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Forgotten Fill-Up

"We are pleased to announce we have been donated a car for communal use," read the sign in Kollel Mishpat. "Members of the Kollel can use the car g'mach, as available, in coordination with Dani."

Anim Z’mirot (Part II)

Question: May Anim Z’mirot be said without a minyan?

Tax Evasion And Tax Avoidance: Bechorot 34a; Berachot 35b; Sanhedrin 5a; Gittin 81a.

There is nothing as certain as death and taxes, so the saying goes. Almost equally certain is the phenomenon of the living trying to avoid or evade taxes.

An Honorable Failure

Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they different in character and appearance, they also held different places in their parents’ affections.

Love Will Conquer All

To “trick” Yitzchak into giving him the berachah, Yaakov donned Eisav’s clothing, put the skin of an animal on his arms and neck to simulate the hairiness of Eisav, and went in to his father to receive the blessing.

Q & A: Ayin Hara (Part I)

Question: I know there is a dispute in the Gemara regarding ayin hara, the evil eye. Can you discuss the origin of it? Ben Glassman (Via E-Mail)

How Did Yitzchak Eat From Eisav’s Shechitah?

In this week’s parshah we read about the berachos that Yitzchak had intended to give Eisav, but instead (unintentionally) gave to Yaakov Avinu.

Readers Ask: What Are We To Do?

For the past few weeks I have been writing about the crisis our Jewish community is witnessing, a crisis reminiscent of pre-Holocaust Europe that caught the Jewish community sleeping and unawares.

Eternal Life

Psychologists are always quoted in holiday-themed articles about the seasonal blues. We are stressed from our holiday preparations and we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.

Chayei Sarah: The Blessing Hashem Wished To Impart

Hashem has many agents who do His bidding and bring about in the world the ends He desires. Sometimes the agent is rather unlikely, as when an evil person’s deeds bring about something beneficial. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that such was the case when Rivkah’s family bestowed upon her a blessing that in fact alluded to Israel’s ultimate elevation over the other nations, and Hashem’s ultimate kingship over all the world.

Bechorot: The Price Of Freedom

Freedom is not free. There is a price to pay. When God spared the Jews from the death of the firstborn, the price was and still is that all firstborns, bechorot, belong to God. “On the day that I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified every firstborn in Israel for Myself, from man to beast they shall be Mine.”

The Middos Are The Man

Eliezer, the faithful servant of Avraham, was charged with finding a wife for Yitzchak. Knowing full well the gravity of his mission, he also recognized its difficulty. The woman he would choose was to be the mother of the Je

Anim Z’mirot (Part l)

Question: May Anim Z’mirot be recited without a minyan?

How Long To Grieve

Abraham, the Sages were convinced, was a greater religious hero than Noah. We hear this in the famous dispute among the Sages about the phrase that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” meaning relative to his generations:

Did Avraham Own The Land Yet?

In this weeks parshah we read about Avraham’s purchase of Me’aras HaMachpelah. Prior to any negotiations Avraham said to the bnei Cheis, “Ger v’soshav anochi…” – I am a stranger and a resident… (Bereishis 23:4).

Sound The Alarm

My column usually focuses on guiding and advising those who have difficulty navigating the turbulent waters that challenge their personal lives. From time to time I depart from that format to comment on the issues that affect our very lives as a people. Of late this has occurred more frequently than usual. Events are unfolding so rapidly that before we can absorb one, another befalls us.

College Cafeteria Angel

I was on a city bus as it stopped for a young boy frantically waving his arms, fearful the bus might not stop for him on this snowy February afternoon. As the boy, wearing a thin jacket, boarded the bus, he searched his pockets for bus fare, found nothing, and told the bus driver he had left his money at home. “Could you please let me ride this bus?” he asked. “I promise to give you the money tomorrow. It’s so freezing outside, and it’s such a long walk home.” The bus driver refused, ordering the boy to leave the bus immediately.

Lebanon: Crossing And Possessing

About 15 months after the Second Lebanon War, we were called up to reserve duty in the Gush Talmonim region, part of the Binyamin Regional Council. On the second Friday night, I enjoyed the privilege of leading the entire company in singing, "Shalom Aleichem." Although there wasn't even a minyan of shomrei Shabbat men, the soldiers pulled out their hats in honor of the song (a handful placed a hand on their heads), and all respectfully rose to their feet - including the Bedouin trackers.

Kosher And Non-Kosher Eggs

Generally speaking, any food produced by a non-kosher animal is non-kosher. Thus, the egg of a non-kosher bird is not kosher but the egg of a kosher bird, such as a chicken, is kosher. If one comes across an egg and does not know which bird laid it, how does one tell a non-kosher egg from a kosher egg?

Hating Immorality

Question: Is a pious Jew allowed to desire the forbidden (as long, of course, as he doesn’t act on the desire)?

The Art Of Gratitude

It is the hardest passage of all, one that seems to defy understanding. Abraham and Sarah have waited years for a child. G-d has promised them repeatedly that they would have many descendants, as many as the stars of the sky, the dust of the earth, the grains of sand on the seashore. They wait. No child comes.

Why Was Avraham Allowed To Perform Hachnasas Orchim?

At the beginning of this week’s parshah the Torah writes extensively about Avraham Avinu’s act of hachnasas orchim for the three men who were passing by his tent.

Daf Yomi

Remember The Sabbath Day… 'Shiluach HaKen Applies In Temple Times And After' (Chullin 138)

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