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Posted on: August 7th, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Rambam is of the opinion that a safek is permitted min haTorah. The rabbanan forbade one to take a chance and do something that is a safek issur. Many Rishonim disagree with this ruling and say that a safek is forbidden min haTorah. The Rishonim ask on the Rambam’s opinion from many places in Shas.

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Posted on: August 2nd, 2013

JudaismParsha

The summer season we pined for on those dreary, shivery winter days is all but coming to a close. What better way for reality to sink in than the call of the shofar that wrests us from our repose on the first of Elul, reminding us that we have serious work ahead. Luckily we get thirty days to pull ourselves together, so that we have a leg to stand on when we petition Hashem on the Yom HaDin to grant us mechila for our shortcomings of the past year.

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Posted on: August 1st, 2013

JudaismParsha

Our rabbis teach that the first step of repentance is ackowledging our sins and errors. If we feel that our behavior is on the right track then by definition we will fail to identify our shortcomings. Sadly, then our repentance will never leave the start gate.

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Posted on: August 1st, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah writes about the mitzvah to destroy avodah zarah. At the same time, the Torah says not to do avodah zarah to Hashem your God. As the pasuk says: “va’avaditam es shemam min hamakom hahu, lo sa’asun kein la’Hashem Elokeichem.”

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Posted on: August 1st, 2013

JudaismParsha

For forty years in the midbar the Jewish people ate mon. Guided by Moshe Rabbeinu, engaged in constant Torah study with every physical need taken care of, Klal Yisrael lived on a lofty spiritual plane. Now that they were being ushered into a different era – entering Eretz Yisrael where they would begin living in a natural manner – they were given many directives to retain their status as an exalted nation.

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Posted on: July 26th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Rabbi Yitzchak Zilber zt’l was a legendary leader of Russian Jewry for over three decades. He remained resolutely firm in his faith and practiced Torah and mitzvos throughout his arduous years behind the Iron Curtain, even in the brutality of a Russian Labor Camp. His autobiography, To Remain a Jew[1] is his incredible account of how he remained faithful to G-d even under the most trying circumstances. The following is just one anecdote recorded in the book:

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Posted on: July 25th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah we derive the mitzvah of birchas hamazon from the pasuk of “v’achalta v’savata u’veirachta” (Devarim 8:10). This mitzvah is to recite three berachos mi’de’oraisa and one mi’de’rabbanan after one eats bread made from the five grains (wheat, spelt, oats, rye, and barley).

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Posted on: July 18th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Ah, Shabbos Nachamu! Finally the three weeks of mourning have finished, and the seven-week period of comforting, of nechama, has begun. We breathe a sigh of relief and life goes back to normal. But wait a minute – it doesn’t seem like anything has changed!

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Posted on: July 18th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah and in Parshas Re’eh the Torah commands us not to add to the mitzvos or lessen them (bal tosif and bal tigra). For example, the Gemara in Sanhedrin 88b says that one may not have five parshios in his tefillin or five different species together with his lulav. The Ramban in Parshas Re’eh says that the pasuk in this week’s parshah is the main prohibition and the pasuk in Re’eh is referring to the korbanos.

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Posted on: July 11th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Why do we call this Shabbos, Shabbos Chazon? The word chazon is the first word of the haftarah and it means to see, to experience a vision. If that is the reason we have to ask what is so special about this word?

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Posted on: July 11th, 2013

JudaismParsha

תשעה באב always falls between the parshiyot of Devarim and V’etchanan. This is very appropriate, because in the parsha of Devarim we read of חטא המרגלים, and the gratuitous crying which prompted the Almighty to say that He would one day give us good reason to cry; while the parsha of V’etchanan which contains within it the passage of כי תוליד בנים ובני בנים, which we read on תשעה באב - speaks of exile, teshuvah, and redemption.

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Posted on: July 10th, 2013

JudaismParsha

This week we begin reading Sefer Devarim. The Gemara in Baba Basra 13b says that four blank lines must be scratched onto the parchment between each of the sefarim of a Sefer Torah (i.e. between Sefer Bereishis and Sefer Shemos).

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Posted on: July 10th, 2013

JudaismParsha

“The ox knows its owner; the donkey the stall of its master; Israel doesn’t know, My nation doesn’t contemplate.” – Yeshayah 1:3 With these words, Yeshayah HaNavi begins the rebuke of his generation, a generation that strayed, that has left the ways of the Torah and turned to other gods and foreign ways.

The Fête de la Fédération, held in the Champ de Mars, in July 14, 1790. Woodcut by Helman, from a picture by C. Monet, Painter of the King.
 

Posted on: July 5th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Louis XVI hoped that July 21, 1791 would be a turning point in the French Revolution. It was, but not quite the way he had hoped it would be. Louis had planned to cross into Austria, raise an army and invade his home country of France to crush the revolution. In fact, Louis and his family nearly made it to the border. They were a mere thirty miles away from putting his grand scheme into action. But a stable master recognized him when the carriage stopped to rest. The National Guardsmen were alerted and intercepted his carriage forcing him and his family to return to Paris embarrassed and humiliated. The French Revolution was about to take a dangerous and radical turn.

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Posted on: July 5th, 2013

JudaismParsha

On this coming Shabbos Parshas Matos-Masai we bentch Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av. Rosh Chodesh (on Yom Sheini - Monday, July 8) marks the start of the mournful “nine days” during which we restrict many activities normally taken for granted, such as eating meat and drinking wine (Shabbos is an exception), the purchasing and wearing of new clothes, doing laundry (the washing of children’s clothing may be permitted; consult your halachic authority), listening to music, swimming and participating in joyful pursuits.

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Posted on: July 4th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In parshas Masei the Torah discusses the halachos regarding when one person accidentally kills another. The Torah says that a relative of the victim (goel hadam) may avenge the death of his relative by killing the murderer who acted accidentally. According to the Torah, the perpetrator must go to one of the arei miklat (city of refuge). While in the ir miklat the goel hadam may not kill the murderer who acted accidentally. If he does kill him while he was in the ir miklat, he will be liable for murder.

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Posted on: June 27th, 2013

JudaismParsha

A friend recently related the following personal story: “A few months ago I was invited to a wedding of close friends. Though the bride and groom were from New York they were celebrating their wedding in a resort village in Mexico, south of Cancun. I, and other guests who were Shomer Shabbos arranged all the food.

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Posted on: June 27th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah lists the different korbanos that we are to bring on the various different days of the year. In perek 28, pasuk 11 the Torah commands us as to which korbanos we must bring on Rosh Chodesh. In the times of the Beis HaMikdash, Rosh Chodesh was determined by the actual birth of the moon. Witnesses would testify before beis din that they saw the rebirth of the new moon, and beis din would pronounce that that day was Rosh Chodesh.

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Posted on: June 20th, 2013

JudaismParsha

“Just one Shabbos and we’ll all be free!” We all know MBD’s classic song, which swept the Jewish music scene in the 80’s, and it is actually based on the following midrash (Shemos 25:12): “If Klal Yisroel will keep one Shabbos properly, Ben-Dovid (a reference to Moshiach, not MBD…) will immediately come.” However, this requires explanation – why is it that we will be redeemed through keeping Shabbos? Let us discover an amazing new aspect of Shabbos that will also help us to properly utilize the upcoming “Three Weeks” – the days of mourning over the Bais HaMikdash.

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Posted on: June 20th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Parshas Balak ends with the daughters of Moav enticing the young Jewish men to sin. .. This quickly led to idol worship, and many Jewish men served Baal Peor.

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