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Be'ohalei Ha'avos On Pirkei Avos - Perek 6

Avos (Kinyan Hatorah 4) 6, 4:  Pirkei Avos has five perakim. In most printed editions there is a sixth perek that really consists of beraisos and is an ap...

   
 

Shavuos 5775 - Get High!

On Shavuos, we celebrate the giving of the Torah to B'nei Yisrael after they came out of Mitzrayim. On this day we experienced a level of spirituality high...

   
 

Shavuos 5775 - Torah is our Ruler

Sefiras Ha’omer is a preparation for Shevuos in many ways. Klal Yisroel left Egypt after a year of preparation. During the year of the 10 makkos, they wer...

   
 

Hilchos Uminhagei Shavuos

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Shavuos. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar/Shavuos - Some Thoughts on Receiving the Torah

This Shabbos is Parshas Bamidbar and, beginning Motzei Shabbos (Saturday night), we begin the celebration of Shavuos, which we lovingly refer to as “Zman ...

   
 

Shavuos 5775 - The Need For A Chosen Nation

[From Parshas Yisro]  The Need For A Chosen Nation  When Hashem gave us the Torah, He thereby set us aside as His chosen nation forever. Before this...

   
 

Shavuot/Yizkor - Remembering

Remembering In the Past, We See Our Future The past is never dead.  It’s not even past. - William Faulkner We Jews are a people of memories. ...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar/Shavuos - Vital Attraction

I recently had the privilege of hosting at my Shul two classes of adorable first graders, my lovely granddaughter Chayele among them, from the local Bais Yaakov...

   
 

Parshas Bamidbar - Individuality

 ״איש על דגלו באתת לבית אבותם יחנו בני ישראל (ב׳,ב׳)״ "The Children of Israel shall encamp, each man by his banner...

   
 

Serving Dairy Bread on Shavuos

What about small amounts, and does the prohibition apply only to bread? Question #1: The Whey to Celebrate Shavuos! “May I add dairy ingredients to bre...

   
 

Shavuos 5775 Seeing...is Believing

The holiday of Shavuot is nearly here. One can only begin to imagine what it was like for the Jewish people to have the divine encounter that is described for u...

   
 

Parshas Behar/B'Chukosai - Shemittah: Relation to Mount Sinai

“Va’y’daber Hashem el Moshe el Moshe b’Har Sinai laimor. Daber el b’nei Yisrael v’amarta a’laihem ki sa’vo&rsquo...

   
 

Parshas Behar/Bechukosai - Why We Are Responsible for Evil That Befalls Us - And Why That is Good

The 26th chapter of Vayikra sets out with stunning clarity the terms of Jewish life under the covenant. On the one hand, there is an idyllic picture of t...

   
 

Parshas Behar/Bechukosai - The Cry of The Shofar

I recently came across the ‘tzavaa’, or the ethical will of Rav Menachem Mann Shach OBM, famed Rosh Yeshivah of Ponevez. This document was written...

   
 

Parshas Behar/B'Chukosai - The Merit of the Many Outweighs the Merit of the Few

This past Tuesday was the yahrtzeit of my great aunt, Lady Amélie Jakobovits, a"h. The shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Mayla bas Eliyahu. T...

   
 

Seven - The Power of Numbers

Numbers have power and significance.  Some numbers have greater significance than others, often due to their properties as primes or unique, or their role ...

   
 

Be'ohalei Ha'avos On Pirkei Avos - Perek 5

Shabbos Behar ירושלים עיה"ק תו"ת  Avos 5, 1 The fifth perek in Pirkei Avos starts off with an explicit theme of the number ten. Each of th...

   
 

Parshas Behar/B'Chukosai - Social Insecurity

The Torah foretells of a time when the Jewish nation will fall short in their commitment to G-d and suffer the terrible consequences of their poor choices. They...

   
 

Parshas Behar/B'Chukosai - Kol Yisrael

קול ישראל R’ Akiva Weinberg לעילוי נשמת ר' יעקב שלמה בן אפרים וויינבערג ז"ל פרשת בהר-בחקת...

   
 

Parshas Behar/B'Chukosai - I Make A Difference

In Parshas Bechukosai, Hashem tells us that if we adhere to the Torah we will receive an abundance of blessings.  The Mishna in Pirkei Avos states that if...

   
 

The Why's and Whey's of Gevinas Akum

Although it is still more than a week until Shavuos, I thought this is an appropriate time to study up on some of the halachos germane to eating milchig.The Why...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Kohanim: Keep Out!

The very first comment of Rashi in this week's parsha deals with the seemingly redundant phrase, "Emor el hakohanim b'nei Aharon, ve'amarta aleih...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Understanding Sefiras Ha'omer

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, zíl, we will maintain a living ...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Defining Greatness

In Kedoshim, the portion of the Torah that teaches us how to be holy, we learned that being a holy person, is primarily focussed on interpersonal relationship...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Aderes HaTorah

At the end of this week's Parsha the Torah tells about the "Ben Isha Yisraelis" who went out and was mechalel shem Shamayim by cursing the Name of Hashem. ...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Teach Them To Your Children

“V’yomer Hashem el Moshe emor el ha’Kohanim b’nei Aharon v’amarta aleihem … • Hashem said to Moshe, say to the Kohanim...

   
 

Parshas Emor - How Do You Measure Up?

For the past thirty three days we have been ‘counting the Omer’. We recite the blessing prior to actually counting and mention how G-d sanctified us...

   
 

Parshas Emor - Peace = Utopia

There are some laws in the Torah that are referred to as chukim, meaning that we don't necessarily understand the reasons behind them. The special laws reg...

   
 

Parshas Emor - This Day...Derech Eretz and the Study of Torah

Our modern culture teaches us to “stop and smell the roses.”  To relax, “take a load off”.  We push ourselves too relentlessly...

   
 

A Shemittah Glossary

 Question #1: Shemittah or shevi’is? “What is the difference between shemittah and shevi’is?” Question #2: Sefichin “What ...

   
 

Tonight/Tomorrow is Pesach Sheni; What is it?

Pesach Sheni - the "Second" Pesach is today, 14th day of Iyar, May 14, 2014 First, a little background: One who was ritually unclean, ta'mai, was not al...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Holy Surroundings

It is not difficult to establish a connection between Acharei Mos and Kedoshim. For example, the subject of illicit relations is discussed in both. But there is...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Proper Protesting & Respecful Rebuking

Parshas Acharei Mos: The Medrash says that when Iyov heard that the two sons of Aharon died he became very worried.  Why? Chazal say that the reason Iyo...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim -Be Holy! Kedoshim Tihiyu

The title of the Parsha is Kedoshim. This is a section about holiness. Moshe commanded the Jewish people to be holy, what are the parameters of holiness and e...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Two Sides of Kedusha

We can’t escape it. Both individually and nationally, a Jew is obligated to achieve kedusha (to be holy - elevated and distinguished). A “גוי ק...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's Parsha, the Torah commands us to rise out of respect for an elderly person. Chazal tell us that the term "zakein" does not refer only to an ...

   
 

Parshas Kedoshim - Love is More Than The Negative Of A Negative - The Lesson Of Kedoshim

Why does God give us the Ten Commandments?  Why does He make explicit that we are not, for example, to murder?  The most obvious answer is that God co...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: The Tattoo Taboo and Permanent Make-Up Too

There is a widespread myth, especially among secular American Jews, that a Jew with a tattoo may not be buried in a Jewish cemetery[1]. This prevalent belief,...

   
 

Be'ohalei Ha'avos on Pirkei Avos

Shabbos Emor (Eretz Yisrael) ירושלים עיה"ק תו"ת Avos 4,1 In the first mishna of this week's perek in Pirkei Avos the tanna Ben-Zoma makes ...

   
 

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Be All That You Can Be

״דבר אל כל עדת ב״י ואמרת אליהם קדשים תיהו״ "Speak to the entire assembly of the children of Israel and say to them: You shall...

   
 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

This week’s reading is either Acharei Mos/Kedoshim or Emor depending on whether you are in Chutz La’aretz or in Eretz Yisrael. Either way, Kohanim f...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Together Alone

Most of this week's parshios deal with the laws of the metzora. We are told (13:46) that the metzora must be sent outside of the camps and must dwell alone...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - The Danger of Renaissance

Rav Yanai was a giant in his generation, the generation immediately following the leadership of Rebbe Yehudah Hanasi. After a long period of persecution by th...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Chacham Einav b'Rosho

“Ve’ra’ah hakohein acharei hukabeis es ha’nega v’hinei lo hafach ha’nega es eino v’ha’nega lo fasa… &bull...

   
 

Be'ohalei Ha'avos on Pirkei Avos (Israel: Shabbos Acharei Mos ' Kedoshim 5775)

In this week's Perek of Pirkei Avos the Mishna tells us that Rabbi Akiva used to say "dear is man for he was created in in the image (on a metaphysical lev...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Aderes HaTorah

In this week's parsha we learn about the laws and circumstances of  Tzara'as that could occur on a person's body, clothing or home. Upon the...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Israel Dependence Day

 The Metzora, a leper, is numbered among a group of select individuals whose suffering is deemed by the sages of the Talmud as being equivalent to death. ...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Prevention is the Best Medicine

The sefer Ta'amei HaMinhagim (page 251) writes that the Jewish month of Iyar is a time for refuah (healing). אייר is an acronym for אני ה' ר...

   
 

Parshas Metzora 5775/2015 - Speak No Evil

 Cholent, The Sassoon Tragedy, and the Arrogance of Evil  If you don’t have something nice to say…   How often our silence resonat...

   
 

Parshas Tazria/Metzora - Infinite Potential

״דבר אל בני ישראל לאמר, אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר וטמאה שבעת ימים...ואם נקבה תלד וטמאה שבעים...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - Fathers and Sons

In this week's parsha, we learn of the tragic episode of Nadav and Avihu, two sons of Aharon who were killed when they brought a sacrifice which they were ...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - Aderes HaTorah

This week's Parsha details the tragic death of Aharon's two sons, Nadav and Avihu. The pasuk tells us that when Aharon was informed of their terrible ...

   
 

BDE: Mrs. Talia (Abramowitz) Zwebner, Z'L / Dvar Torah by Noah Abramowitz in her Memory

Baltimore, MD - April 17, 2015 -BaltimoreJewishLife.com is deeply saddened to  inform the community of the petirah of Mrs. Talia (Abramowitz) Zwebner, z&...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - Pop Goes the Weasel!

The great prophet Elisha had a disciple, Gechazi, who is described as a ‘giant in Torah’. Despite his great prowess in Torah, Gechazi was a troubled...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - We Are All His Children

In this week's parshah Nadav and Avihu, two of Aharon's sons, died when they attempted to bring an unauthorized sacrifice to Hashem in the Holy of Hol...

   
 

Parsha Permutations

[ED. Note: This Shabbos, Erev Rosh Chodesh, April 18, Shabbos Parshas Shemini, at 5:45 pm, there will be a special Mincha Minyan at Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach ...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - My Sin is before Me Always

We live at a time when even the most “humble” amongst us seems to have a blog, or a Twitter account, or a website or, or, or… or some other w...

   
 

Parshas Shemini - Stunting Self Expression

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

When Klal Yisrael is out of Sync

[ED. Note: This Shabbos, Erev Rosh Chodesh, April 18, Shabbos Parshas Shemini, at 5:45 pm, there will be a special Mincha Minyan at Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach ...

   
 

Sefiras Ha'omer 5775

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Making Our Days Count - A Review of the Halachos of Sefiras HaOmer

Reposted by popular request... In Parshas Emor, the Torah teaches us: Hashem spoke to Moshe saying, Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: “Whe...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - What Really Happened Seder Night in Bnei Brak?

As we look forward to the seder Night, there are many familiar passages we will go over again, hopefully with a new understanding of the meaning behind the text...

   
 

Will There be WOW! in Your Seder?

 Many of us have seen the popular email that circulates around this time each year. It quips that three lines can describe every Jewish holiday: They trie...

   
 

Pesach 5775 : The Truth Behind Anti-Semitism (Video)

On Pesach, not only do we celebrate that G-D protects us from our enemies, we also celebrate the fact that our enemies want to harm us! How are we to understa...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - People Believe What They Want To Believe

There is a common mentality out there, which goes as follows: All the open miracles that Hashem performed in Mitzrayim to prove His existence, are very impressi...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - The Art of Preparation

A thing without its place is lost.  This is true of trivial things from computer files to puppies.  How much more is this simple observation true when...

   
 

Hallel Wars

Long, long ago, in a continent far far away, there emerged a debate about the recitation of Hallel on the night of Pesach in the synagogue. Should it be said...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - Pieces of a Puzzle

Immediately prior to our recitation of the Hagaddah we take the middle matzah and split it in two. The smaller piece is returned and placed between the remainin...

   
 

Watch: Possible Parah Adumah (Red Heifer) On Outskirts of Lakewood, New Jersey (Video)

A fully red cow, which appears to be usable as the biblical Red Heifer, has been attracting increasing attention on a small farm outside of Lakewood, New Jers...

   
 

Watch: Eye Opener On Pesach Shiurim - How Much Matza Do You Really Need To Eat At The Pesach Seder? (Video)

 כמה מצה, יין ומרור צריך לאכול בליל הסדר? כנראה, פחות ממה שחשבתם... How much Matza do you realy need to ...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - Kol Chamira and Bitul Chometz

We say this Aramaic text just before Pesach every year. We recite it once in the evening and again in the morning. What is behind the wording of Bitul Chomet...

   
 

Pesach 5775: Magen Avos on Seder night -- Which Bracha is First?

 Question: The gabbai of a local minyan calls with the following question: "I do not remember what we did the last time that Pesach began on Shabbos, but ...

   
 

Parshas Tzav/ Shabbos HaGadol - Location, Location, Location

In this week's parsha, a number of the different types of sacrifices are discussed. With regard to the chatas offering, it is written (6:18) "In the place ...

   
 

Parshas Tzav - Thanks for the Pain [Hakomas Matzeiva for Shaya Gross, z"l, will take place, IY"H, Sunday, March 29 at 5:00 at the Agudah Cemetery in Rosedale]

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, zíl, we will maintain a living ...

   
 

Pesach: Four Sons Are We...

One of most well-known, best-remembered and most often explained parts of the Pesach (Passover) Seder is the description of the four sons and their questions: t...

   
 

Mizmor Lesodah, Parshas Tzav and Erev Pesach

Question #1: Korban Todah or bensching Goimel? “Which is the better way to thank Hashem for a personal salvation, by reciting birchas hagomeil, or by mak...

   
 

Parshas Tzav / Shabos HaGadol - Aderes HaTorah

The Kohen Gadol would bring a Korban Minchah every day called a Minchas Chavitin. Actually, this was the same Korban that he brought on the momentous ...

   
 

Parshas Tzav / Shabos HaGadol - Keep the Fire Burning

“Tzav es Aharon v’es banav laimor: Zos toras ha’olah, hee ha’olah al mok’dah al ha’meezbayach kol ha’lyla ahd ha&rsquo...

   
 

Parshas Tzav / Shabos HaGadol - Happy Thanksgiving!

There is a fascinating custom recorded by the Rama in Shulchan Aruch regarding the three matzos we use on the Seder night. Quoting the Tur, the Rama says that ...

   
 

Parshas Tzav/ Shabbos HaGadol - A Dose Of Inspiration

A Waste Of Time? The Torah tells us in this week's parshah: "צו את אהרן ואת בניו לאמר זאת תורת העלה... - Command Aharon and ...

   
 

Parshas VaYikra - To Err is Human

This Sunday, 2 Nissan, marks the yahrtzeit of my Bubbie. This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmasah, Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.  This w...

   
 

Parshas VaYikra - Keep It Honest

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When any man of you bringeth an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the catt...

   
 

Pesach 5775: Freedom from Exile

This Shabbat is a triple header. It is Shabbat (as it is every week!), it is a special parasha (Parashat HaChodesh, which is read every year on the Shabbat that...

   
 

Parshas VaYikra - Put Down The Fork And Bring The Geula

A common quip to describe Jewish holidays: “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat!” It does seem like much of our time during the chagim i...

   
 

Parshas VaYikra - Resilience

Resilience   Although Hashem forgave us for the Golden Calf, it's very memory can still be a cause of misfortune for us until today. The Torah t...

   
 

Inviting The Non-Observant For Pesach

Pesach is filled with Halachic questions. Halachic Hotlines across the country are ringing off the hook. One of the biggest questions that is often asked, h...

   
 

Parshas VaYikra - It's Time to Wake Up!

One can argue that perhaps one of the most significant of all mitzvos is that of  Vidui, the confessing of our sins before G-d that stems from a sincere de...

   
 

Pesach 5775 - Released to Serve

Yetzias Mitzrayim and Ma’amad Har Sinai are the two events which lie at the heart of the Jewish People’s existence and identity. They shape and form...

   
 

OOPS! is no excuse

“As Freud has shown, blunders are not the merest chance. They are the result of suppressed desires and conflicts. They are ripples on the surface of life...

   
 

Watch: Rabbi G. D. Schwartz Explains A Pesach Minhag From The Chofetz Chaim (Video)

Rav Schwartz tells over a story he heard about the Chafetz Chaim from the Chafetz Chaim's son in law, Reb Mendel Zaks ZT"L ...

   
 

Desktop Gardening or Growing Vegetables in Thin Air

Well, not quite thin air, because plants, like the rest of us, require nutrients and water to grow. Although the word “aeroponics” does not show up ...

   
 

Watch: Parshas VaYakhail/Pekudei -Teaching: The Art of the Heart

In this week’s parsha, (35:30-35) Moshe Rabbeinu informs B’nei Yisrael that Betzalel will be in charge of overseeing the construction of the mishkan...

   
 

Insights Into Halacha: More Mitzvah Use: Of Chanuka Oil and Mishloach Manos

As detailed at length in previous articles, Chazal derived several essential Shemitta halachos pertaining to preserving the sanctity of Kedushas Sheviis produce...

   
 

Parshas VaYakhail-Pekudei - Moshe's Strength

The Talmud in Nedarim tells us that Moshe was strong. He spread the covering over the Mishkan. The Gemara challenges this proof. Maybe Moshe was just large? W...

   
 

Parshas VaYakhail/Pekudei - Aderes HaTorah

In Parshas Tetzaveh we read about the instructions given to Klal Yisrael to build the Mishkan. The building plan was then interrupted by the debacle of the Egel...

   
 

Parshas VaYakhail/Pekudei - Crown Molding

Let the work begin. The book of Shemos concludes with the construction of the Mishkan and its holy vessels – one of which is the Shulchan, the golden tab...

   
 

Parshas Vayakhel/Pekudai - Shabbos; Relaxing or Resting / Being Clean

[Ed. Note] Out of the respect and recognition of the impact made by longtime BJL friend and contributor, Reb Shaya Gross, z’l, we will maintain a living m...

   
 

Parshas VaYakhail/Pekudei - Delayed Gratification - Dedicated To My Young And Dear Friend, Yitzy T.

This Dvar Torah is dedicated to my young and dear friend, Yitzy T. who has taught me how to live with positivity always. Please have him in mind in your prayer...