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Hashgachah Pratis – Guidance From Above

28 Adar 5772 – March 21, 2012
Most people have difficulty discerning Hashem's call since His messages are usually hidden behind many veils. On occasion however, hashgachah pratis – Divine providence – is so clear and obvious that even a blind man has to see it, a deaf man has to hear it.

An Unseemly Hour

It’s my first moment of wakefulness, and I’m chilled to the bone. Pull the covers over myself, I’m thinking, while I decide to roll over to look at the clock. It’s 5:30 a.m. and I’m exhausted. But attending morning minyan – even once – is the least I can do.

Live Coverage: Rabbi Scheinberg Funeral in Jerusalem

Live coverage of the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt"l

Reviewing The Koren Ethiopian Haggada Journey to Freedom

26 Adar 5772 – March 20, 2012
The Hebrew-English haggada provides a wealth of photographic evidence of the lives led by Ethiopian Jews. The pottery, the unembellished homes, school, and synagogues, the gaunt Jews in modest clothing and head coverings portray dedication to Torah values despite harsh political and topographical conditions.

Parshat Vayakheil-Pikudei

22 Adar 5772 – March 15, 2012
May 1864 was one of the bloodiest months in American military history. At what came to be known as the Battle of the Wilderness, General Grant’s Union forces suffered close to 18,000 casualties between May 3 and May 6. It seemed as yet another Union general, even one such as Grant who had been successful out west, lost to General Robert E. Lee.

Fearing Holiness as Pesach Approaches

I believe we need to get back to the basics. Holiness is something we should embrace rather than stray from, and thus we should "look" for more opportunities to become holy rather then stay "safely" away from it. True, with every act of holiness comes restrictions and I can already feel the backache of cleaning the pantry from Chametz. But shall this hardship turn Pesach into the Holiday of misfortune rather than happiness?

Vayakhel/Pekudei: The Devotion Of Women

21 Adar 5772 – March 14, 2012
Despite the intense suffering of slavery in Egypt, it was there that Israel became a nation – not just in the spiritual sense, but in the physical sense: it was there that our numbers swelled. This is to the credit of the Jewish women, who despite their oppression at the hands of Egypt relentlessly encouraged the growth of Israel. This provides a glimpse of the greatness of the Jewish women of that generation. Likewise in our times, it is the Jewish woman’s selfless devotion to service of Hashem that builds and sustains Israel.

More On Temurah (Temurah 2,3 and 9)

The act of temurah, consecrating another animal in place of an already consecrated animal, incurs the punishment of malkot - lashes. This is somewhat surprising. There is a halachic rule that a prohibition that does not involve an overt act does not incur the punishment of malkot – “lav she’einbBo ma’aseh, ein lokin alav.” Why then does a person incur malkot?

Requests Or Demands? (Part II)

Question: When we pray, are we requesting or demanding that God fulfill our wishes?

Screen Smasher

Shmuel Bender and Asher Beckerman were study partners (chevrusas). They also sat next to each other in shiur. Shmuel felt fortunate to have the privilege of learning with Asher, whom he admired greatly.

Daf Yomi

If a fetus is a separate entity, how is slaughtering a pregnant animal permitted? After all, Chullin teaches us that the Torah prohibits slaughtering a mother and its child on the same day.

Where Are The Gedolim Today?

Parshas Pikudei begins with a detailed accounting of all of the gold and silver that was collected for the Mishkan. A cursory reading would lead us to assume that while of course a man as great as Moshe was above question, he must have asked for this calculation because public leaders must remove any suspicion no matter how farfetched.

May Beis Din Punish On Shabbos?

The Rambam, in Hilchos Shabbos 24:7, rules that Beis Din may not carry out the punishment of either death or lashes on Shabbos. He cites the same pasuk of “lo seva’aru” as the source for this halacha. In his Sefer Hamitzvos the Rambam lists as a separate negative commandment (number 322) that Beis Din may not judge or carry out a punishment on Shabbos.

Q & A: Bibliographical Oddities Regarding Parshas Parah

The Shulchan Aruch (Hilchos Chanukah, 685:7) writes that some authorities maintain that there is a biblical obligation to read Parshas Zachor and Parshas Parah.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: The Power Of Art

The name Bezalel was adopted by the artist Boris Schatz for the School of Arts and Crafts he founded in Israel in 1906, and Rav Kook wrote a touching letter in support of its creation. He saw the renaissance of art in the Holy Land as a symbol of the regeneration of the Jewish people in its own land, landscape and birthplace. Judaism in the Diaspora, removed from a natural connection with its own historic environment, was inevitably cerebral and spiritual, “alienated.”

Purim Afterthoughts

Purim is the one Yom Tov all Jews can celebrate. Special knowledge is not required and the demands of its observance are easy enough.

A Little Gallows Humor

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
Achashveiros of Poras, Beset by domestic tzoras, Got a quickie fivoras... But being single again just wasn’t the same.

Parshas Ki Sisa: ‘Don’t Panic’

Klal Yisroel stood at Har Sinai and accepted the Torah in a state of supreme purity and complete unity. Every Jew reached a level of prophecy and witnessed an unparalleled revelation of G-d. Then Moshe ascended Har Sinai for forty days so G-d could teach him the laws and details of the Torah.

GOP Offers Netanyahu the Presidency

After his astounding speech in Congress, the GOP has been working behind the scenes to get Israeli PM Netanyahu to run for President of the U.S.A.

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