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16 Adar II 5779 -
? Friday, March 22, 2019


Wings of Desire

Who are these beings? Men to Avraham; Angels to Lot. Why do they play such important roles in Genesis? Why are the stories of the beginnings of humanity so rich with unfamiliar characters?

You Have Dwelt Long Enough in Brooklyn and Beverly Hills!

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

Counting Jews

But why then were kohanim allowed to be counted in the Beis Hamikdash via their fingers? Why is counting fingers different from counting people?

Gedolim Are Human

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

Parshat Toldot

Abraham Lincoln didn't hold a grudge. In 1862 when he visited General McClellan in his house to discuss strategy and was ignored by the general, Lincoln took it in stride.

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Chukat: How to Make Peace

History repeats itself: Israel extends the hand of peace to a neighbor and is rebuffed

Shabbos Mevorchim Menachem Av

A man from a distant city once came to Reb Hershel to bemoan the sorry state of his business affairs. To the tzaddik’s inquiry about the extent of his knowledge of religious practice, the man readily admitted his ignorance.

May An Impure Minor Enter The Mikdash?

In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses many halachos of tumah. One halacha is that a person who is tamei may not enter the Mikdash. Doing so makes him liable for kareis.

May Beis Din Punish On Shabbos?

The Rambam, in Hilchos Shabbos 24:7, rules that Beis Din may not carry out the punishment of either death or lashes on Shabbos. He cites the same pasuk of “lo seva’aru” as the source for this halacha. In his Sefer Hamitzvos the Rambam lists as a separate negative commandment (number 322) that Beis Din may not judge or carry out a punishment on Shabbos.

Pleasures – Created For Our Benefit

Many items in this world were created strictly for man’s enjoyment. One example is food.

A Sense of Place

This week's portion, Re'ei, speaks of our need for a sense of place, how difficult it often is to find, and how we must protect others' sense of place. It also addresses the sanctity of the Land of Israel

Counting Sefirah Without A Berachah

The Rambam writes the halachos of Sefiras Ha’Omer in Hilchos Temidim U’musafin (7:22-25). He says that there is a mitzvas assei to count seven complete weeks from the day that the korban omer was brought. The mitzvah is to count the days and the weeks. We count at night because the mitzvah requires that we count at the beginning of the day, which is at night. If one forgot to count at night he may count by day.

Prophecy, Certainty, and True Religious Struggle

As Avraham and Yitzchak went to the ‘Akedah, we admire their fortitude, not their faith, their having found the will to carry through on an enormously difficult task. Humans want to live; we all the more so want our children to live, especially a child who is the long-awaited answer to prayers, the one Hashem had promised would continue this parent’s ethical and religious revolution.

Why Don’t We Recite A Berachah On The Mitzvah Of Zachor?

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka. This week we read parshas Zachor (Devarim 25:17), which details...

The Lost Tribe

It occurred to me, as my brain rattled in my skull on a two-hundred mile ride through rural Virginia, that our souls work in much the same way.

Pinchas: Intimacy and Holiness

In last week's parsha, it looks like the people finally began to trust in God. But now, suddenly, idolatry? What happened? How did the people fail so quickly?

Tzav: How Can I Confront Sacrifices?

How can a modern day reader of Torah, understand and relate to the concept of animal sacrifices, Korbanot?

Gedolim Are Human

Avram’s father was not impressed with the cleverness of his son. In fact, he was so unimpressed that he took him to Nimrod the king, who pronounced him an enemy of the state and attempted to execute him.

Redeeming Relevance : Parshat Yitro: A Unique Diverse Event

Without the excuse of not being completely sure about the truth of God and His commandments, there is still a doubt whether people will do what they know to be right and to their advantage.

Each One Of Us Is Like A Tree Of The Field

Torah teaches that trees must be protected for the trees themselves, sake of man, & for life lessons

Redeeming Relevance in the Weekly Parsha: Noach

Our intentions are critical in raising children because they mimic everything we parents do & think

May One Use White Wine For Kiddush?

The fourth dibrah of the Asseres Hadibros that is read in this week’s parshah says, “Zachor es yom haShabbos lekadsho – remember to sanctify the Shabbos.” The Gemara in Pesachim 106a derives from this pasuk that one must recite Kiddush on Shabbos over a cup of wine.

FATE, DESTINY, AND FREE WILL

Imagine that the book of your life has already been written – and that you’ve read the chapter headings. How would your life be different? This issue is addressed by J.K. Rowling in the Harry Potter series. Not surprisingly, Rowling was preceded by the Torah

Must Women Eat Shalosh Seudos?

I believe that not all agree with the opinion of the Ran and Rabbeinu Tam that the rule of af ha’eim hayu b’osah haneis applies to the obligation to eat three seudos with lechem mishneh.

Are There Times One May Kill Himself?

Toward the end of this week’s parshah Rashi quotes a Medrash that relates the familiar episode of when Avraham Avinu was thrown into a furnace. Rashi recounts that Avraham’s father, Terach, had reported to Nimrod that his son had broken all of his idols. Avraham was then thrown into a fire and was saved. The wording of the Medrash, however, is that Avraham had gone into the fire by himself (kesheyarad Avraham letoch kivshan ha’eish – when Avraham went into the fire, and in another place it says that Nimrod decreed that he should leireid lekivshan ha’eish – go down into the fire).

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