Halachah Talk Zecher LeMachatzis HaShekel The minhag of giving coins in remembrance of the machatzis hashekel given during the time of the Beis Hamikdash is a very ancient and cherished… Read more »
Posts By: Harav Avraham Rosenthal
One of the Aseres Hadibros, which we will hear in this week’s parsha, is the prohibition of “lo sisa es Sheim Hashem Elokecha lashav,” “Do not recite the name of Hashem, your G-d, in vain.” The Gemara (Shavuos) explains that this mitzvah relates primarily to the issur of swearing falsely or unnecessarily, as the classical type of oath is when one invokes Hashem’s Name. This mitzvah also includes more common situations of saying Hashem’s Name without a valid reason.
Although the topic of swearing and taking oaths is an important one, it is rare to find an observant Jew swearing an oath with Hashem’s Name. Therefore, in this week’s article we will discuss some of the more common applications of this mitzvah.
The mitzvah of honoring parents (Shemos 20:12) has a unique distinction. The Yerushalmi (Kiddushin 1:7) refers to it as a “mitzvah chamurah min hachamuros” – a mitzvah… Read more »
Shabbos Parshas Beshalach is called Shabbos Shirah – the Shabbos of the Song. This refers to the Shiras HaYam, the song of thanks that the Jewish nation sang to Hashem after crossing through the Red Sea on dry land and seeing their enemies drown. The name Shabbos Shirah appears in the Rishonim (Sefer HaMinhagim [Tyrnau], s.v., Shevat; Sefer Maharil, Hilchos Teves-Shevat-Adar, #7).
Chazal instituted various types of brachos, some of which are recited more frequently than others. There are brachos that are part of davening which are said on a daily basis… Read more »
Halacha Talk Pikuach Nefesh on Shabbos One of the basic foundations of halacha is that saving a life supercedes every mitzvah in the Torah, with the exception of forbidden relationships,… Read more »
When called to the Torah, two blessings are recited. In the second, we bless Hashem for “giving us a true Torah; and the life of the world you planted in… Read more »
Unlike Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, Tu Bishvat is not a Torah festival. And unlike Hanukkah and Purim, it is not even a rabbinic festival. However, as will be explained below,… Read more »
In last week’s column, we discussed some background and common examples of birchos hare’iyeh – brachos recited when experiencing various natural phenomena. In particular, we focused on the brachos of… Read more »