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Vayakhel/Pekudei: The Devotion Of Women

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

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.

Purim Meditation: After Rush Limbaugh Insulted Me

It wasn't a biggie, really, I've been called worse. When my wife heard what Rush had been calling me, she said she wasn't surprised. So maybe it wasn't even such a bad thing that Rush did, maybe he even meant it as a caution, so I would go ahead and mend my loose morals. But here's the funny thing, as soon as news came out that Rush insulted me, people started empathizing with me and writing Rush's advertisers to stop sponsoring him because of what he said about Yanover.

Israeli Innovations Changing the Jewish World for Purim

A series of new innovations coming out of Israel are making life better, easier, and more fulfilling for Jews around the world.

Daf Yomi

The Rambam That Engendered Fifty Novella ‘He Says to His Maidservant: You Are Free’ (Temura 25b)

Why Do We Read The Megillah?

On Purim we read Megillas Esther twice, once by night and once by day. It is uncertain what the nature of the obligation is.

Q & A: Yotzrot (Part II)

Question: I read The Jewish Press’s Luach of February 17 with much interest. You write, “We daven Shacharis as usual.” I find it difficult to understand why you don’t mention reciting the special yotzrot for Parshat Shekolim. Are yotzrot a relic of history? I’m a senior citizen who remembers saying yotzrot as a child. But now, they seem to have disappeared from Orthodox synagogues. Milton M. Adler Cherry Hill, NJ

Closing Our Eyes To The New Haman (Part II)

Last week I described some prophecies concerning the wakeup calls that would come to our people when the arrival of Mashiach was near. Unfortunately, we have yet to attune ourselves to the sound of those footsteps.

Was It Eliyahu Hanavi?

I lost control of my car while driving in Brooklyn when a speeding taxi slammed into me. I thought my life was about to end when my car slammed directly into a tree. Baruch Hashem I survived, even though the taxi driver never stopped to help me.

Yoram Ettinger: Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Purim is the holiday of contradictions and tenacity-driven-optimism: Grief replaced by joy; Esther's concealment replaced by the disclosure of her national/religious identity; Haman's intended genocide of the Jews replaced by redemption; Haman replaced by Mordechai; national and personal pessimism replaced by optimism.

The Megillah: How-To Manual on Defeating Anti-Semites

Israel must demonstrate confidence in ourselves and an iron determination to defy our antagonists. Mordechai teaches that it is not through appeasement that one achieves peace but rather through strength, self-assurance and unequivocally firm resistance to tyranny and injustice.

Megillat Esther: Revealing the Hidden

Being human, we are limited in our ability to understand. Tragic events seem senseless, without a rhyme or reason. World events can seem confusing, with the future uncertain. On Purim, we recognize that God’s Hand is guiding it all. The King is working behind the scenes, pulling the strings. We may not understand all of the twists and turns of the narrative, but we know the Author. All we have to do is put our trust in Him.

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