This week’s article discusses the specific mitzvah of techeiles. Recent claims to the identification of the source of techeiles have brought the halachic issue to the fore of halachic debate. What is the obligation of affixing techeiles to one’s tzitzis? What is the halachic status of “safek techeiles”? What are the laws of tying techeiles? This week’s article will deal with these questions and more, together with an introduction detailing the historical loss and claim re-discovery of techeiles.
Category: Parshat Hashavua
This week’s article concludes our three-week study of the laws lashon hara, and specifically addresses the issue of shidduchim, which is perhaps the issue in which questions of lashon hara arise most frequently. How are shidduchim investigations to be conducted? Which questions should be answered, and which should be evaded? We will seek to outline the general principles of speaking lashon hara in the context of shidduchim, and mention the halachic details that result.
Pesach is already a distant memory. Lag Ba’omer and the beginning of the post-sefirah wedding season are almost upon us. However, before we get to that, we first have an almost unnoticed date on the Jewish calendar – the fourteenth of Iyar, otherwise known as Pesach Sheini. Let us examine this holiday and some of its unique minhagim.
As we approach the month of Nissan, the reading on this Shabbos includes Parashas Ha-Chodesh, the reading of the New Month: “This month is for you the first of months, it is the first, for you, among the months of the year” (Shemos 12:2).
The mitzvah of sanctifying the new month was the first mitzvah given to the Jewish People as a nation, and it preceded their coming forth from Egypt.
In the initial creation of the world, a number of commentaries (including the Sefornu, the Vilna Gaon, and others) note that the creation of time is included in the very first words of the Torah: “In the beginning Elokim created.” In a similar vein, a mitzvah of time – a new time frame that had hitherto not existed – was given to the nation of Israel before its national creation.
Although the mitzvah of setting and sanctifying the month is not practiced today, the interpretation that Ramban gives to the text gives rise to a possible contemporary application of the mitzvah, and to a halachic issue that many authorities have discussed.
In the present article we will discuss the mitzvah of using the Jewish Date in documents. Is there such a mitzvah? Is there a prohibition against using the secular date? What is the significance of the Jewish months commonly used? How should letters and checks be dated? These questions, among others, are addressed below.
Recently, there was a story circulating about a gabbai tzedakah (an official in charge of funds for the poor) who approached a certain wealthy man and asked him for a… Read more »
As we approach the onset of the second month of Adar—Adar Sheini—we dedicate this week’s article to the oft-confusing identification of the “true” month of Adar. As we shall see, classifying the “principle” month of Adar might have ramifications that embrace a wide range of halachic issues. In which of the Adar months is a bar-mitzvah celebrated? When is a yahrzeit commemorated? Which of the two months is considered Adar for legal purposes? These issues, among others, will be discussed in this week’s article.
In this week’s parashah we find Yaakov Avinu offering sacrifices to the G-d of his father, Yitzcak. The mention of Yitzchak, rather than Avraham, leads Rashi to comment (based on the Midrash) that a person is obligated in the honor of his father to a greater degree than that of his grandfather. We take the opportunity to discuss the concept of honoring one’s grandparents. Is there an obligation to honor one’s grandparents, and what is the extent of the obligation? Does the obligation apply even after a parent’s death? Does it apply equally to paternal and maternal grandparents? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
We find that when Yaakov sleeps at Har Hamoriah 28:20 (וַיִּדַּר יַעֲקֹב, נֶדֶר לֵאמֹר: אִם-יִהְיֶה אֱלֹקים עִמָּדִי, וּשְׁמָרַנִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי הוֹלֵךְ, וְנָתַן-לִי לֶחֶם לֶאֱכֹל, וּבֶגֶד לִלְבֹּשׁ). That… Read more »
29:32 When Rebbi’s oldest son was born, Rebbi wanted to name him after Rav Elya Chazan which he did. There happened to be a Zeidy R’ Elya on Rebbi’s… Read more »
29:35 The Tur Al Hatoirah and Rabbeinu B’rachye brings it as well. When Leah gives birth, she names her fourth child Yehuda. It says in the Posuk,… Read more »
This week’s article we discuss the issue of Kiddush, and in particular the question of which beverages can be used for Kiddush. When is it permitted to make Kiddush on beer, and other beverages? Can whisky be used for Kiddush, and how much needs to be drunk? Can one make Kiddush on bread? These questions, and more, are discussed below.
Continuing from last week’s article, we turn this week to the important issue of the obligation to prolong life. As we saw, suicide is among the most heinous of crimes,… Read more »
1:16 The Posuk says אֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל, לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם. The Michtoim Eliyahu says an incredible thing. He says the Yoid’ai Dina, the ones who understand know, the word Gadol as used… Read more »
After beginning to outline the basic idea of the halachic ban, in the article of two weeks ago, we turn this week to the particular halachos of declaring a ban—and also to discuss a number of bans that were actually made over the generations, such as the ban against studying foreign languages in Jerusalem. How is a ban declared, and what are its halachos? What is the jurisdiction of those making the ban? How is a ban cancelled? We will address these issues, and others, in this week’s article.
ואהבת לרעך כמוך You shall love your friend like yourself The well-known words “Love your friend like yourself”, are so often quoted that little thought is given to their actual… 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.
This week’s article discusses the famous statement of Chazal: “When Adar enters, we augment our joy.” Why is the month of Adar singled out from all other months in its expression of joy? What halachos does the special status of the month include, and in which way are we to express the joy of the time? These points, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.
Rabbi Reisman וּבַיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם 12:16 וּבַיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם: כָּל-מְלָאכָה, לֹא-יֵעָשֶׂה בָהֶם–אַךְ אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל לְכָל-נֶפֶשׁ, הוּא לְבַדּוֹ יֵעָשֶׂה לָכֶם… Read more »
Rabbi Reisman וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם: מִשְׁכוּ, וּקְחוּ לָכֶם צֹאן לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתֵיכֶם–וְשַׁחֲטוּ הַפָּסַח 12:21 The first Posuk after Chamishi when Moshe Rabbeinu calls together the Ziknei Yisroel and says to them (וַיִּקְרָא… Read more »
Rabbi Reisman Rav Elchonon in the Koivetz Ma’amarim has a beautiful piece with far reaching implications. By Makas B’choirois in 12:27, the Pasuk says, (אֲשֶׁר פָּסַח עַל-בָּתֵּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל… Read more »
9:24 (וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּרָד), meaning there was fire miraculously in the Barad. A couple of thoughts on Makkas Barad which of course is the last Makka… Read more »
The shiur started with a D’var Halachah. There is a Teshuvah in Maishiv Davar authored by the Netziv. By Makas Barad, at the end of the Parshah, in… Read more »
8:8 & 8:26 ח. וַיֵּצֵא מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן מֵעִם פַּרְעֹה וַיִּצְעַק מֹשֶׁה אֶל יְ־רוָ־ר עַל דְּבַר הַצְפַרְדְּעִים אֲשֶׁר שָׂם לְפַרְעֹה: כו. וַיֵּצֵא מֹשֶׁה מֵעִם פַּרְעֹה וַיֶּעְתַּר אֶל יְ־רוָ־ר: Regarding the Tzefardai’a… Read more »
Let me begin with Rav Moshe’s Vort which is at the end of the Parsha 9:33. At the end of the Parsha we find the last Makkah in Parshas… 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 »
The Parshah begins with Yosef’s 2 dreams, the one with wheat and the one with stars. The idea of both dreams is the same. Later in Parshas Mikeitz,… Read more »
37:30 There is a Maram Padava that says a Teshuva L’halachah, he questions whether the word Yeled means under Bar Mitzvah. He brings a Raya from the Posuk… Read more »
Rebbi started the Shiur with the question that he ended of last year’s Shiur on Parshas Vayeishev. 37:14 Yaakov sends Yosef to his brothers at it says in the… Read more »
Rabbi Reisman I think that the fundamental Yesod of Parshas Vayeishev is a Gemara in Maseches Sanhedrin 106a (8 lines from the bottom). The Gemara there says (אמר רבי יוחנן… 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.
The Beginning of the Parsha where we have Avraham Avinu being Machnis Orchim. He greets the three Arabs walking and is Machnis Orech which is seen as a tremendous… Read more »
A couple of thoughts regarding the destruction of Sedom which is of course in this week’s Parsha. I saw an incredible Vort in the Divrei Yoel from the Satmar… Read more »
25:26 (בן ששים שנה: עשר שנים משנשאה עד שנעשית בת שלש עשרה שנה וראויה להריון ועשר שנים הללו צפה והמתין לה כמו שעשה אביו לשרה, כיון שלא נתעברה ידע… Read more »
25:28 וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת-עֵשָׂו, כִּי-צַיִד בְּפִיו. Rashi on the Posuk explains a Medrash (בפיו: כתרגומו בפיו של יצחק. ומדרשו בפיו של עשו שהיה צד אותו ומרמהו בדבריו) that… Read more »
25:19 (וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק, בֶּן-אַבְרָהָם: אַבְרָהָם, הוֹלִיד אֶת-יִצְחָק) The Tosafos Bracha says a P’shat on the first Rashi in the Parsha (ואלה תּוֹלְדֹת יצחק: יעקב ועשיו האמורים בפרשה). Why… Read more »
The beginning of the Parsha of course has the Mechiras Habechora the selling of the Bechora. Before I get into this, I would like to be Makdim the Teshuvas… Read more »
This week’s parashah includes the difficult episode of how Yaakov takes Yitzchak’s blessings, ostensibly by means of deception. This episode, and a number of additional episodes in the life of Yaakov, raise a patent difficulty: How could Yaakov, whose fundamental attribute is Truth, seem to be involved in apparent trickery and falsehood? Discussion of this question leads us to the halachos of truth and falsehood. What, if any, is the prohibition invovled with speaking falsehoods? To what does the Torah instruction of distancing oneself from falsehood apply? When, and under which circumstances, is it permitted (or obligatory) to deviate from the truth? May one do so on a regular basis? These questions, and more, will be discussed in this week’s article.