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Who Performed Avraham’s Bris?

9 Heshvan 5773 – October 24, 2012
In this week’s parshah Hashem commands Avraham Avinu to perform the mitzvah of bris milah. The pasuk tells us that Avraham was 99 when he performed the bris milah on himself. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (29) and Tosafos, in Rosh Hashanah 11a, say that Avraham’s bris was performed on Yom Kippur. The Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer adds that Shem, Noach’s son, performed the bris on Avraham. There are several explanations as to why Avraham had Shem perform his milah.

Suspected!

2 Heshvan 5773 – October 17, 2012
"I arranged with Simon Cooper, the plumber, to clear the blockage in the kitchen sink this morning," Mr. Laks told his wife. "Oh, great!" she replied. "I'll clean the kitchen before he comes."

Daf Yomi

27 Tishri 5773 – October 12, 2012
Where Beis Shammai And Beis Hillel Agree ‘One Must Not Sit Before A Barber Near Minchah’ (Shabbos 9b)

Q & A: A Mother’s Mitzvah (Part I)

26 Tishri 5773 – October 11, 2012
Question: I am a single mother of young children. Their father has shirked all his responsibilities to them. I do my best for my children, but it isn’t easy. Isn’t their father in serious violation of the Torah by neglecting his children and not making any effort to provide them an education? No Name Please (Via E-Mail)

Pru U’revu

In this week’s parshah the Torah commands us in the first mitzvah: pru u’revu – be fruitful and multiply. We rule in accordance with Beis Hillel that one fulfills this mitzvah when he has fathered one boy and one girl.

Na’anuim: Moving Together As One People

20 Tishri 5773 – October 5, 2012
We are all familiar with the famous midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 30, 12) that compares the four species we take on the holiday of Sukkos to the four different types of Jews: the esrog, which has both smell and taste, corresponds to those who learn Torah and perform good deeds; the lulav, which has taste but no smell, corresponds to those who learn Torah but do not perform good deeds; the hadasim, which have a pleasant smell but no taste, correspond to those who perform good deeds but do not learn Torah; and finally, the aravos, which have neither smell nor taste, correspond to those who have neither Torah nor good deeds.

Driveway Sukkah

19 Tishri 5773 – October 4, 2012
Sam Berger and Moti Farber shared a two family house, with a joint driveway in front. The Farbers had an extensive family, whereas Sam was relatively young and just recently had his fourth child.

Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future

12 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 2012
Title: Land of My Past, Land of My Future Author: Michael Kaufman Publisher: Targum Press, 2012

Q & A: Selichot Restrictions (Part III)

Question: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states that an individual praying selichot without a minyan is not allowed to recite the Thirteen Midot or the Aramaic prayers. What is the rationale behind this halacha? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

May A Woman Build A Sukkah?

The Gemara in Sukkah says that the sechach that one must use for his sukkah must be detached from the tree in order for it to be fit for use. The Gemara (Sukkah 11a) discusses what a person must do if one put branches on his sukkah before they were cut off from the tree. The Gemara concludes that branches must be detached from the tree and he then must shake them.

Q & A: Selichot Restrictions (Part II)

5 Tishri 5773 – September 20, 2012
Question: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states that an individual praying selichot without a minyan is not allowed to recite the Thirteen Midot or the Aramaic prayers. What is the rationale behind this halacha? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

All In The Mind

It was Yom Kippur eve. The shul began filling rapidly as the time approached for Kol Nidrei. Herzl Machlis sat in his seat, cloaked in his tallis and kittel, quietly reciting Tefillah Zakkah, composed by the Chayei Adam 150 years ago.

Fighting In The South Pacific

28 Elul 5772 – September 14, 2012
My name is Eli Freundlich. I was 18 and had just graduated Torah Voddath in Williamsburg. America had entered the war a few years before. I wanted to be drafted so was happy when I received my notice. It was July 1943 - July 27, 1943 to be exact – when I was sworn into the American Army.

Degrees Of Rejection

27 Elul 5772 – September 13, 2012
Dear Dr. Yael: I am a 20 years old and dating. While I know that people consider me to be an attractive young woman, I...

In The King’s Presence

We all know that there are some synagogues that, unfortunately, only reach full capacity several days a year. There is something about these days that arouses even many unaffiliated Jews to attend High Holiday Services. In fact, each one of us also feels the holiness, and it helps us to be on our best behavior. We make sure to come on time to davening and we daven slower than usual. We are extra careful in our observance of halacha and how we treat the members of our family.

Q & A: Selichot Restrictions (Part I)

Question: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch states that an individual praying selichot without a minyan is not allowed to recite the Thirteen Midot or the Aramaic prayers. What is the rationale behind this halacha? Moshe Jakobowitz Brooklyn, NY

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.

Missing Payment

20 Elul 5772 – September 6, 2012
Dr. Oren had a small psychology practice and rented office space from his colleague, Dr. Wieder, on Thursday afternoons. The rent amounted to $500 for the month. Since the two usually did not see each other, the arrangement was that Dr. Oren would leave the rent money in the top drawer of the desk.

Daf Yomi

A Vicious Cycle ‘Many Different Kinds Were Set Before Him’ (Berachos 41a)

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