The following letter was sent in response to Pidyon Shevuyim: Redeeming The Agunah, a column by Cheryl Kupfer (12-21 On Our Own):
The difference between living in Israel verses outside of Israel is that in Israel, Judaism is the basis of the country’s daily operations.
This amount, when placed into perspective in relation to the entire number of those that were in the desert, represented only one percent of the entire community.
In this week’s parshah, as Bnei Yisrael are about to enter Eretz Yisrael, the Torah commands us in the mitzvah of shechitah. The pasuk says,...
Our sages write that one of the reasons the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed was because of blind hatred.
In our times, most of us when we pray, our minds are on something else-it is hard to focus all the time.
What does it take to be deemed successful? The Torah describes Yosef as an "ish matzliach," a successful man. but I can't fathom anyone using the term “success” to describe Yosef at this point in his life. Yet, success, according to our Sages, is dependent on man’s frame of mind.
We see from this that Eltzafun was called upon to help others and did as he was told. Perhaps, this is an indication of Eltzafun’s humility and that his heart was in the right place.
On the opposite side of the spectrum you have the “left.” These are the people who essentially believe that Israel is a modern country that should not be guided by its ancient Torah and traditions.
According to the Ramban, the verse "your foes who dwell upon it will be desolate" (Vayikra 26:32) is a partial blessing within the curse that guarantees through all generations that the Land of Israel will not receive any foreign nation in place of her true indigenous people.
QUESTION: I have noticed that when we eat the matza at the Seder on Passover, we recite the blessing of Hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz, followed by Al achilat matza. Why don't we say Al achilat matza when we eat matza during the remainder of Passover?Moshe JakobowitzBrooklyn, NY
Kids today... that’s not the way we behaved when we were younger!! That is the mantra I hear repeated as parents bemoan the spoiled nature and lack of responsibility of today's children. The problem is - it is not a fair comparison.
QUESTION: Just the other day I was heading toward Connecticut on the New England Thruway. There was stop and go traffic. Eventually I saw the reason for the logjam. There had been a horrible accident involving a number of vehicles in one of the opposite lanes, with numerous ambulances and police present. In our direction of traffic we were all rubbernecking. I have no idea what the condition of those involved in the accident was. But I was wondering whether we should all say HaGomel whenever we arrive at home in one piece.I am told that you discussed this problem or a similar one before. Is it possible to elaborate on this topic again?Moshe JacobowitzBrooklyn, NY
The students were eventually expelled from the school that they were attending, but the reactions of the parents were quite divergent.
Generally speaking, any food produced by a non-kosher animal is non-kosher. Thus, the egg of a non-kosher bird is not kosher but the egg of a kosher bird, such as a chicken, is kosher. If one comes across an egg and does not know which bird laid it, how does one tell a non-kosher egg from a kosher egg?
I watch my children use blocks to build a large structure, observing the trepidation with which they add each block. As the structure becomes larger there is a greater risk of it collapsing, thus bringing an end to an hour of playful labor. I anticipate what will happen when one child adds a block to the top floor, compromising the integrity of the building and resulting in the collapse of the entire structure. The argument that ensues is predictable, as each child blames the other for “ruining” the fun. As an adult, I wonder about the need to attribute blame. Will assigning blame be instrumental in rebuilding the structure?
We don’t realize how often non-Jews sense something unique about us.
In American society we are all caught up with the idea that youth is very important. We are always trying to perceive ourselves as younger.
Nowadays, we often avoid a challenge – and, along with it, the satisfaction that accompanies real effort – if it seems too hard. But we must resist that urge.
Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.
Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro, zt”l, explains that the teshuvah of Rosh Hashanah is different from that of Yom Kippur and that of the mitzvah of teshuvah in general.
The world was created soooo long ago that we can feel like it’s “old news.” But by just opening our eyes and seeing the amazing design of the natural world around us, we can feel like we have front-rows seats to creation. Hashem made the world and everything in it -- including us -- with a master plan. By tuning in to the awesome design in everything around us, we can feel connected to that plan and to Him.
We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.
I rarely take the extended warranty when purchasing new electronics. I figure that this warranty must not be worth much if they feel the need to pressure me into buying it. They must know what I have learned the hard way: there is no such thing as a real guarantee. In my more naive days, I purchased this "peace of mind," as they call it, but never cashed in. Usually, by the time the item broke, I had forgotten about the extended warranty and purchased a replacement.