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The Proper Way to Hold a Mitzvah

4 Adar 5773 – February 13, 2013
If one holds the object of a mitzvah upside down he has not fulfilled the mitzvah.

Triply Blessed

Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

Building Builders

As soon as we read the opening lines of Terumah we begin the massive shift from the intense drama of the exodus with its signs and wonders and epic events, to the long, detailed narrative of how the Israelites constructed the Mishkan.

Teaching Our Children Chesed And Rachamim

I concluded last week’s column with some questions that, if answered honestly, will give us insight into whether we as parents reflect chesed and rachamim to our children.

Shabbos Mevorchim Adar – ‘Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B’Simcha’

28 Shevat 5773 – February 7, 2013
On Shabbos Parshas Shekalim we bentch Rosh Chodesh Adar, the month that concludes the lunar year cycle and marks the last of the six winter months. As Rosh Chodesh falls on Yom Rishon and Yom Sheni (Sunday and Monday), Shabbos Mevorchim coincides with erev Rosh Chodesh.

Parshat Mishpatim

Besides being the final arbiter of difficult legal cases and the licensing agency for Kohanim, the Sanhedrin was also responsible for the maintenance of the religious well-being of Bnei Yisrael.

Must A Judge Return A Bribe?

One of the many halachos written in this week’s parshah is the prohibition for a judge to accept a bribe. The Torah testifies that bribery works and can blind the eyes of the righteous; thus it is forbidden to accept any form of bribery – even for one to judge correctly.

Daf Yomi

Damsel In Distress ‘A Woman In Labor Is Considered Critically Ill’ (Shabbos 129a)

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

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)

Dishonest Discount

Avrumi perused the signs posted on the bulletin board of his yeshiva. He had seen most of the notices before, so he glossed over them quickly. Then he saw a new sign posted by the office: "We have arranged a 10% discount for our talmidim at the local seforim store. Please register at the store to get your discount card."

Our Torah Heritage

The Das Zakainim teaches us that "before them" means before the Jews and not before the gentiles. The Torah is for the Jewish people exclusively.

The Shliach Tzibbur And Ya’aleh V’yavo

27 Shevat 5773 – February 6, 2013
Question: What should someone do if he forgot to say Ya’aleh V’yavo in Shmoneh Esreh?

Benefiting From A Non-Jew’s Work On Shabbat

If you yourself may not perform a melachah, you may not ask a non-Jew to perform it for you. This is true both for biblically prohibited acts, melachot de’oreita, and rabinically prohibited acts, melachot de’rabbanan. This applies even if the non-Jew was instructed before Shabbat to perform the melachah on Shabbat.

God Is In The Details

Wherever the term “and these” is used, it signals continuity. Just as the commands in Parshat Yitro were given at Sinai, so too were the commands in Parshat Mishpatim. Why are the civil laws in the beginning of Parshat Mishpatim placed in juxtaposition to the laws concerning the altar at the end of Parshat Yitro? To tell you to place the Sanhedrin near to the Temple.

The Ever-Amazing Reb Elimelech (Part XVII)

Reb Elimelech was concerned for every Jew but himself. Even when he was physically assaulted by an over-zealous misnagid, his reaction was typical: “Master of the Universe, I forgive him with my whole heart. Let no man be punished on my behalf.” But when Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev was persecuted, Rabbi Elimelech rallied to support him. He was always there on behalf of others.

Incorporating Chesed And Rachamim In Our Lives

“Rebbetzin,” people say to me, “we have been following your articles on chesed and rachamim. You presented the challenge, but what is the solution? How do we impart these values to our children? How do we instill them in our homes?”

Truly Grateful

To be honest, I never really understand what’s happening on the screen during an ultrasound scan. But on this visit the technician was strangely quiet. I looked at the screen. “How come you’re not showing me everything?” I asked. “It’s all still there, isn’t it?” I asked jokingly.

Not Pleading The Fifth

21 Shevat 5773 – January 31, 2013
Let me say at the onset that I do not consider myself to be a sufficient role model when it comes to kibbud av v’eim – the 5th commandment; I humbly acknowledge my abysmal failures and inadequate performance of this critical mitzvah. However, I do detect a perilous and alarming trend, whereby performance of this mitzvah is spiraling to its lowest levels, threatening the very essence of the foundation that has sustained us over the past five millennium.

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