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Can One Marry A Married Woman?

8 Iyyar 5773 – April 17, 2013
Both of this week’s parshiyos discuss the various arayos – forbidden relationships. The Gemara in Kiddushin 67b states that if one attempts to perform kiddushin on one of the arayos, the kiddushin is invalid.

Systems Of Human Perfection

The Torah warns us many times and with many different exhortations not to consume blood. The Kli Yakar points out than in Devarim the Torah tells us not to eat blood because “Consuming blood brings cruelty into the one who eats it, and the nature of the father is given over to his children to be like him. Therefore, the Torah warns us not to consume blood so that we don’t acquire this nature.”

Counting Sefirah Without A Berachah

2 Iyyar 5773 – April 11, 2013
The Rambam writes the halachos of Sefiras Ha’Omer in Hilchos Temidim U’musafin (7:22-25). He says that there is a mitzvas assei to count seven complete weeks from the day that the korban omer was brought. The mitzvah is to count the days and the weeks. We count at night because the mitzvah requires that we count at the beginning of the day, which is at night. If one forgot to count at night he may count by day.

Prayer And Torah – The Two Pillars Of Faith

When you love someone, you will express it through service. A mother serves her family with food. A father serves his family with income. Service is a reflection and expression of the parents' love for their children.

Shabbos Mevorchim Iyar

26 Nisan 5773 – April 5, 2013
Seems like we crossed the sea just yesterday, yet here we are literally counting down to the big day ahead – it is less...

Is A Human Kosher?

25 Nisan 5773 – April 4, 2013
In this week’s parshah the Torah teaches us which animals are kosher and which are not. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether one may eat human meat. The Rambam derives from a pasuk in this week’s parshah that says that from any animal that has split hooves and chews its cud, “osah tocheilu – that one you may eat” – that it is forbidden to eat human meat.

A Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots, But A Man Can…

The Sefer HaChinuch explains that Hashem separated the Jewish people from all the nations. We were given a distinct role in this world. Our lives and everything we do must be different from other people.

Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach

18 Nisan 5773 – March 28, 2013
There is something striking about the word tomorrow. Rashi explains that the word connotes some future distant time. Accordingly, for some reason the son described in this pasuk will not know why we perform the rituals connected with Pesach.

The Mitzvah Of Destroying Chametz

15 Nisan 5773 – March 25, 2013
There is a mitzvah to remove and destroy the chametz from one’s possession before Pesach. This is derived from the pasuk in Parshas Bo, “tashbisu se’or mibateichem” (Shemos 12:15). There are also two lavim associated with owning chametz on Pesach: bal yiraeh and bal yimatzei.

I’m Never Wrong

After months and months of Hashem showing the Mitzrim that He alone controls every aspect of Creation, Moshe was instructed to warn Pharaoh that if he still wouldn’t let the Jewish people go, then exactly at the stroke of midnight every firstborn in Mitzrayim would die. Yet when Moshe appeared in front of Pharaoh, he changed the message and said, “If Pharaoh doesn’t free the Jews, then approximately at midnight every firstborn will die.”

The Month of Yearning for Redemption

11 Nisan 5773 – March 21, 2013
Every year I have a special hope that the Geulah will arrive in Nissan and it appears that once again this year will not be the year. This is why I sigh.

Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: Traversing The Depths With Faith

“Ten Steps to Emunah” was the course Hashem gave us in Egypt. Each of the Ten Plagues was meant not only to punish the Egyptians, but also to teach us a different lesson of faith in the Creator. We might think, therefore, that the Torah would have attested to our great level of faith right when we left Egypt.

Hashem And Man: Master And Servant

One of the daily activities in the Mishkan was taking out the ashes. Chovos Ha’Levavos explains that Hashem commanded Aaron to do this action each day “to lower himself and rid himself of the arrogance in his heart.”

Which Mitzvah Comes First?

The Gemara in Pesachim 58b derives from the pasuk in this week’s parshah, “V’arach aleha ha’olah” that the tamid must precede all other korbanos. The drasha is from the letter “hei” that signifies the known one – in this scenario, the korban that is known to be the first korban.

Blood On The Mizbeach

3 Nisan 5773 – March 13, 2013
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many different halachos that pertain to korbanos. Regarding the korban olah, the pasuk tells us that the entire animal must be brought on the mizbeach and is burned.

Shabbos Mevorchim Nissan: Spring … Rebirth … Renewal

26 Adar 5773 – March 7, 2013
On this Shabbos, Shabbos Parshas Ha’Chodesh, we bentch the new month of Nissan — referred to in the Torah as Chodesh Ha’Aviv, the month of spring. Rosh Chodesh falls on Yom Shlishi (Tuesday), heralding the start of a new lunar year and commemorating the inception of the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh.

Parshiyot Vayakheil-Pekudei

When Bnei Yisrael donated money to build the golden calf all they got was a very small calf. This was despite a very successful fundraising campaign. Yet nobody questioned where all the money went.

Men Are From Mars

The Torah specifies that the washbasin in the Mishkan was made of copper taken from the mirrors that the women brought as donations. Rashi explains that by telling us where the copper came from the Torah is teaching a significant lesson.

The Nature Of A Melachah

25 Adar 5773 – March 6, 2013
The Gemara in Shabbos 49b discusses different options regarding what the 39 melachos correspond to. One opinion in the Gemara holds that they correspond to the 39 times that the Torah uses the word “melachah.”

May One Have More than One Wife?

19 Adar 5773 – February 28, 2013
The Gemara says that anything made forbidden by a court must have an explicit permission put forth by another court in order for the prohibition to be removed.

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