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29 Heshvan 5778 -
? Friday, November 17, 2017


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Overcharging

In Behar, one of this week’s parshiyos, the Torah commands us in regard to some of the laws of buying and selling. The pasuk says, “Vechi simkiru mimkar la’amisecha … al tonu ish es achiv – When you make a sale to your fellow … do not afflict one another.” The Gemara in Baba Metzia 51a derives from this pasuk that one may not overcharge when selling an item without informing the buyer. This is referred to as ona’ah. The Gemara says that if one charges more than a sixth more than the market value of an item, the sale is void. If one charges less than a sixth more, the sale is valid. If one charges exactly a sixth more, the sale is valid; however, the seller must return the overcharge.

Big, Hairy Problems

Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” – a humorous advice column that is pretty much like any other advice column, except in terms of helpfulness. Like all other advice columns, we try to answer your questions, but if you stump us, we say, “That’s beyond the scope of this article,” and we move on with our lives. That’s a nice way of saying, “We have no idea. There are people you can pay by the hour for this sort of thing.”

Their Weight in Gold

Israelis shop tomatoes at a vegetable market of Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem, May 06, 2012. Tomato prices are expected to rise up to 16...

Readers Respond to “The Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers Of Girls In...

In our March 16 issue we featured The Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers Of Girls In Shidduchim, in which the author described a “Meet and Greet” for young women in a certain age and mindset (looking for young men who are sitting and learning) and mothers of the young men they could potentially date. The article received a tremendous amount of comments on our website and via e-mail. Below are some of the responses.

Geneivah And Gezeilah

At the conclusion of this week’s parshah, the Torah discusses the halachos of one who stole from another. The pasuk says, “veheishiv es hagezeilah asher gazal – and he shall return the stolen object that he stole.” We derive from this that there is a mitzvas assei to return a stolen object.

Korean Jewish Community Gets First Torah Scroll

The dedication of a new Torah scroll is always a cause for celebration. But for the small yet proud Jewish community in South Korea,...

You Aren’t What You Make (Arachin 23b)

There are two different types of vows, nedarim, mentioned in the Torah. The first, which is the subject of Tractate Nedarim, is the prohibitive vow, nidrei issur, pursuant to which a person utters a vow not to do an action, which but for the vow would have been permitted.

Iran Supplying Weapons to Quell Syrian Unrest

UK PM Cameron discloses the information to the House of Commons.

Japan FM: Japan Ready to Cut Iran Oil Imports

Comments come during US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's visit to Japan.

Bitachon And Effort: Finding The Balance

Hashem appeared to Noach and told him the world had turned to wicked ways and was to be destroyed by a deluge. Hashem commanded Noach to build a teivah, an ark, so that he and his family would be saved.

The Sword In The Tongue (Readers Respond)

I've received an inordinate amount of mail in response to the letters I published two weeks ago regarding onas devarim - painful and abusive language. It seems this problem is prevalent in many circles, among children as well as adults, indicating this is a societal condition that is unfortunately reflective of our culture.

Teaching Organization To Children

Dear Rivka, Help! My 8 year old daughter is terribly disorganized! Any tips for helping me help her change ? I am motivated to teach her as it is making me crazy.

Title: A Green Fantasy: Ruthie Discovers The Secret To Noah’s Ecosystem

Noah's Ark. Do we believe it really happened or was it a kind of Biblical legend, allegory or parable? The author, an anthropologist as well as a barrister and criminologist, has done an amazing amount of research into ecology, and come up with a fascinating theory and a gripping children's story of how it really might have been.

Shalom Task Force: Answering The Call Of Domestic Abuse

Due to the overwhelming amount of e-mail I have received about domestic abuse, this week's column focuses on the services of Shalom Task Force. (Names...

Title: Noah’s Family Carousel

A family affair, this is a book to get your hands on - literally! Your family can join Noah's as you read about how they cared for the zoo within the ark on their 40-day and night journey.

Title: Noah’s Family Carousel

A family affair, this is a book to get your hands on - literally! Your family can join Noah's as you read about how they cared for the zoo within the ark on their 40-day and night journey.

A Torah Perspective On Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part IV)

Over the past few weeks, we have been making the point that parents must take an active role in teaching their children Torah ideas about sexuality and modesty. This is so that the first images and concepts that fill their developing minds are appropriate ones. This is especially true because of the amount of invasive exposure they receive from secular sources and culture, and also because we can no longer afford to be na?ve about the existence of sexual predators in our midst.

A Sweet New Year

Rosh Hashanah and the ensuing Sukkos holiday season are nearly upon us, and if you are a busy person but still like to serve nice meals, then you are surely thinking about how and what to cook. Below, you will find some great recipes that can be prepared in advance and then frozen. This way you can concentrate on yom tov itself and enjoy time with your family.

With A Warm Hand

Prior to Rosh Hashanah, our daughter Bracha insisted on giving a sizeable amount of tzedakah to a worthy organization. This gift was in addition to the amount she is careful to separate from her earnings on a weekly basis. Barely sixteen, our daughter is not intending to become rich from her part-time job, but parting with even more than the usual 10 percent of her salary was clearly above and beyond the letter of the law.

Freeze With Ease

I have received numerous inquiries asking me to revisit my freezer tricks.

Freeze With Ease

I have received numerous inquiries asking me to revisit my freezer tricks.

Avner Gold Picks Up Where He Left Off 20 Years Ago

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Reinman is a man of multiple faces.

Chocolate Can Reduce Blood Pressure

Here is some good and bad news for choco­holics. The good news is that dark chocolate can lower your blood pressure; the bad news is that only a very small amount of dark chocolate is needed.

The Icing On The Cupcake

All across America, in major cities nationwide, there has been an outcry, a major clamoring, and a "waiting-on-line-around-the-block" type of fixation for cupcakes.

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