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

6 Nisan 5772 – March 29, 2012
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

6 Nisan 5772 – March 28, 2012
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.

The Art of Ignoring – So Safe, So Repulsive, So Dangerous

As one that has trained and followed rabbis throughout their careers, I can generally say that rabbis gain detractors not so much because of their sermons, vision, lectures or the like, but rather when they fail to return phone calls, when they avoid bikur cholim, and when they fail to respond to emails. One can deal with refusal, disagreements, debates and the answer 'no', but how should one deal with being totally and utterly ignored?!

Parshas Vayikra: ‘The Call Of Humility’

1 Nisan 5772 – March 23, 2012
“At the time that my wife and I made aliyah, the Ministry of Interior required certification through the chief rabbinate that any new immigrants were Jews in order to qualify for citizenship and immigrant benefits. After an hour-long wait at the ministry to be interviewed, my wife and I sat before a hard-faced clerk. I did not have a letter from a rabbi certifying to my Jewishness, but I felt confident that since I was on the chief rabbinate's list of approved rabbis whose letter would be accepted to verify the Jewishness of others, I would suffer no problem.

Calculating The Day

29 Adar 5772 – March 22, 2012
Question: If someone passes away on one day but is buried the next day, when does the son stop saying Kaddish and when should he observe the yahrzeit – 11 and 12 months, respectively, after the day of death or 11 and 12 months, respectively, after the day of burial?

Vayikra: The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving

To the modern mind, korbanos may seem foreign or hard to understand. Yet they were a key component of the service of Hashem. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that offerings served many purposes, including a primary purpose of expressing thanks to Hashem. Thus, following the book of Exodus comes the book dealing with sacrifices as an expression of thanks for the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

Reb Elimelech M’Lizhensk (Part VI)

The popularity of the rise of chassidus did not go unnoticed by those who did not share the same allegiance. As long as the movement was limited to the commoner and isolated in a few pockets of Poland no one perceived it as a threat. But all of this had changed by 1772.

Things I Do And Things I Don’t

The Dos Zakainim explains that the reason every korban must be brought with salt is to remind us that just as salt is a preservative that allows food to last longer, so too the sacrifices are permanently ours to cleanse us from our sins.

Daf Yomi

Temple Management 101 ‘The Rest Were Given To The Craftsmen As Wages’ (Kerisos 6a)

Who’s Watching Anyway? (Me’ilah 2b, 9a)

If you pay only $5 or if you creep back, retrieve your $10 bill and make off with the money and the flowers. Doing that would be a breach of trust.

Geneivah And Gezeilah

At the conclusion of this week’s parshah, the Torah discusses the halachos of one who stole from another. The pasuk says, “veheishiv es hagezeilah asher gazal – and he shall return the stolen object that he stole.” We derive from this that there is a mitzvas assei to return a stolen object.

Q & A: The Arba Parshiyot (Part I)

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)

Making Sense Of The Sin Offering

We think of a sin as something we did intentionally, yielding to temptation perhaps, or in a moment of rebellion. That is what Jewish law calls b’zadon in biblical Hebrew or b’mezid in rabbinic Hebrew. That is the kind of act we would have thought calls for a sin offering. But actually such an act cannot be atoned for by an offering at all. So how do we make sense of the sin offering?

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