Our parsha tells of the Tower built by the inhabitants of Bovel, in an attempt to storm the Heavens. The reason they stopped building the Tower is… Read more »
Category: Dvar Torah
This week’s article deals with the issue of when to read shnayim mikra ve-echad targum. From when can this weekly mitzvah be performed, and when is the last time for reading shnayim mikra? Are there special halachos concerning the reading of Vezos Haberachah and Bereishis? What are the laws concerning reading at night? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah and the Ten Days of Repentance, we are confronted by the task of Teshuvah – repenting our misdeeds and bettering our ways in the future…. Read more »
In this installment on the laws of paying workers on time, we address a number of important halachos pertaining to the payment of employees. These relate on the one… Read more »
As we saw last week, the Torah is very concerned that workers should be paid on time. Two mitzvos, one positive (beyomo titen secharo) and one negative (lo talin),… Read more »
The Pasuk (Devarim 16:19) teaches us: “Bribery makes blind the wise and upsets the pleas of the just.” For this reason, the Torah states that it is forbidden to… Read more »
As the month that builds up to the High Holy Days—Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—the month of Elul has special significance in terms of mending our ways, repenting our… Read more »
In Parashas Vaeschanan, the Torah teaches us the mitzvah of Kriyas Shema, of which the pasuk writes: vedibarta bom, you shall speak them. Chazal derive from the word bom… Read more »
In the last article on the subject of truth and falsehood, we saw that it is permitted to deviate from the truth for Shalom—for the sake of peace and… Read more »
Parashas Shelach brings us the tragic tale of the meraglim, the spies that Moshe sent to scout the Land of Canaan in advance of the planned entry of the… Read more »
With Parashas Shekalim behind us, and with the festival of Purim ahead, we take the opportunity to discuss the laws and details of the Machatzis HaShekel obligation. Chazal underscore… Read more »
Parashas Pekudei involves a detailed inventory of the materials collected for building the Mishkan, and explains what was done with them: “These are the records of the Mishkan, the… Read more »
Parashas Terumah introduces the Mishkan and discusses its construction. As the Ramban explains, the fundamental purpose of the Mishkan, and later of the Mikdash in the Land of Israel,… Read more »
וישמע יתרו כהן מדין חתן משה את כל אשר עשה אלקים למשה ולישראל עמו And Yisro, priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moshe, heard all that God had done… Read more »
After introducing the principal halachic issues underlying the concept of arvus, in this third and final installment of the series we will discuss a number of concrete questions that… Read more »
The sefer Tochachas Mussar (Introduction) records a fascinating anecdote involving the great Maharsha. According to the tale, two business partners and close friends, one of whom had committed a grave… Read more »
In pleading with Yosef on behalf of Binyamin, Yehudah, the leader of Yaakov’s sons, includes the following argument: “For your servant became a pledge for the boy unto my… Read more »
After its beginnings in Parashash Vayeitzei, the rest of Sefer Bereishis focuses on Yaakov’s family. In this week’s article we wish to discuss the relationship between two of Yaakov’s twelve… Read more »
The opening of Parashas Vayishlach speaks about the envoys Yaakov Avinu sent to his brother Eisav. Opinions differ as to whether these were human or angelic envoys, and the… Read more »
The Torah in Parashas Toldos presents Esav as a hunter: “Esav was a hunter, a man of the field” (Bereishis 25:27). This is in contrast to Yaakov, who is described… Read more »
We all know the importance of the age of thirteen for a boy and the age of twelve for a girl. These are the times when a boy or girl comes of age, and becomes responsible for his or her own actions and obligated in the mitzvos of the Torah.
Yet, although the ages are well-known, the sources that reveal their importance is less familiar. One of the sources for the significance of the age thirteen in a boy’s coming of age – in fact, the only Biblical source for the concept – is found in Parashas Vayishlach, as mentioned by Rashi (Nazir 29b) and the Ra’av (Avos 5:21).
When Shimon and Levi came assailed the city of Shechem, the pasuk states (Bereishis 34:25): “The two sons of Yaakov, Shimon and Levi, took each man his sword.” Levi was exactly thirteen years old at the time, and we thus learn that a thirteen-year-old is called a man.
In the current article we will discuss the concept of a child’s “coming of age.” What defines a child’s entering the obligation of mitzvos – age or physical maturity? Is there halachic significance to each of these independently? Are there differences between different mitzvos and halachic concepts, or is halachic maturity uniform for all matters?
Parashas Vayeitzei brings us to the story of Yaakov, the third and last of the three Avos. Specifically, it chronicles the years Yaakov spent in the house of Lavan,… Read more »
Parashas Toldos opens with one of the most renowned transactions of all time: The sale of the birthright from Eisav to Yaakov. Commentaries write at length about this sale,… Read more »