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For most of the nations of the world, the laws governing interactions between people are conventions set up by citizens to enable their society to function. They are bereft of any Divine influence. However, such laws within a Jewish society are very much religious laws as well. To demonstrate this point the Sanhedrin, which was ultimately responsible for all legal aspects of society, was housed in the Temple. By being there it was made clear to all that, for Jewish society, the interpersonal societal laws were Divine in origin, just as the ritual laws were.
At the onset of the Bnei Yisrael’s journey through the midbar, we read in this week’s parshah that the Bnei Yisrael’s complaint was for food to eat. Hashem responded that He would send “lechem min hashamayim” (also known as mun), and that the Bnei Yisrael would collect each day’s portion according to the number of members of his household.
This week’s parsha, Vayislach, relates a shocking episode that causes genuine outrage in the Israelite camp -- the Canaanite Prince Shechem’s brutal assault of Yaakov’s daughter Dinah.
Our first matriarch’s original name, Sarai, meant “Princess to Her People.” When her name was changed to Sarah, its meaning took on a universal connotation: “Princess to Mankind.”
The prophet Micah said (7:15), "As in the days of your leaving Egypt, I shall show them marvelous things." His words imply that the Exodus is the precedent for the Final Redemption, as the Midrash expounds: "Just as in Egypt, I shall redeem you in the future from subjugation to Edom and shall perform miracles for you, as it says, "As in the days of your leaving Egypt, I shall display miracles'" (Tanchuma, Toldot 17).
As Jews in Israel and all over the world prepare to celebrate Shavuot, it is incumbent upon us to take the time to reflect on the meaning of our traditional values and history with regard to our current challenges and goals.
Section 456 (g) 1 of The Military Selective Service Act (as amended through July 9, 2003) states: "Regular or duly ordained ministers of religionshall be exempt from training and service." Based on this clause, clergy, including rabbis, have been exempt from the draft since the Civil War.
QUESTION: If the fast of Tisha Be'Av (the ninth day of Av) concludes the mourning period for the destruction of the Temple, why do we wait until the fifteenth of Av to rejoice? Is there a distinct significance to this date? Please discuss this in your insightful column.Sara Gutman(Via E-Mail)
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