PDF view/download Food and Drink on Shavuos 1. Just as it is a mitzvah to honor Shabbos, so one must honor all festivals with culinary delights and treats. This is… Read more »
Category: Shulchan Aruch
As we prepare for Shabbos Pesach for the Kedusha of Pesach and with the hope that we will have the sense of Pesach. Let me share with you a few… Read more »
This week’s article discusses the halachos of Parashas Zachor, which is read this week in advance of Purim. Is the reading of Zachor a Torah mitzvah, or a rabbinic enactment? Does the mitzvah require a kosher Sefer Torah, and a reading among a quorum of men? Are women obligated in the mitzvah? These questions, and more, are discussed in the present article.
“ומשלוח מנות איש לרעהו ומתנות לאביונים” The Jewish people is known as a people who makes a point of helping others, charity, money and food to the poor. We have Two special mitzvot on Purim, mishloach manos and gifts to the poor. Before… 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 »
This week’s article discusses a number of basic questions concerning the prohibitions against taking revenge and bearing a grudge. When are the prohibitions of taking revenge and bearing a grudge transgressed? Are they contingent on a person’s inner thoughts, or do they require a concrete action? Are there instances in which it is permitted to take revenge and to bear a grudge? We will seek to clarify these issues in this week’s article.
In last week’s article, and in keeping with the weeks’ parashios in which a number of dreams are mentioned, we began to discuss the halachic significance of dreams. The main… Read more »
In Parashas Vayeishev we begin to learn about the importance of dreams. Yaakov Avinu, the Torah informs us, “kept the matter” of Yosef’s prophetic dreams, anticipating their future fulfillment. Ultimately,… Read more »
Once R’ Yishmoel’s mother (Yerushalmi, Kiddushin 1:7) approached the Rabbis with the complaint that her son does not fully fulfill the mitzvah of kibbud eim. Of course the Rabbis were… Read more »
Three verses in the Torah touch directly on the bilateral relationship of children to their parents. In the Ten Commandments (Shmot 20:12, Devorim 5:16) it states directly “Honor your father… Read more »
In last week’s article we began to discuss the prohibition of yichud, seclusion with women who constitute prohibited unions. We discussed the basic nature of the prohibition (Torah/rabbinic; ‘essential’/’protective’), and… Read more »
This week’s article deals with the blessing of baruch sheptarani, the berachah recited by fathers upon their sons reaching Bar-Mitzvah. What is the meaning of the blessing, and why is it commonly recited without Shem and Malchus? It the blessing recited for girls? Is it recited by mothers? These, and other questions, are discussed in this week’s article.
In this week’s parashah, Vayeira, after Avimelech discovers that Sarah is the wife of Avraham, the pasuk narrates (Bereishis 20:14): “Avimelech took sheep, cattle, slaves and maidservants, and gave them… Read more »
Although Rosh Hashanah is the first of the Ten Days of Repentence, the prayers of the day make no mention of sin, we do not recite the Thirteen Attributes of Compassion, and personal requests are few and far between. What is the nature of the day, and its unique teshuvah? Why is the entire day a Yom Teru’ah, a “Day of Sounding the Shofar,” and which inner labor does this call upon us? The article will discuss the essence of Rosh Hashanah, and strive to clarify our personal role on this great day.
This week’s article deals with the halachic issue of writing a Sefer Torah. What are the parameters of this mitzvah? Does the mitzvah apply today, and if so, why do most people not write a personal Sefer Torah? Can a Sefer Torah be written in partnership? Is there a mitzvah of writing or purchasing other sefarim? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
This week’s article discusses the prohibition of tzaar baalei chayim, causing pain and suffering to animals. What are the parameters of the prohibition? When is it permitted to cause pain to animals? Does a corresponding prohibition apply to humans? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
This week’s article discusses the prohibition of tzaar baalei chayim, causing pain and suffering to animals. What are the parameters of the prohibition? When is it permitted to cause pain to animals? Does a corresponding prohibition apply to humans? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article. This week’s Q & A discusses issues of Kerias Shema.
The Torah is particularly stringent with regard to matters of weights and measures, prohibiting not only the act of deception,
but even keeping false weights and measures in one’s possession. Today, there is virtually not a home in which several weights
and measures can be found, and their halachic status is not as clear as we might think. Is it permitted to keep an
inaccurate kitchen scale at home? What of bathroom scales, a baby bottle (with volume markings), or a tape measure? This
week’s article deals with these questions, and with related issues of weights and measures.
The First Temple was destroyed as a result of the three Cardinal Sins. The Second Temple was destroyed as a result of baseless hatred. What is the difference between the two? Why was the Second Temple specifically sensitive to baseless hatred? And which special lesson can we derive for our own generation?
This week’s article discusses the issue of yuhara, displaying arrogance or haughtiness in the performance of mitzvos. What are the parameters of this prohibition? What categories of mitzvah performance are included, and when is there no concern of yuhara? We will seek to clarify this issue in this week’s article. This week’s Q & A discusses the question of calling up a father and son for hagbahah and gelilah.
In the previous article we discussed the contradiction that sometimes arises between the obligation to save lives on one hand, and the prohibition of murder on the other. A particular… Read more »
This week’s article discusses the contemporary issue of relocating graves. Although the issue has been somewhat politicized in recent years, we mustn’t forget that in principle, the question of disinterring graves is strictly halachic. What is the nature of the prohibition to exhume remains? When is it permitted to do so, and in particular, are various public needs sufficient cause for leniency? These important questions will be discussed in this week’s article.
This special article for Shavuos deals with the custom of eating dairy products on Shavuos, and their proper separation from meaty foods. What is the source for the custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuos, and how is it performed? What is the optimal way to avoid mixing dairy and meaty? And what is the ideal way in which our time over the Shavuos festival should be spent? These questions are discussed in this week’s article?
This week’s Parashah, in which we learn of the mitzvah of Kohanim to bless the nation, inspires us to investigate a particular facet of the mitzvah: the possible disqualification of… Read more »
This week’s article discusses the issue of toiling in Torah study. What defines the obligation of Torah study? Is the obligation quantifiable? To which parts of Torah should one dedicate his time? What is the main object of our toil: quantity or quality? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
Although it is well known that one mustn’t listen to music in the sefirah period, it is striking to note that this prohibition is not found in any early authority, from the time of the Talmud until the Mishnah Berurah! What, then, is the nature of the customary prohibition? When can one be lenient, and when must one be stringent? To answer these questions, we must first understand the halachic approach to music throughout the year, which is the subject of this two-part series.
This week’s article discusses the contemporary question of fulfilling promises—Afikoman promises. Is there a full halachic obligation to honor one’s Afikoman promise of Seder Night? Is there a difference between young and older children? Is the duress that a parent sometimes experiences in trying to retrieve the Afikoman a factor? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
“A worker’s wage shall not remain with you overnight until morning” (Vayikra 19:13)
My daughter takes piano lessons every week. I understand that paying the teacher on time is a Torah mitzvah of paying hired workers. Is this mitzvah fulfilled by paying with a ch
This week’s article continues the discussion of the Sale of Chametz. How is the rabbi, or the person responsible for the sale, appointed by the individual homeowner? When is the sale to the non-Jew actually performed? How do international sales work? And what products should be included in the sale? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
This week’s article is the first of a two-part series on the sale of chametz. What is the history of the chametz sale that has become so widespread? What was it initially intended for, and what does it achieve? Does one fulfill the mitzvah of tashbisu by selling one’s chametz? What are the benefits of a collective sale, and how should the purchasing non-Jew be given access to his chametz? How, indeed, must the chametz be treated over Pesach? These questions, and more, are addressed in this week’s article.
The verses in Megillas Esther include the rabbinic enactments of Purim (9:22): “The days wherein the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned for them… Read more »
Definitions 1. What is the halachic definition of a fruit tree? Regarding the b’racha borei pri ha’eitz, a fruit tree is defined as one whose trunk remains from year to… Read more »