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Jerusalem, Israel
2 Tishri 5778 -
? Thursday, September 21, 2017

‘I Celebrate Your Holy Name’

I am postponing the follow-up to my previous column – “Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad” – so that I might share with you a very personal experience.

Our Gains, The Enemies’ Losses

Some 30 years ago a certain well-known rabbi in Manhattan came to Israel and brought much of his congregation with him, to a barren ridge where our forefathers and foremothers traveled to and from Jerusalem and Hebron. The rabbi and his followers left the ravages of assimilation and headed to the unknown. The rabbi swiftly gathered in Jews from all over the world and all over Israel to the cozy town of Efrat.

Tishrei Memories

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone. It is time to return my beloved Machzor to the bookshelf. Gifted to me by my beloved parents, of blessed memory, for my bat mitzvah, it is one of my most precious possessions.

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot

Each year, amid the ebullient joy manifest during the holiday of Sukkot, we read the megillah of Kohelet. With its realistic perspective on the world, Kohelet provides us with the means to not only properly calibrate our joy, but to accurately understand the role of joy and happiness in the world.

Na’anuim: Moving Together As One People

We are all familiar with the famous midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30, 12) that compares the four species we take on the holiday of Sukkos to the four different types of Jews: the esrog, which has both smell and taste, corresponds to those who learn Torah and perform good deeds; the lulav, which has taste but no smell, corresponds to those who learn Torah but do not perform good deeds; the hadasim, which have a pleasant smell but no taste, correspond to those who perform good deeds but do not learn Torah; and finally, the aravos, which have neither smell nor taste, correspond to those who have neither Torah nor good deeds.

Driveway Sukkah

Sam Berger and Moti Farber shared a two family house, with a joint driveway in front. The Farbers had an extensive family, whereas Sam was relatively young and just recently had his fourth child.

Daf Yomi

Lulav, Shofar, Bris “His Hand Is Not At Rest” (Shabbos 3a)

Q & A: Shemini Atzeret

Question: I seem to see a lack of uniformity regarding the mitzvah of sukkah on Shemini Atzeret. What is the proper procedure to follow? Menachem Via e-mail

The Last Day Of Sukkos

The Gemara in Megillah 31a says that on the last day of Sukkos the Torah reading is the parshah of Vezos Haberachah and the maftir is Vaya’amod Shlomo (Melachim 1:8). The Rishonim are bothered by the following question: the Mishnah in Megillah says that Moshe Rabbeinu instituted what portion of the Torah should be read on each of the Yamim Tovim. Each portion relates to that particular Yom Tov. What then is the connection between Vezos Haberachah and the last day of Sukkos?

Support Of Sechach

Question: May one support kosher sechach in a sukkah by placing it on a davar she’mekabel tumah, an item that can receive impurity (i.e., metal)?

The Upsherin

Have you ever been to an upsherin, a hair-cutting ceremony? I had never been to one until I was invited by my gentleman friend, Sy, to attend one in honor of his great-grandson, Gabriel, given by his grandparents, Steve and Robin Kerzer. Even Sy, an Orthodox Jew, had not heard of it. Both of us knew it was the custom not to cut a boy’s hair until he was three years old, but we had no idea what was involved.

Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad

As we Jews know, there are no coincidences, no random happenings. As a matter of fact, in lashon hakodesh, the holy tongue, the very word “mikreh,” translated as “it happened,” actually means “kara mei Hashem” – “it happened from G-d.”

Z’man Simchasenu – The Time of Our Happiness

Sukkos! What an exciting Yom Tov! So many different mitzvos, each with their own color and flavor. Dwelling in the sukkah, taking the 4 species, dancing at the simchas beis hashuava and on Simchas Torah … Nevertheless, there is one theme which runs through all these aspects. “Vesamachta bechagecha atah uvincha, uvitecha, ve'avdecha, va'amasecha, vehaLevi, vehager, vehayasom. veha'almanah asher bish'areycha - You shall rejoice on your festival along with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, and the Levite, proselyte, orphan and widow from your settlements” (Devorim 16:14).

Parshas Ha’azinu: Never Give Up!

Yom Kippur was but a few days ago and we were all feeling the closest to Hashem that we feel all year. And now it’s time to build the sukkah. But before we move on with the holiday cycle we need to see what we can do to retain at least some of those special feelings of Yom Kippur. This week’s haftorah guides us on just such a path.

Yom Kippur

Even Moses, who spoke with God one on One, was not allowed to see Him during his lifetime. “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live.”

Standing And Sitting For Kiddush On Sukkot

Question: Should a person recite kiddush standing or sitting on Sukkot? If he stands, should he sit down after saying the berachah of leshev ba’sukkah or remain standing?

Daf Yomi

Pomp And Circumstance ‘Endeavor to See the King’ (Berachos 58a)

Q & A: Selichot Restrictions (Part III)

Question: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states that an individual praying selichot without a minyan is not allowed to recite the Thirteen Midot or the Aramaic prayers. What is the rationale behind this halacha? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

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