor. The shorter days perhaps? Somehow by the time the day is done there is still so much left to do. This nagging sensation becomes even more acute right before the end of the year when you know you’ll soon need to give a din v’cheshbon and will, in all likelihood, come up short.
The Song at the Sea was one of the great epiphanies of history. The sages said that even the humblest of Jews saw at that moment what even the greatest of prophets didn’t. For the first time they broke into collective song – a song we recite every day.
The challenge you posed – How much chesed do our children see in their homes and in their schools? – should make every one of us stop and think.
Whereas a person may not cook food on Shabbat, there is no biblical prohibition against food cooking itself on Shabbat. Therefore a person may place raw meat in a pot on Friday afternoon Erev Shabbat before sunset and allow it to cook through until the following day for the Shabbat lunch meal.
By All Means Rescue! ‘If One Removes A Fish From The Sea’ (Shabbos 107b)
Question: I was at a brit where the father and grandfather of the boy argued over who should be sandak. The grandfather had served as sandak once before, but he persisted and, as they say, “might makes right.” I am curious as to your view on this matter. M. Renkin (Via E-Mail)
Outside the beis medrash of Yeshiva Gedolei Yisrael, Mr. Gross sold framed pictures of many gedolim. Dani loved to stand and admire the pictures as he walked in and out of the beis medrash. Looking at him were the Sages of the previous generation: Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, Rav S.Z. Auerbach, zt"l, Rav Y.S. Elyashiv, zt"l, and many others.
Question: Should one stand or sit during chazarat hashatz?
There is a contradiction in the pesukim as to when makkas bechoros occurred. The pasuk in this week’s parshah says, “vayehi bachatzos halailah, v’Hashem hikah kol bechor b’eretz Mitzrayim… – and at chatzos of the night, Hashem hit every firstborn in the land of Mitzrayim…” (Shemos 12:29). This pasuk states that makkas bechoros occurred by night. The implication from the pasuk in Bamidbar 8:17 is that makkas bechoros occurred by day, for the pasuk says: “b’yom hakosi kol bechor… -- on the day that I hit all of the firstborn…”
As night fell and Shabbat drew to a close, a minyan gathered in my sister’s home in Manchester, England.
How do we teach our children, and more importantly ourselves, the art of kindness and compassion? How do we become better people? Is there a university that teaches us kindness, sensitivity or consideration for one another?