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1 Shevat 5778 -
? Wednesday, January 17, 2018


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Prime Time Prayer

Prayer is always an avenue to God. But in the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, and during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, God lends a particularly sympathetic ear.

The Proper Times For Reciting Shema

There is a fundamental difference between the times set for reciting the Shema and all other prayers. Whereas our sages linked the times for prayers to the times of the Temple sacrifices, the time for reciting Shema is fixed by the Torah itself – “beshochbechah uvekumechah” – when you lie down and when you get up.

‘And From Zion The Torah Will Go Forth’: Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv’s Impact On...

The New York Times once asked Rabbi Moshe Feinstein how he became a posek hador, one of the generation’s foremost authorities on Jewish law. Rabbi Feinstein answered that, “people came and asked me questions and they liked what I said and it was accepted, and then more people came and eventually I became widely accepted as a posek.”

The Three Weeks And The Nine Days

One does not have to be superstitious to recognize facts. It is a historical fact that the period between the Seventeenth of Tammuz and the Tenth of Av was plagued by recurring tragedies.

Wakeup Call (Part II)

The korban tamid was offered up every morning and every afternoon, including Shabbat. The korbanot tamid served as the bookends for all the other korbanot that were brought during the day. No other offering could be brought before the korban tamid of the morning or after the korban tamid of the afternoon.

Wakeup Call (Midot 1:9)

At about 4 a.m. on cold and damp autumn mornings in London, Dad would try to wake us in time for Selichot, the pre-Jewish New Year dawn prayers. As we heard Dad’s footsteps mounting the stairs, my brother and I would hide under our covers and mutter our displeasure at being disturbed.

Birthday Parties (Part II) (Keritut 2a, Shabbat 25a, Yevamot 2a and Pesachim 32b)

In addition to karet, there is another type of premature death at the hand of God known as “mita bedei shamayim.”

Birthday Parties (Keritut 2a; Shabbat 25a; Moed Katan 28a; Ta’anit 5b)

Each morning at about 7:10 a.m. my mother, still in her housecoat and slippers, would wake me for school. One wintry Monday morning I opened my eyes to see her leaning over my bed. She was in hat and coat and her hands were cold from the weather outside.

Chametz Credit Card

It's 1 p.m. on Friday, Erev Pesach. The rabbi had already sold the chametz at 10 a.m. But I forgot to sell mine. Now the synagogue office is closed and I can't get hold of the form the rabbi uses to sell the chametz. The Torah requires me to remove all chametz from my house on Pesach. But I just cannot bring myself to throw out that Glenfiddich. Is there a way the whisky can remain in my house during Pesach, and would I be able to drink it after Pesach?

Who’s Watching Anyway? (Me’ilah 2b, 9a)

If you pay only $5 or if you creep back, retrieve your $10 bill and make off with the money and the flowers. Doing that would be a breach of trust.

OU and RCA Call for Prayer and Words of Inspiration in Synagogues this Shabbat

The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America urge their member synagogues and member rabbis to respond to this time of formidable challenge for Jews around the world with programs of tefilla and divrei hitorerut, prayer and words of inspiration, in a manner appropriate to the severity of the situation.

More On Temurah (Temurah 2,3 and 9)

The act of temurah, consecrating another animal in place of an already consecrated animal, incurs the punishment of malkot - lashes. This is somewhat surprising. There is a halachic rule that a prohibition that does not involve an overt act does not incur the punishment of malkot – “lav she’einbBo ma’aseh, ein lokin alav.” Why then does a person incur malkot?

No Landlords (Part II)

Batei arei chomah are structures (of at least six to eight square feet) in towns consisting of at least three courtyards with two buildings each, with a predominantly Jewish population – provided that such towns were surrounded by a wall in the time of Joshua even though they may no longer be surrounded by a wall at the time of the sale or buyback.

No Landlords (Arachin 29b)

After its conquest by Joshua, the land of Israel was divided into twelve equal parts in accordance with the number of the tribes of Israel. Each male member of each tribe that actually left Egypt was entitled to a piece of land equal in size to the total size allocated to his whole tribe divided by the number of men of twenty or over in his tribe that left Egypt.

Killing Me Softly (Arachin 15b, 16a; Zevachim 88a)

A person’s reputation precedes him. A bad reputation prejudices any chance of a successful encounter. Damaging a person’s reputation is tantamount to booby-trapping human relations before they can blossom into happy relationships.

Not For The Birds: A Week Of Halachic Learning At Princeton

Some college students use their winter break between terms to relax, fly to warm climates and in general recover from the academic burdens of the fall semester. Others study how to slaughter chickens according to kosher law.

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.

Pidyon Ha’ben And Tisha B’Av

Pidyon ha’ben, like brit milah, is primarily the responsibility of the father. A brit milah must be performed on the eighth day of the child’s birth, unless it would endanger the life of the child. Pidyon ha’ben must be performed on the 31st day of the child’s birth. Neither ceremony may be delayed beyond its prescribed time unless there is some halachic justification to do so.

No Politician Cares About Funding Private Schools

There are two types of politicians we encounter when advocating to relieve our community’s tuition burden through the use of government funding: those who claim to be 100 percent behind us, and those who claim to be 100 percent against us. What’s interesting is that politicians in both categories do not seem to understand what “100 percent” means.

Pidyon Ha’ben (Bechorot 46)

A son who is not himself a kohen or a Levi, firstborn to a Jewish mother who is not the daughter of a kohen...

Local Executive Attends OU Conference

Forty executive directors, including Reva Homnick of Hollywood, attended the Fourth Annual OU Executive Directors Conference, presented by the OU’s Karasick Synagogue Services Department.

School Excitement Vs. Parental Excitement

It can’t be emphasized enough how important grassroots involvement is to political action. Serious unified support can impact the tuition crisis by making our community and its school choice allies an impenetrable voting bloc that must be listened to and that demands consistent results. How we get to “unified” is a challenge.

Mitzvah Shopping

He must be a very important person to get such an important mitzvah, I heard them say, as Mr. Loewenstein, the local assemblyman, stepped up to recite the Torah blessing before the reading of the Ten Commandments. And Mr. Kleppish was too embarrassed to tell his wife that he only got third galilah on Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Chanukah.

The Great Escape

In June 1967, even skeptics and agnostics admitted that the people of Israel, who only days before were digging their own graves, were saved by nothing short of a miracle. Over the years, however, however, the miracle, so obvious when it occurred, became camouflaged in a shroud of strategic, military terms.

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