QUESTION: I have received the good news that I am going to be accepted as a full-fledged member of the Jewish people. The Beit Din informed me that the gerutwill become effective a short while before Rosh Chodesh Iyar (late May), during Sefirat HaOmer. Do I continue to count Sefira after my gerut as I have been doing before it? I was told that a similar topic was previously discussed in this column. Perhaps you can helpme with my specific situation. Avraham b. Avraham (via e-mail)
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.
Food can be eaten to fill your stomach. But food can also be eaten with the intent to recognize Creation and acknowledge the Creator. A bracha is not just a thank you.
When he came to the hospital he saw his fiancée still in her wheelchair, but expected her to surprise him by jumping up and embracing him.
Donald Trump’s election was a complete surprise to many. In fact every poll predicted that he would lose. How were they all so wrong?
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
Given the potential for kaparah, we must understand how to properly utilize this time of Bein Hametzarim, which begins in a month’s time.
I sleep every Tisha B’Av night on a narrow cushion in front of the Me’aras HaMachpelah in Hebron. I do this because the following chiddush came to me many years ago: When the spies went to Israel, the pasuk says “vayavo ad Chevron” – “and he came until Hebron.” He instead of they. Rashi says only Calev ben Yefuneh went to Hebron, to pray to Avraham Avinu that he not fall for the plan of the spies.
Jews witnessed the ten makkos defy every natural law and decimate their oppressors. How could they still be sinking lower in tumah after witnessing this?
It is hard to believe that Elul is upon us and that the Day of Judgment is only one month away. In a short 30 days we must face our Creator and have our deeds evaluated in the hopes of a receiving a merciful blessing for a good and healthy year. We spend the month of Elul focused on repentance, and we learn the holy books of mussar to inspire us to grow and change.
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.
I take umbrage with the perspective that this is a "woman's holiday."
Chazal tell us that the pursuit of money teaches us how we should pursue mitzvos. Money familiarize us with the burning passion we ought to develop for mitzvos--and mitzvos have even greater intrinsic value.
We know that the measure of goodness is greater than that of punishment.
Shechinta b’galusa." The term is usually translated as "the Divine presence in captivity” – but what does that actually mean?
Two of these attacks occurred close to Allon Shvut, and somehow I feel responsible.
Usually, when I begin a speech, I start with something interesting, lighthearted or funny - to get your attention and lead into the speech itself. Permit me to deviate from that this week, because there is nothing funny, lighthearted or interesting about what so many of us are experiencing, and if not us, than our friends, loved ones and neighbors, and if not them, than people a few miles away from us in Long Beach or Far Rockaway who have lost everything to 14 foot waves, or a little farther away where helpless Senior Citizens are living without water or power in high rises on the Lower East Side.
Misinterpretations abound. Always judge favorably. Doing so is not just the halacha. It’s also wise.
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.
To say that this respect for all people is vitally lacking amongst many of our Jewish brothers and sisters is an understatement.
The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.
Herzl was dead within a year, but his prophetic vision established him as the Father of modern Zionism.
QUESTION: Is it halachically permissible to pack on the Sabbath or Yom Tov for a trip to be taken on the next day?Moishe HalberstamBrooklyn, NY
This problem of speech control not only affects adults but also children in Day Schools and Yeshivot.
Except in extremely northern locales, the sky is dark and filled with stars well before the time that people claim is tzeit ha’kochavim according to Rabbenu Tam.