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Two Types Of Community

A long drama had taken place. Moses had led the people from slavery to the beginning of the road to freedom. The people themselves had witnessed G-d at Mount Sinai, the only time in all history when an entire people became the recipients of revelation. Then came the disappearance of Moses for his long sojourn at the top of the mountain, an absence which led to the Israelites’ greatest collective sin, the making of the Golden Calf. Moses returned to the mountain to plead for forgiveness, which was granted.

Ba’al Teshuvah Parents, Resentful Son

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis, The letter you shared last week from a troubled wife who became a ba’alas teshuvah, a returnee to religious observance, hit a sensitive spot in my heart. My husband and I have also been struggling with this problem – albeit from a different perspective.

May One Have More than One Wife?

The Gemara says that anything made forbidden by a court must have an explicit permission put forth by another court in order for the prohibition to be removed.

Parshas Ki Sisa: A Day Of Transformation

“And you (Moshe) speak to the Children of Israel saying, ‘But my Shabbos you are to observe; for it is a sign between Me and you for your generations, to know that I am Hashem Who sanctifies you” (Shemos 31:13).

Fear Of Flying

If you took a bus to synagogue on a rainy Shabbat or Yom Tov day, with umbrella in hand, would that be OK? There is no melachah involved because you are not driving. There is no amira le’nochri (asking a non‑Jew to perform a melachah on your behalf) involved because you are not asking the non‑Jew to drive for you. He is driving of his own accord for other non‑Jews. There is no violation of techum Shabbat (the prohibition not to travel on Shabbat or Yom Tov more than 2,000 amot beyond one's residence), because the bus travels only in the city.

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

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)

Here, Take it!

The Golds were planning a two-week vacation. Mrs. Gold did not want to travel with her jewelry, but was concerned about leaving it in their apartment while they traveled.

Increasing Joy

Question: The Talmud (Ta’anit 29a) notes that we should be more joyous starting from the beginning of Adar. Does this period of joy continue after Purim?

The Merit Of Others

Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest human being who ever lived. The Rambam tells us that of all the prophets he alone was able to speak to Hashem directly. Normally, a prophet must go into an altered state of consciousness to experience Hashem. Otherwise the experience would cause sensory overload, and he would die.

Daf Yomi

Out On A Limb ‘One May Reset A Fracture’ (Shabbos 148a)

With Gun Pointed, I Became A Rabbi

The first and only time I said I was a rabbi was also the first and only time I had a gun pointed at me. What led me to that moment was my need to stay on the Upper West Side for a Shabbos and a hospitality committee that arranged for me to stay with a man who lived in the former janitor’s apartment on the fifth floor of a synagogue.

The Two Awakenings

Framing the epic events of this week’s sedrah are two objects: the two sets of tablets – the first given before, and the second after, the sin of the Golden Calf. Of the first, we read: “The tablets were the work of G-d; the writing was the writing of G-d, engraved on the tablets.”

How Women Can Change The World

Last week I shared a letter from a troubled and confused young woman. She had become a ba’alas teshuvah after marriage. Her husband, however, has not changed his secular ways and thinking. The following is my response.

Purim With Food Allergies

Purim is a time of great celebration. Many of our traditions for this chag require food - festive meals, mishloach manos. Abundant food can mean abundant pitfalls for the food allergic. How can one navigate this maze of food allergy landmines?

The Purim Seudah

Here are some wonderful dishes to share with your family and friends this coming Purim

Zachor – Feeling Low Leads To Lowliness

A colossal failure of mammoth proportions. Shaul HaMelech fails in his mission to destroy the nation of Amalek in its entirety and to this day, we suffer from its ever-present force of evil.

Shabbos – a Day with Hashem: Feast or Folly?

Someone sent me this e-mail: “The ABC’s of Purim: They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat.”

Why Didn’t Mordechai Flee?

Question: Why did Mordechai refuse to bow to Haman, thus endangering the entire Jewish people? Couldn’t he have simply fled Shushan?

Why Don’t We Recite A Berachah On The Mitzvah Of Zachor?

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka. This week we read parshas Zachor (Devarim 25:17), which details...

Daf Yomi

Treifa Cow’s Milk? ‘A Toldah Of Dash’ (Shabbos 144a)

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

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)

Purim And The Joy Of Life

In the eighth year of Achashveirosh’s rule, on the thirteenth of Adar, every Jewish man, woman and child was to be slaughtered. Young or old, wealthy or poor, they were counted as one, and on that fateful day the Jewish people would cease to be. According to the ways of the world, and according to the natural course of events, that is what should have happened.

Washing One’s Hands Before Or After Kiddush

If you eat mayonnaise with everything, or you attended Breuers, or you wash your hands before Kiddush, you are probably of German Jewish descent. The first two inferences are understandable. Where does the third one come from?

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