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When One Forgets To Say Vesein Tal U’matar

22 Kislev 5773 – December 5, 2012
The Jews living outside Eretz Yisrael began reciting vesein tal u’matar in the Shemoneh Esrei this week. If one does not say vesein tal u’matar (instead continuing to say “vesein berachah”) and finishes the Shemoneh Esrei, he must repeat the Shemoneh Esrei. If one accidentally does not daven at all, he must daven two Shemoneh Esreis during the following tefillah. If one did not say vesein tal u’matar and finished davening and only remembers this fact at the time of the next tefillah, he must daven two Shemoneh Esreis at the next tefillah.

Petter Chamor In L.A.

16 Kislev 5773 – November 29, 2012
More than 1,200 members of the Los Angeles Jewish community gathered recently to witness the observance of the mitzvah of petter chamor. Organized and led by Rabbi Yehuda Lebovics, a Los Angeles mohel, the event was held in the immense outdoor courtyard of Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov Ohr Eliyahu.

The Berachah On Kiddushin

24 Heshvan 5773 – November 8, 2012
In this week’s parshah we learn of the episode whereby Avraham sent his servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. Eliezer met Rivka and decided that she was right for Yitzchak. After discussing matters with her parents and her brother, Lavan, Eliezer was ready to return with Rivka to Avraham and Yitzchak. Prior to their departure Rivka’s family blessed her, saying that she should become “thousands of myriad…” and may her offspring inherit the gate of its foes.

A Small Jewish World

23 Heshvan 5773 – November 7, 2012
Two recent experiences served to drive home the point to me that – with apologies to the popular Disney musical boat ride “It’s a Small World” – it really is a small Jewish world.

Keep Up The Good Work

18 Heshvan 5773 – November 2, 2012
Dear Dr. Yael: I feel extremely guilty about my elderly father and am filled with anger toward my sisters and brothers in regards to his care.

The Power Of Prayer

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
Once again I must postpone the continuation of my Oct. 5 column, “Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad,” this time due to the heavy reader response to last week’s column.

The Uniqueness Of Modern Orthodoxy (Part I)

27 Tishri 5773 – October 12, 2012
Question: What is unique about Modern Orthodoxy?

‘I Celebrate Your Holy Name’

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
I am postponing the follow-up to my previous column – “Technology, Yom Kippur, Ahmadinejad” – so that I might share with you a very personal experience.

Daf Yomi

11 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 2012
Pomp And Circumstance ‘Endeavor to See the King’ (Berachos 58a)

Ha’azinu: Giving Praise

“When I proclaim the name of Hashem, give greatness to our G-d (32:3). When we hear a berachah, it is proper to exclaim "Baruch Hu u’Baruch Shemo" (“He is blessed and His name is blessed”) when Hashem's name is pronounced. But much more is intended. The mention of that most important word (in any language) should evoke the greatest reverence and love and devotion. How much should we exert ourselves in this function?

Maftir Yonah

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
There is a machlokes between the Mechaber and the Rema concerning the berachos recited on the Yom Kippur haftarah by Minchah. The Mechaber says (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 622:2) that we take the Torah out and read the parshah of arayos and then read Maftir Yonah. He says that we recite the berachos of the haftarah before and after the haftarah. If Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbos, we mention Shabbos in the berachos. The Rema argues that we do not recite the berachah of “al haTorah v’al ha’avodah” by Minchah.

Daf Yomi

27 Elul 5772 – September 13, 2012
Shehakol Bread? ‘One Recites A Blessing On The Primary Food’ (Berachos 44a)

Mentioning Rosh Hashanah In Davening

26 Elul 5772 – September 12, 2012
The Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah 32a lists the Yom Tov’s berachos and the order in which we must daven on Rosh Hashanah. The Mishnah says in the name of Rabbi Akiva that we begin with the berachah of avos. We then recite, in this order: gevuros (atah gibor); kedushas Hashem; kedushas hayom (we incorporate malchuyos in that berachah); zichronos; and shofros. This is followed by avodah hoda’ah and birchas kohanim (sim shalom). The Gemara there brings a beraisa that cites a source in the Torah for reciting each one of these berachos.

Daf Yomi

20 Elul 5772 – September 6, 2012
A Vicious Cycle ‘Many Different Kinds Were Set Before Him’ (Berachos 41a)

Daf Yomi

12 Elul 5772 – August 29, 2012
A Two Way Street? ‘Joining Geulah To Tefillah Is Preferable’ (Berachos 30a)

Q & A: Chazzan And Congregation (Part XIV)

Question: What should the chazzan do when he reaches Kedushah and Modim? Some chazzanim say every word of Kedushah out loud and some only say the last part of the middle two phrases out loud. As far as the congregation is concerned, some congregants say every word of Kedushah and some say only the last part. Finally, some chazzanim and congregants say Modim during chazaras hashatz out loud and some say it quietly. What is the source for these various practices? A Devoted Reader (Via E-Mail)

Today’s Israeli: A Charming New Breed

In Israel today there is a new generation whose members may not be outwardly observant but who are intrinsically religious and have the utmost respect for the Torah and its scholars.

Kavanah In Davening

22 Av 5772 – August 9, 2012
In this week’s parshah the Torah gives us the mitzvah of tefillah – davening to Hashem – for as the pasuk says, “oso sa’avod – you shall serve Him.” The Torah repeats this mitzvah several times, with another mention further in this week’s parshah: “uleavdo bechal levavchem – serve Him with all of your heart.” The Sifri explains that one serves with his heart by means of tefillah.

Only At Orchidea

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
I had the tremendous zechut to attend the wedding of my granddaughter Rachayli Fuchs to Shaul Klein in June, and then, much to my delight I was able to make one of the Sheva Berachot. My guest list was composed and invitations extended. The divrei Torah would be delivered by my grandson Rabbi Raphael Fuchs and my nephew Meir Greenwald.

A Parent’s Anguish

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis, This is the most painful letter I’ve ever written. I’ve been through many horrific experiences. My parents were survivors of the Holocaust; they were shattered people. I know you will understand this since you too are a Holocaust survivor.

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