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.
The soft strands of music waft through the air as the kallah, dressed in stunning white, is led by her joyful parents to the chuppah. But something is strange here – where is the chosson?
At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah says that when Yisro, Moshe Rabbeinu’s father-in-law, joined Bnei Yisrael in the desert, one “ish” (man) bowed to the other and kissed him.
Question: Is it proper to recite prayers for a non-Jewish government during davening?
A group of fifth-grade boys was playing ball in the park one afternoon. Yosef zoomed into the park on his rollerblades, with a broad smile on his face.
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)
Neighbors To The Rescue ‘He May Tell Others: Come, Save For Yourselves’ (Shabbos 121a)
The Torah tells us that Yisro heard about the wonders Hashem had brought, and he joined the Jewish people. Rashi explains that while Yisro heard about all of the miracles, the two that actually moved him were the splitting of the sea and the war with Amalek. The others were impressive, but these alone actually affected him.
There is also an additional category of muktzah, applicable mainly to food on Yom Tov, known as muktzah mechamat hachana, which means muktzah because one had no intention on Erev Yom Tov to eat such food on Yom Tov.
It is very important for Jews to first help family, then other Jews close to us, then Jews not as close. Next, if possible and appropriate, Jews should help those of any race or creed.
The e-mails keep coming in response to my recent columns on compassion. Last week I shared one of them with you; here is another one. We once again see that the readership of The Jewish Press is comprised of many segments of our society with a wide range of opinions, values and traditions.
The revelation at Mount Sinai – the central episode not only of parshat Yitro, but of Judaism as a whole – was unique in the religious history of mankind.
Have you ever been to a Sefardi shul - or a Sefardi simcha of any kind? There’s something special about the Sefardi personality, something which Ashkenazim don’t quite possess.
"We're flying to Israel tonight for a month to visit our children who live there," Mr. Hirsch told his neighbor, Mr. Feiner.
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.