In everyday monetary transactions one issue is that of Onaah—fraud related to pricing. Although the word fraud is associated with intentional acts of deception, the halachic concept of Onaah… Read more »
Posts By: Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer
The story of the death of the Sons of Aharon, Nadav and Avihu, includes some of the most difficult pesukim to understand. The words are: “Nadav and Avihu, 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 »
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 »
In this week’s Parashah, Parashas Lech Lecha, we find that Hashem instructs Avraham Avinu to go to “the Land that I will show you” – the land where he was… Read more »
This week’s article discusses the mitzvah of teshuvah, and in particular the recitation of viduy. In the halachic part of the article we will clarify how viduy is an integral and essential part of the teshuvah process. The second part of the article is dedicated to exploring why viduy is so central to teshuvah, and to finding an approach to the many (ten) orders of viduy recited over Yom Kippur.
This week’s article addresses the prohibition of hasagas gevul, meaning causing somebody else to lose his income. What are the parameters of the prohibition? How is it applied today? Is the halachah concerned specifically for the good of sellers, or also for the benefit of the consumer? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
The admonitions we read in Parashas Ki Savo include the curse of blindness: “Hashem will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart” (Devarim 28:28). Even… Read more »
Weights and measures have always played a central role in the world of commerce. Because of their fundamental importance, we are able to trace a history spanning thousands of years… Read more »
This week’s article addresses the timely issue of reciting birkas ha-gomel, and focuses on the question of when the berachah should be recited. Is being saved from any dangerous situation sufficient, or are there special parameters? How have advances in the modern world of travel affected the halachah of birkas ha-gomel? Does the recovery from any illness warrant ha-gomel? These questions, and others, are discussed in this week’s article.
This week’s Parashah includes the prohibition on erasing the Name of Hashem — “You shall not do so to Hashem, your G-d.” In light of the prohibition, is it permitted to begin a letter with letters denoting the Name of Hashem? What about letters that denote “With the help of Hashem”? And what is the halachic status of the dollar bill, on which the words “In G-d we trust” appear? This week’s article deals with these questions, together with the halachic background for them.
In this week’s article we turn our attention to questions of “who joins?” and “who leads?” the zimun ceremony. Who should be the one chosen to perform the ceremony? Who is considered the ba’al ha-bayis, and what rights does he have in selecting the mezamen? Can women and children form part of a zimun group, and what is the halachah of women eating on their own? These questions, and more, are elucidated in this week’s article.
Doing the Good and the Just This week’s parashah includes a Pasuk whose instruction has profound ramifications in Torah monetary law: “You shall do the just and the good” (6:18)…. Read more »