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The Uniqueness Of Modern Orthodoxy (Part I)

27 Tishri 5773 – October 12, 2012
Question: What is unique about Modern Orthodoxy?

Daf Yomi

Where Beis Shammai And Beis Hillel Agree ‘One Must Not Sit Before A Barber Near Minchah’ (Shabbos 9b)

Bereishis: Appreciating The Good

Adom HaRishon was given one mitzvah: not to eat from the Eitz HaDas. When he transgressed it, Hashem gave him the opportunity to do teshuvah. Not only did Adom not repent, he played the blame game – “It was that woman that You gave to me. You gave her to me as a helpmate and she turned out to be my ruination.”

Q & A: A Mother’s Mitzvah (Part I)

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
Question: I am a single mother of young children. Their father has shirked all his responsibilities to them. I do my best for my children, but it isn’t easy. Isn’t their father in serious violation of the Torah by neglecting his children and not making any effort to provide them an education? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Reb Elimelech’s Ascent To Leadership (Part XIII)

In 1648 and 1649 Bogdan Chmelnitzky and his hordes of Cossack warriors perpetrated an annihilation campaign against the Jews of Poland and the Ukraine....

Pru U’revu

In this week’s parshah the Torah commands us in the first mitzvah: pru u’revu – be fruitful and multiply. We rule in accordance with Beis Hillel that one fulfills this mitzvah when he has fathered one boy and one girl.

How Shall We Live?

It is the most famous, majestic and influential opening of any book in literature: “In the beginning, G-d created the heavens and the earth.” What is surpassingly strange is the way Rashi – most beloved of all Jewish commentators – begins his commentary:

‘I Celebrate Your Holy Name’

I am postponing the follow-up to my previous column – “Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad” – so that I might share with you a very personal experience.

Our Gains, The Enemies’ Losses

Some 30 years ago a certain well-known rabbi in Manhattan came to Israel and brought much of his congregation with him, to a barren ridge where our forefathers and foremothers traveled to and from Jerusalem and Hebron. The rabbi and his followers left the ravages of assimilation and headed to the unknown. The rabbi swiftly gathered in Jews from all over the world and all over Israel to the cozy town of Efrat.

Tishrei Memories

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone. It is time to return my beloved Machzor to the bookshelf. Gifted to me by my beloved parents, of blessed memory, for my bat mitzvah, it is one of my most precious possessions.

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

20 Tishri 5773 – October 5, 2012
Each year, amid the ebullient joy manifest during the holiday of Sukkot, we read the megillah of Kohelet. With its realistic perspective on the world, Kohelet provides us with the means to not only properly calibrate our joy, but to accurately understand the role of joy and happiness in the world.

Na’anuim: Moving Together As One People

We are all familiar with the famous midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30, 12) that compares the four species we take on the holiday of Sukkos to the four different types of Jews: the esrog, which has both smell and taste, corresponds to those who learn Torah and perform good deeds; the lulav, which has taste but no smell, corresponds to those who learn Torah but do not perform good deeds; the hadasim, which have a pleasant smell but no taste, correspond to those who perform good deeds but do not learn Torah; and finally, the aravos, which have neither smell nor taste, correspond to those who have neither Torah nor good deeds.

Driveway Sukkah

19 Tishri 5773 – October 4, 2012
Sam Berger and Moti Farber shared a two family house, with a joint driveway in front. The Farbers had an extensive family, whereas Sam was relatively young and just recently had his fourth child.

Daf Yomi

Lulav, Shofar, Bris “His Hand Is Not At Rest” (Shabbos 3a)

Q & A: Shemini Atzeret

Question: I seem to see a lack of uniformity regarding the mitzvah of sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. What is the proper procedure to follow? Menachem Via e-mail

The Last Day Of Sukkos

The Gemara in Megillah 31a says that on the last day of Sukkos the Torah reading is the parshah of Vezos Haberachah and the maftir is Vaya’amod Shlomo (Melachim 1:8). The Rishonim are bothered by the following question: the Mishnah in Megillah says that Moshe Rabbeinu instituted what portion of the Torah should be read on each of the Yamim Tovim. Each portion relates to that particular Yom Tov. What then is the connection between Vezos Haberachah and the last day of Sukkos?

Support Of Sechach

Question: May one support kosher sechach in a sukkah by placing it on a davar she’mekabel tumah, an item that can receive impurity (i.e., metal)?

The Upsherin

Have you ever been to an upsherin, a hair-cutting ceremony? I had never been to one until I was invited by my gentleman friend, Sy, to attend one in honor of his great-grandson, Gabriel, given by his grandparents, Steve and Robin Kerzer. Even Sy, an Orthodox Jew, had not heard of it. Both of us knew it was the custom not to cut a boy’s hair until he was three years old, but we had no idea what was involved.

Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad

As we Jews know, there are no coincidences, no random happenings. As a matter of fact, in lashon hakodesh, the holy tongue, the very word “mikreh,” translated as “it happened,” actually means “kara mei Hashem” – “it happened from G-d.”

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