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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
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Parsha
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Can A Mechallel Shabbos Be Counted For A Minyan?

Posted on: May 30th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah we read about the episode of the meraglim. The meraglim were sent to spy on Eretz Canaan to see if it was militarily feasible for the Bnei Yisrael to conquer the land by defeating the nations that were living there.

The-Shmuz
 

The Reason And The Cause

Posted on: May 30th, 2013

JudaismParsha

One of most tragic events in the history of our people was the sin of the miraglim (spies). When we left Mitzrayim we were exalted and untouchable, feared by all the nations, respected by the world. Forty-nine days later we gathered at the foot of Har Sinai to accept the Torah. The plan was for the Chosen People to then march right into Eretz Yisrael. Had the events transpired as planned, the conquest would have taken root so deeply that we never would have been thrown out.

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Beha’alosecha: The Ultimate Defense Attorney

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013

JudaismParsha

Do you say Shema before you go to sleep? I’m sure you do. But perhaps you, like many, feel too tired at night to say the entire tefillah of Kri’as Shema as it appears in the siddur. If you do say the entire tefillah, you will recognize a pasuk in this week’s Haftorah. And if you don’t say the whole Kri’as Shema al Hamitah, perhaps after this column, you’ll re-consider and find yourself connecting with the following very comforting pasuk.

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Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: A Time For Torah

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013

JudaismParsha

The sand is rapidly running through the hourglass, as the centrifuges in the secret Iranian nuclear plants spin furiously. It is quite clear that the Iranians are on the brink of attaining nuclear capability, and we are well aware of the danger that would face Klal Yisroel in that event, chas v’sholom. All the sanctions, threats, and computer worm attacks do not seem to be stopping them, and it is terrifying. And when we see how vulnerable we are to terrorist attacks anywhere in the world, we become even more terrified.

The-Shmuz
 

If You’re Wrong, It’s Lashon Hara

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

JudaismParsha

Miriam spoke disparagingly about Moshe Rabbeinu. Because of this, she contracted tzaras, and for seven days she was sent outside the camp of Israel.

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Why Were The Men Tamei?

Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah we read about the individuals who were tamei and thus could not bring the korban Pesach. They approached Moshe Rabbeinu and asked him whether there was anything they could do to bring the korban. Ultimately, Hashem told Moshe that they should bring a korban a month after Pesach, on the 14th of Iyar.

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Can A Minor Own Something?

Posted on: May 17th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses the halachos of when one steals from another and when confronted in beis din, the thief swears falsely with his denial that he stole. This parshah was already taught in parshas Vayikra; however, there are two halachos that the Torah adds in this parshah to this topic.

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Shavuos: Ancestry And Progeny

Posted on: May 14th, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Rema writes (Ohr Hachaim, 494:4), “It is customary to spread branches of trees in our synagogues and homes [on Shavuos] in order to commemorate that which the sages say [Rosh Hashanah 16a] that on Shavuos the world is judged concerning [how many] fruits the trees will produce [that year].”

The-Shmuz
 

Listen To Your Messages

Posted on: May 14th, 2013

JudaismParsha

If a man suspects his wife of infidelity, he is to bring witnesses and warn her not to go into private quarters with the man in question. If she violates that warning, he is to bring her to the kohen, who will give her the “bitter waters” to drink. If she was falsely accused and was innocent, she will be blessed with children. If she was guilty, she will die a gruesome death.

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Every Step Counts

Posted on: May 10th, 2013

JudaismParsha

By the time these words are printed, there will be only a few more days left before Shavuos. We hope that up until that point, we will still have been counting the days of Sefiras Ha’Omer with a bracha, but we also know that too often, despite our best efforts, we drop out of counting with a bracha some time before the count is complete.

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Who Did The Redemption?

Posted on: May 9th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah tells us that the bechorim were replaced by the levi’im to serve in the Mikdash. The Torah says that there were 273 more bechorim than levi’im. Those bechorim could not simply be replaced, and had to be redeemed. Hashem told Moshe that each bechor should give five shekalim to Moshe, who, in turn, should give them to Aharon and his sons. With that, they would be redeemed.

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It’s Not Where You’re At

Posted on: May 8th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Less than a year after the giving of the Torah, Hashem told Moshe to again count the Jewish people. The Sforno points out that this counting was unique as it counted each person by name, whereas thirty-eight years later, when the Jews were about to enter the land of Israel and were counted again, there is no mention of counting by name.

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Shabbos Mevorchim Sivan

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013

JudaismParsha

It is with great excitement and expectancy that we bentch Rosh Chodesh Sivan — which comes out on Friday (May 10 on the English calendar).

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Parshat Behar-Bechukosai

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013

JudaismParsha

The story is told about Alfred Sloan, the CEO of General Motors, who in the middle of a meeting where everybody was in agreement, stopped the discussion and said: "I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what this decision is about".

The-Shmuz
 

The Power Of A Tzibbur

Posted on: May 1st, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Torah is very explicit that if the Jewish nation follows the ways of Hashem, we will enjoy peace, prosperity, and success in all of our endeavors. We will plant and harvest abundant crops, our borders will be secure. Life will be good. Included in this is a guarantee that in battle with our enemies we will be astonishingly successful; small numbers of our weakest soldiers will chase down and annihilate far larger groups of the enemy.

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Who Owns The Ribbis?

Posted on: May 1st, 2013

JudaismParsha

In parshas Behar the Torah reiterates some of the halachos of ribbis, and teaches several new halachos as well. The pasuk says that one should not take ribbis from his fellow, he should fear God, “v’chei achicha imach – and your brother shall live with you.” The Gemara derives from the end of this pasuk that if one does charge ribbis and collects it, it must be returned.

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Parshas Emor: ‘Stuck In Place’

Posted on: April 25th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Although it was almost twenty years ago, I think that any of my classmates from second grade remember the time that, “Staum got stuck in his chair.”

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Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: A Tale of Two ‘Omers’

Posted on: April 25th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Here in Eretz Yisroel, one of the most exciting days of the year is Lag Ba’omer. Massive bonfires blaze in almost every empty lot, and multitudes of people throng to Meron to daven and rejoice. The commentators tell us that the reason we celebrate is because the students of R’ Akiva stopped dying on this day.

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Chadash

Posted on: April 24th, 2013

JudaismParsha

This week I will be addressing a question from a previous column – with a new answer. The pasuk in this week’s parshah (Vayikra 23:14) says, “V’lechem v’kali v’karmel lo sochlu ad etzem hayom hazeh ad haviachem es korban elokeichem – And you shall not eat bread [etc.] on this very day until you bring the offering of your God.” This pasuk teaches us that all of the five grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oats, and barley) are forbidden from the time they are harvested until after the korban omer is brought.

The-Shmuz
 

The Torah’s System Of Self-Perfection

Posted on: April 24th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In one of the many commandments that teach us how to deal with animals, the Torah commands us not to kill a mother and its offspring on one day.

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