Permission Granted? ‘Lo Yachlifenu B’Shel Acheirim…’ (Temurah 9)
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many of the various aspects of the mishkan. The Torah dictates in detail the manner in which the walls of the mishkan were to be erected. At the instructions’ conclusion, the pasuk says, “Vahakeimosa es hamishkan, k’mishpato asher har’eisa bahar – and you shall erect the mishkan according to its laws, as you will have been shown on the mountain” (Shemos 26:30).
The entire Jewish nation – every man, woman, and child – experienced the revelation of Hashem on Har Sinai. They saw Hashem as clearly as humans can, and they attained a level of prophecy. Now they were being offered one of the greatest gifts imaginable: Hashem Himself was going to dwell among them.
Question: Since my daughter in high school started researching the topic of shemot for her school newspaper, I have become more and more confused. Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters? For example, how do you advise I dispose of The Jewish Press? Finally, concerning Hashem’s name, must the name be spelled out fully in Hebrew to constitute shemot? What if it is in English in abbreviated form – “G-d,” for example? Shlomo Newfield (Via E-Mail)
My children were growing up and leaving the nest. Wanting to fill up my days with a challenging project, I heard through a friend that a local high school needed an English teacher.
Last week’s column was meant to be the last, for now, on the subject of shidduchim. Because of the problems singles experience in finding their soul mates, I had devoted several columns to the subject and was prepared to move on – until I received an e-mail I feel is a must read in order for us to gain a better understanding of the pain some of our singles are experiencing.
For most of the nations of the world, the laws governing interactions between people are conventions set up by citizens to enable their society to function. They are bereft of any Divine influence. However, such laws within a Jewish society are very much religious laws as well. To demonstrate this point the Sanhedrin, which was ultimately responsible for all legal aspects of society, was housed in the Temple. By being there it was made clear to all that, for Jewish society, the interpersonal societal laws were Divine in origin, just as the ritual laws were.
The Jewish nation has no such concept as “religion” in the formal sense of the term, as we reject the notion of anything lying outside the realm of HaShem. It is Israel’s mission to elevate every sphere of Creation by infusing it with kedusha and bringing it to its highest potential in our world.
“And men of holiness you shall be to me, and you shall not eat meat in the field of a torn carcass (22:30). The expression “to Me” means “men of holiness that are Mine.” By being holy, they become close to Hashem.
In Parshas Mishpatim, the Torah delineates various prohibitions and punishments. With regard to stealing, we see something unusual. If a man steals a cow, he must pay back five times the amount he stole; however, if he stole a sheep, he must pay back four times the amount. Rashi is troubled by the difference in punishments. He explains that the difference lies not in the crime but in the mental state of the thief.
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.
Question: Is there any halachic rationale for men to shake hands with women?
‘He Uttered Hashem’s Name In Vain’ (Temurah 3b)
"Although a shomer sachar is generally obligated in theft and is expected to watch extra carefully, he can stipulate with the owner for a lower level of responsibility . . . A number of authorities maintain that when the owner was aware of the conditions in which the merchandise would be kept, it is considered as a stipulation that such guardianship suffices."
Does shemot only include items, such as books and sheets of papers, with Hashem’s name on them? Or does it even include items containing Torah concepts or even just Hebrew letters?
This week’s parshah, Parshas Mishpatim, discusses many various halachos regarding monetary issues. One of the topics is when one damages another person’s property.
In this concluding column I would like to focus on the big question so many have asked: Since our faith teaches that every person has a soul mate – bashert – designated by Heaven, how is it that so many cannot find their partners?
Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.
I thank Hashem that my daughters play “shampoo gemach", and I take pride in our community, which stresses gemachs and acts of gemilas chesed. Families try to find ways to help others, and people go out of their way to search for opportunities to practice kindness.
The American Jewish Orthodox community has probably been overwhelmed by the events of the past few weeks in Israel regarding the extremely hostile attacks that have been aimed at the haredi community by the secular press and politicians from across the political spectrum.
We should not be so naive to think Moshe himself could not have thought of the plan of appointing officers. The Elders of the sons of Israel in Egypt were an official and recognized body, not mere old men as are found today in homes for the aged.
“And He does kindness to thousands of generations, to those who He loves and those who guard His mitzvos.” – Shemos 20:6 In the Aseres...
Question: Should a person try to observe mitzvot he is technically exempt from performing?