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Pesach 5772: Free Forever

An act never dies. Each word you utter, each mitzvah you do, continues to ring in the world for all eternity. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, teaches it was such an eternal act that was the undoing of Pharaoh and the making of Israel as a nation of holy people.

Kindliness: A Reflection Of Hashem

After months and months of rebellion, Pharaoh finally admitted he was wrong. The Dos Zakainim explains that the plague of barad moved Pharaoh more than any other. And it was because of one factor: Moshe had warned him that the hail would kill anything living. Again and again, Moshe cautioned Pharaoh to take his livestock and his slaves inside. Because Pharaoh was repeatedly warned to save the living creatures, he was moved and recognized his error.

Daf Yomi

Beware Of The Fruit! ‘A Mis’asek Is Excluded’ (Kerisos 19a)

Why Don’t We Make A Berachah Over Korech?

The Gemara in Pesachim 115a says that there was a machlokes regarding how one was supposed to eat matzah and marror in the times of the Beis HaMikdash. Hillel said that during those times, when there was a korban Pesach, matzah and marror should be eaten together. His peers argued that they must be eaten separately. The Gemara concludes that since the halacha was not paskened we eat matzah separately, then marror separately, and then both together to accommodate both opinions.

Chametz Credit Card

It's 1 p.m. on Friday, Erev Pesach. The rabbi had already sold the chametz at 10 a.m. But I forgot to sell mine. Now the synagogue office is closed and I can't get hold of the form the rabbi uses to sell the chametz. The Torah requires me to remove all chametz from my house on Pesach. But I just cannot bring myself to throw out that Glenfiddich. Is there a way the whisky can remain in my house during Pesach, and would I be able to drink it after Pesach?

Q & A: ‘Ba’arbeh – With Locusts’

Question: In the Torah’s description of the ten plagues Hashem inflicted upon Egypt, we find the Hebrew preposition “beit” [meaning “in” or “with”] only in connection with the plague of locust: "Neteh yadcha al eretz Mitzrayim ba'arbeh." Why is this so? And why do most of the commentators on Chumash ignore this question. Menachem (Via E-Mail)

Pesach Video: Baking Passover Matzah in Israel’s Heartland

Yishai Fleisher takes us to Beit El in Israel’s heartland, the location of Yaakov’s (Jacob’s) ladder, to bake matzot (unleavened bread) the old fashioned...

Hashgachah Pratis: Readers Respond (Continued from Last Week)

I have been sharing personal testimonies on the subject of hashgachah pratis, chosen from a plethora of letters that have reached my desk. Each of these stories reflects a different challenge ranging from problems of health, parnassah, shidduchim and loss of dear ones (some of which I have yet to publish). These difficulties, to one extent or another, at one time or another, have challenged all of us.

Five Terms Of Endearment – So Why Only Four Cups Of Wine?

The number four seems to play a major role in the Pesach Seder. We have four questions, four sons, four terms of endearment and, of course, one of the major features we soon will be enjoying – the drinking of four cups of wine.

The Audacity of Redemption

It has been said ‘It is easier to take the Jew out of the Exile, than to take the Exile out of the Jew’. While in Egypt, the Jewish people could not even hear Hashem’s promise of Redemption because of their “shortness of spirit.” Their bondage wasn’t merely a physical bondage, but a mental one. And so, while still in Egypt, Hashem began the process of taking the Jew out of the psychology of Exile, ridding him of his slave mentality.

A Child-Centric Seder

Dear Gary, As Pesach approaches, I get worried because I want to have a great Yom Tov, and yet, every year, the seder ends in some sort of fighting and arguing. My husband wants the seder to be all about divrei Torah and so do I, but between the younger children (who we want to be awake for the whole seder) and guests, we somehow end up in stern looks and squabbles. I'm happy we have guests or else we'd probably start yelling at each other and even Eliyahu Hanavi would bail. I know everyone jokes about how tough Pesach is, but I can't see the humor anymore – and neither can my children. What can we do to manage a calm (I don't even wish for happy) seder? A Sad Mom

Ours Is To Question Why…

After a long and detailed description of the avodah (service) to be done in the Mishkan, the parshah ends with statement that “Aaron and his sons did as they were told.”

Tzav: Holiness And Eating

The evil inclination likes to tempt us to indulge in material delights. It is important to know that these delights may have another purpose, too: kedushah (holiness).

Eating Matzah Before Pesach

Question: What is the basis of the custom to refrain from eating matzah for a period of time before Pesach?

Caught On Camera!

On the bima of the beis medrash stood a maos chittim "pushka" (collection box) on behalf of "Matzos Chesed Organization." The gabbai emptied the box every few days, typically finding $200-$500.

‘Kzayit’: Rashi Almost Certainly Never Saw an Olive

Is Halakhic Judaism rational and rooted in reality, or is it a hypothetical construct unconducive to engaging the real world?

The No-Potato Passover: A Journey of Food, Travel & Color

Most of the No-Potato Passover recipes are as casual as the title’s spelling: some include only six ingredients and limited prep time - half to one full hour. They’re good for heart health and waistlines, too.

Koshering An Earthenware Utensil

In this week’s parshah the Torah teaches many of the halachos of the korbanos. Each of the korbanos has a limited amount of time when they may be eaten, after which they become nosar and forbidden.

Daf Yomi

Seizing An Opportunity? ‘A Person Is Believed Regarding Himself More Than 100 Witnesses’ (Kerisos 11b-12a)

Hashgachah Pratis: Readers Respond

In last week’s column I shared the remarkable story of hashgachah pratis that two terrific young yeshiva boys, Yedidya and Yaakov, experienced. Their story evoked an enthusiastic response. Many were motivated to reassess their own lives and discover their own hashgachah pratis.

Q & A: The Arba Parshiyot (Conclusion)

Question: Why do we read four special Torah sections between Purim and Pesach. Also, why do we call each of the four Shabbatot on which we read these sections by a special name – such as Shabbat Shekalim, Shabbat Zachor etc.? Celia Gluck (Via E-Mail)

Tackling Tomorrow’s Problems

In her book The Watchman’s Rattle, subtitled Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction, Rebecca Costa delivers a fascinating account of how civilizations die. Their problems become too complex. Societies reach what she calls a cognitive threshold. They simply can’t chart a path from the present to the future.

Red Miracle Van

The Schwartzes had three vehicles but only two drivers. At any given time the third vehicle, the 2005 red Ford van, could be seen on different driveways throughout the neighborhood – and sometimes even in Miami Beach and Hollywood, Florida. The Schwartzes kept a third vehicle, knowing that not everyone had a car.

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