Based on the response to my recent columns, it seems the problem of parents struggling with rebellious children may be more prevalent than even the pessimists among us had assumed. As we approach Pesach, the great yom tov during which we confront the Haggadah’s four sons –one wise, one wicked, one simple and one who does not know how to ask – we need to remember that these sons are in our midst in every generation and that we invite all four to join us at the Seder.
Judaism is less a philosophical system than a field of tensions – between universalism and particularism, for example, or exile and redemption, priests and prophets, cyclical and linear time, and so on.
Hashem's reason for redeeming us from Egypt was not so that we could be free, but so that we could be free to accept the Torah at Har Sinai and service Hashem.
Mr. Lazer ran a successful restaurant. He employed close to twenty people: a chef, cooks and a baker; waiters and waitresses; supply and maintenance personnel; and two cashiers. At the end-of-year accounting, something seemed amiss. There was a small but noticeable discrepancy in the cash receipts of his enterprise. In the following semi-annual account, a similar discrepancy was noted.
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many different halachos that pertain to korbanos. Regarding the korban olah, the pasuk tells us that the entire animal must be brought on the mizbeach and is burned.
Question: We are ba’alei teshuvah in the process of becoming more observant. We wish to kasher our home and utensils for Passover with minimal expense. Do you have any suggestions? Names withheld by request
The Kotel And The Mall ‘Sratya u’Platya’ (Eruvin 7a)
Question: Does it matter where one pauses when one recites the daily prayers?
“You must sanctify yourselves and be holy,” the Torah tells us, “for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” The service of God in our lives should simulate the service of God in the Temple. Just as the kohen, the priest, was required to enter God’s Temple in a state of taharah, spiritual cleanliness, we are required to enter God’s world in a state of taharah.
Last week I shared a letter from a troubled mother. Her story is typical of many ba’al teshuvah families who discover the Torah way of life in their middle years only to encounter resentment on the part of their adolescent children. Very often these teenagers become angry at the new restrictions in their home.
On this Shabbos, Shabbos Parshas Ha’Chodesh, we bentch the new month of Nissan — referred to in the Torah as Chodesh Ha’Aviv, the month of spring. Rosh Chodesh falls on Yom Shlishi (Tuesday), heralding the start of a new lunar year and commemorating the inception of the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh.
When Bnei Yisrael donated money to build the golden calf all they got was a very small calf. This was despite a very successful fundraising campaign. Yet nobody questioned where all the money went.
Visiting the sick, bikur cholim, is one of the mitzvot listed in the prayer “Eilu devarim she’ein lahem shiur” – “These are the things that have no measure.” According to our sages, the Torah itself stresses the importance of bikur cholim in several places.
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)
Waiting For Kiddush ‘Mazal Bears No Influence…’ (Shabbos 156a)
The Torah specifies that the washbasin in the Mishkan was made of copper taken from the mirrors that the women brought as donations. Rashi explains that by telling us where the copper came from the Torah is teaching a significant lesson.