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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Destroying the Chametz Within and Truly Preparing for Pesach
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Parsha
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A Psalm For Shabbos

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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Does Bal Tosif Apply To Tzitzis?

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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Shabbos Chazon: Light in the Darkness

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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The Nechama of Three And Seven

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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The Lines Before Sefer Devarim

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).

The-Shmuz
 

Man: Preprogrammed For Greatness

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.
 

Parshat Matot Massei

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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Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av

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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Arei Miklat

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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Parshas Pinchas: ‘Shabbos For Shabbos’

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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Two Days Of Rosh Chodesh

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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Shabbos – A Day With Hashem: Just One Shabbos

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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The-Shmuz
 

Through The Eyes Of History

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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Tza’ar Ba’alei Chaim

Posted on: June 19th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah Bilam decides to approach Balak with the intention of cursing the Bnei Yisrael. En route his donkey refused to continue on the path, continuing to veer to the side of the road. At one point the donkey smashed Bilam’s leg into the wall. Bilam hit his donkey three different times. The reason that his donkey would not proceed is because it saw that there was a malach standing in the road with his sword drawn.

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The Sin of Moshe Rabbeinu

Posted on: June 14th, 2013

JudaismParsha

The Rambam, therefore, adds a second component: by getting angry, Moshe misled the people as to the nature of God. The masses felt that Moshe's anger was reflective of God's anger.

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Yiftach: An Ignorant Leader?

Posted on: June 14th, 2013

JudaismParsha

One of the most complex Tanach personalities is the central figure of this week’s Haftorah: Yiftach, the Shofet, Judge.

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May An Impure Minor Enter The Mikdash?

Posted on: June 12th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many halachos of tumah. One halacha is that a person who is tamei may not enter the Mikdash. Doing so makes him liable for kareis.

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Pidyon Haben: Debt Or Mitzvah?

Posted on: June 6th, 2013

JudaismParsha

In this week’s parshah the Torah tells us that Hashem told Aharon to redeem every firstborn child. This is known as pidyon haben. The Rema, in Yoreh De’ah 305:10, rules in the name of the Rivash that one may not appoint a shaliach to perform pidyon haben. Many Acharonim argue with this ruling and posit that one can appoint a shaliach to perform pidyon haben.

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The Danger Of Machlokes

Posted on: June 6th, 2013

JudaismParsha

Korach, carried away by jealousy, led two hundred fifty men in rebellion against Moshe and Hashem. These were all great individuals; they had all witnessed Moshe going up to Har Sinai to accept the Torah, and they all heard Hashem speak through Moshe. Yet they willfully and intentionally set out to depose Moshe – to prove he had veered off from that which Hashem had told him. Moshe, recognizing the danger they were placing themselves in, did everything he could to get them to back down. Nevertheless, they remained steadfast in their revolt, and marched to their destruction. In the end the entire congregation – man, woman, infant and child – died a terrible death.

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Shabbos Mevorchim Tammuz

Posted on: May 30th, 2013

JudaismParsha

On this Shabbos, Parshas Shelach, we bentch Rosh Chodesh Tammuz which falls on the following Shabbos Kodesh and Yom Rishon (June 8 and 9 on the English calendar).

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