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Orthodox Rabbi Teaching Halakha Beyond the Shulkhan Arukh, Judaism Beyond the Commandments

17 Iyyar 5776 – May 25, 2016
"I'm sure that if Maimonides, or Rabbi Yosef Karo lived today, they would say: We never wrote our codifications for a time when the State of Israel would be established."

Outreach – Thinking Out of the Box

14 Iyyar 5774 – May 14, 2014
The Talmud belongs to all the Jewish people, not just Orthodox Jews.

The Morality of Accepting Charity from Immoral People

5 Iyyar 5774 – May 5, 2014
Rambam would also allow charity from a mumar as long as the person maintains basic belief in God and Judaism.

Orthodoxy and Physical Contact between the Sexes

20 Adar I 5774 – February 20, 2014
Halacha forbids physical contact between the sexes.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Left a Kosher Empire

13 Heshvan 5774 – October 16, 2013
Overlooked in the eulogies and praise of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is the role he played in the development of the kosher certification, Badatz Beit...

Chabad Emissaries: Torah Forbids Surrendering Land to Enemies

23 Av 5773 – July 30, 2013
Chabad-Lubavitch movement emissaries in Israel have a mission to encourage Jews to observe Torah.” They remind the government that negotiating with enemies over borders endangers lives of Israelis.

Rabbi Riskin Permits Women to Read Ruth for Men in Orthodox Shul

6 Sivan 5773 – May 14, 2013
It appears that Rabbi Riskin's congregation is not easily offended.

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.

The One Chapter Book – Ovadiah

17 Kislev 5773 – November 30, 2012
I always wonder about Jewish names. Some make it and some don’t. Some have mazel and others don’t. Some Biblical personalities’ names are very popular amongst the members of Klal Yisrael and then there are those personalities whose names never seem to be used.

Price Freeze!

1 Kislev 5773 – November 14, 2012
Hurricane Sandy had knocked down the power lines to Noach's house. After three days with no electricity, he heard that a neighbor had a spare generator.

Sandy!

24 Heshvan 5773 – November 8, 2012
Hurricane Sandy ploughed through the eastern seaboard, leaving devastation in its wake: mandated evacuation, flooded houses, power outages, uprooted trees, and smashed cars. The storm also raised serious questions regarded rented properties: Does a tenant have to pay rent for the time his house was affected by the storm?

The Uniqueness Of Modern Orthodoxy (Part I)

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

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.

Q & A: Selichot Restrictions (Part III)

11 Tishri 5773 – September 27, 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

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

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

The Intricacies Of Selichos

There is a custom to say Selichos before Rosh Hashanah. Sephardim have the custom to say Selichos during the entire month of Elul, while Ashkenazim follow the custom of the Ramah (Orach Chaim 581:1) to only say Selichos for a minimum of four days prior to Rosh Hashanah – beginning with Motzaei Shabbos. The Ramah quotes from the Kol Bo that certain communities had the custom that the ba’al tefillah should also be the chazzan for the remainder of the day. The Magen Avraham explains that this is because of the general rule that when one begins a mitzvah he should complete it.

The Life Of A Legendary Posek

7 Av 5772 – July 25, 2012
The birth of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv – who died in Jerusalem last week at the age of 102 – is thought by many to be a miracle.

Preempting The Death Penalty

29 Tammuz 5772 – July 18, 2012
In this week’s parshah the Torah writes about a prohibition on killing a murderer prior to his trial. As the pasuk says: “…v’lo yamus harotzeach ad amdo lifnei haeidah lamishpat – … so that the murderer will not die until he stands before the assembly for judgment” (Bamidbar 35:12). The same rule applies to anyone who commits an aveirah that is punishable by death; no one is permitted to kill him prior to his trial in beis din, including the witnesses that warned him and witnessed the aveirah. The Sefer Hachinuch (mitzvah 409) writes that if one kills a transgressor prior to his trial, he is regarded as a murderer.

Parshas Pinchas

22 Tammuz 5772 – July 11, 2012
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