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Social Responsibility

IN THE END, YOU suffer alone. That was one of the last Facebook postings of a young mother of six children who took her life this last Shabbos. Her marriage had failed and ended in divorce. After suffering for years, she shot herself while in her parents’ home, with five of her children in the […]

A Shabbos Bris

BS”D Volume 31, No. 26 3 Iyar 5777 April 29, 2017 We read in our parashah, “On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” The Gemara (Sanhedrin 59b) says that, though this mitzvah was taught earlier in the Torah, it is repeated here to emphasize, “On the eighth day”–even when it […]

Tattletaling

Once upon a time Yehudit and Leah were walking home after a hard day at school. For weeks, their class had been trying to behave perfectly, because they were promised a Rosh Chodesh party by their teacher if everyone’s behavior was good. But, on this day, some of the bags of treats set aside for […]

Chapter 20 – THE SABBATH PRAYERS

In the Friday afternoon service, TACHANUN is not recited (267:1). In the evening service, the wording of the second blessing after SHEMA is modified; see 267:3. In the AMIDAH (beginning and ending with the same three blessings as SHEMONEH ESREH, plus a single middle blessing), the middle blessing begins with the passage “The heavens and […]

Deep Breaths

Although we cannot eat or drink on Yom Kippur, smelling pleasant fragrances is still permitted. While some opinions prohibit this pleasure as well, the consensus of the halachic authorities is that inhaling fragrances is permitted, and that it is praiseworthy to do so to get to one hundred blessings (Mishnah Berurah 612:18). Since it is […]

Chapter Twenty-Three

The last 100 years have seen enormous gains in scientific discovery. Just think about it for a minute. Things now commonplace were seen as fantasy just decades ago. Human flight, mass communication, antibiotics — all of these were unheard of a century ago. New frontiers are traversed daily in mankind’s constant march toward new developments. […]

Kindling the Flame

This week, Women in Judaism presents a cyberspace anthology of student reflections on Shabbat candle lighting. We received an overwhelming response to our request for your input and are unable to reprint each submission. Rather, we have reprinted a selection that represents the diversity of your thoughts and conveys the common themes of your reflections […]

Endorsement

One of the time-honored techniques employed by the advertising industry to sell product is called the “endorsement”. A famous personality is paid by the advertiser a fee to publicly speak the praises of his product. Football players sing the praises of laser surgeons. Television stars tell of the quality of an automobile. Rich, successful entrepreneurs […]

Fear Induced Lies – Response to Question

Dear Rabbi Travis, Does the Torah’s prohibition of “Distance yourself from falsehood” apply in a case where someone finds himself in a situation where he feels “uncomfortable” or “afraid” to tell the truth? Thank you, Jonathan As we told my lord [Yosef], we have an elderly father and a young [brother] who is a child […]

Letting Someone Else Use Software

QUESTION 35: LETTING SOMEONE ELSE USE SOFTWARE I’M EVALUATING A company that normally charges for its software sent me a free copy for me to evaluate, since part of my job is to recommend software to my firm. There is a person in my company who I work with on a variety of tasks, but […]

Divorce

23. Divorce – Geirushin If a man wishes to divorce his wife he must give her a bill of divorce (get) before witnesses, as it says “And if she does not find favor in his eyes … he shall write her a bill of divorce and put it in her hand and send her out […]

Feel the Mitzvah

BS”D Volume 31, No. 25 26 Nissan 5777 April 22, 2017 Dedicated in gratitude to Hashem on Hamaayan’s 30th birthday and in memory of Moreinu Ha’Rav Gedaliah ben Zev Ha’kohen Anemer z”l This week’s Parashah describes the dedication of the Mishkan and the death of two of Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, on that occasion. […]

Visiting a Shiva House

Once upon a time Rachel and Chaya stood at the door of their neighbour’s home. The two sisters had come to visit the Brickstein shiva house, and they were a little nervous before entering. Rachel said to her sister, “I feel a little weird visiting the Brickstein family while they’re sitting shiva for their grandmother. […]

Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread

The sons of Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, each took his fire-pan, they put fire in the them and placed them. A fire came forth from before HASHEM an alien fire that He had not commanded them. A fire came forth from before HASHEM and consumed them, and they died before HASHEM. (Vayikra 10:1-2) You shall […]

Yisrael’s Got Talent!

Moshe and Aharon would be walking, and Nadav and Avihu followed them. They would say to each other, “When will these two elders die, and we will lead the generation?” HKBH said to them, “Let us see who will bury whom.”[2] R. Yudan says they verbally spoke. R. Pinchas says they [merely] thought this.[3] How […]

Parshas Shemini: A Leopard Can’t Change its Spots, But a Man Can…

“And on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” — VaYikrah 12:3 The Jew has a distinct role amongst the nations The Sefer Ha’Chinuch explains that HASHEM separated the Jewish people from all the nations. We were given a distinct role in this world. Our lives and everything that we do […]

Chapter 19 – WORK STARTED BEFORE THE SABBATH

It is permitted to start a process before the Sabbath that will continue by itself on the Sabbath, even if this causes work to be done on the Sabbath, unless there are grounds for suspecting that someone will interfere with the process on the Sabbath, or unless the process is noisy and those who hear […]

Shabbos Treats

A Jew who recites all three prayers daily is well on his way to saying one hundred blessings. Together with the blessings on food and the other blessings that one regularly recites during the course of the day, he easily reaches the sum total. However, on Shabbos and Yom Tov – even with the extra […]

Chapter Twenty-Two

It would have been a priceless snapshot — something witnessed which could be pored over for eternity. The time was somewhere in the 1960s; the place, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A chassidic leader of thousands comes to visit the saintly Satmar Rebbe, zt”l. The two sages sit among the pushing throngs of chassidim, each one trying to […]

Women & Shabbat Candles

Our sages set forth three reasons why we light Shabbat candles. First, for peace and harmony in the home; second, to honor Shabbat and third, to create pleasure. This class will focus on the first reason and the related questions of how the Shabbat candles are related to peace and harmony, as well as why […]

Baby Stuff

Did you ever watch a little boy acting wild just to draw attention? Attention seeking changes with age. A small child feels no one is paying attention to him or her and so the child will do anything to create excitement. A teenager who develops an unsightly blemish will refuse to go out in public […]

Fear Induced Lies

“As we told my lord [Yosef], we have an elderly father and a young [brother] who is a child of his old age. The boy’s brother is dead.” (Bereshith 44:20) Rashi explains that the brothers thought Yosef was alive – so much so that when they first came to Egypt they searched the city to […]

Stranger’s Cup

QUESTION 33: USING A STRANGER’S CUP FOR YADAYIM At my company’s pantry, I wanted to wash for bread, but didn’t have a cup. There was a coffee mug there, but I had no idea who it belonged to. Can I use it to wash for bread? Even though I will dry out the cup after […]

Marriage

D. Women – Nashim “In the fourth book I will include the commandments regarding marital relations, such as marriage and divorce and levirate marriage and chalitzah. And I have called this book the Book of Women.” 22. Marriage – Ishus a) Marriage If a man wishes to marry a woman he must first “acquire” her […]

Chapter 18 – WORK DONE BY A NON-JEW ON THE SABBATH

A Jew must not ask a non-Jew to do work for him on the Sabbath; see 247:4-5 and 252:2. However, a Jew is allowed to hire a non-Jew to do work or business for him as long as he does not specify that it be done on the Sabbath (245:5;247:1;252:2;307:2-4) and does not benefit from […]

Life Saving

For a certain period during the reign of King David, one hundred Jews died premature deaths every day. King David made every effort to discover the source this epidemic and, through Divine inspiration, he came to understand that the solution was prayer. Therefore, he instituted a requirement that every Jew recite at least one hundred […]


Recent Articles

  • Social Responsibility

    IN THE END, YOU suffer alone. That was one of the last Facebook postings of a young mother of six children who took her life this last Shabbos. Her marriage had failed and ended in divorce. After suffering for years, she shot herself while in her parents’ home, with five of her children in the […]

  • A Shabbos Bris

    BS”D Volume 31, No. 26 3 Iyar 5777 April 29, 2017 We read in our parashah, “On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” The Gemara (Sanhedrin 59b) says that, though this mitzvah was taught earlier in the Torah, it is repeated here to emphasize, “On the eighth day”–even when it […]

  • Tattletaling

    Once upon a time Yehudit and Leah were walking home after a hard day at school. For weeks, their class had been trying to behave perfectly, because they were promised a Rosh Chodesh party by their teacher if everyone’s behavior was good. But, on this day, some of the bags of treats set aside for […]

  • Chapter 20 – THE SABBATH PRAYERS

    In the Friday afternoon service, TACHANUN is not recited (267:1). In the evening service, the wording of the second blessing after SHEMA is modified; see 267:3. In the AMIDAH (beginning and ending with the same three blessings as SHEMONEH ESREH, plus a single middle blessing), the middle blessing begins with the passage “The heavens and […]

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