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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Divrei Torah

The Jewish Count From Creation

Nowhere in Tanakh is anyone counting from creation, and even after the period of the Tanakh, there is no evidence for use of our Jewish count from creation in the several centuries that followed. What is the origin of this count?

As further background, if one looks at how Jews dated events in the Amoraic and Geonic periods, we see a contrast between the Jewish

After a Summer of Eruv Inspections, a Powerful Question Emerges

A gnawing question arose after devoting much of this past summer to inspecting more than 20 communal eruvin in North America. Ranging from Canada to California, Chicago to Washington D.C., Nassau County to Bergen County, the same conclusion emerges in virtually every eruv I reviewed: every eruv needs a Yom Kippur.

On Kippur we recite “Hayom ya’amid

Just Beneath the Surface

Editor’s Note: This week we welcome Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen, OU ambassador to the NY Jewish community and Director of Community Engagement for Yachad, to The Jewish Link, who will be writing a regular column on relationships and shidduchim. 

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Ki Teitzei: The Dent

Devarim: 22:1-4

The Walgreens parking lot on Washington Avenue was a train wreck. The spaces were too close together, and the whole lot was overcrowded. It was a wonder cars didn’t smash into each other all the time.

Oscar Shapiro had gone to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription of acne cream for his daughter. It was a routine run, nothing out of

Bava Kamma 101 and 103

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

This week we learned Bava Kama 101 and 103. These are some highlights.

Bava Kama 101: May one use painted reed mats for s’chach?

A man acquired reed mats that had been

Parshat Shoftim: Who Will Comfort Israel?

After recognizing in the opening words of the third haftarah of consolation (a selection we did not read last week because it was Rosh Chodesh) that Israel was not yet fully comforted (“Aniya so’ara lo nuchama,”) Yishayahu opens this prophecy with Hashem’s reassurance: “Anochi, Anochi Hu Menachem’chem”—that I, God, am the One Who will personally

Put the Awe Back in Awesome

The home of the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven has been preserved and serves as a museum in Bonn, Germany. One historical gem in the museum is the piano upon which Beethoven composed most of his renowned works. The piano is estimated to be worth more than $50 million and is understandably roped off and out of the reach of the thousands of visitors who pass it by

Top 10 Contemporary Emunah Opportunities

People wonder whether emunah was easier in earlier generations than in current times. Undoubtedly, this generation faces some significant challenges regarding emunah. However, opportunities also abound to enhance one’s

Beyond Law and Order

On a Sunday afternoon a number of years ago, my in-laws were visiting us from Lakewood and we went to a local pizza shop here in Monsey for lunch. As soon as we walked in I detected an uncharacteristically excited expression upon my father-in-law’ s face that I had never seen before. Before I could say anything, my father-in-law motioned to a sole fellow who was

Bava Kama 97 and 98

May these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk, a”h.

This week we learned Bava Kamma 97 and 98. Here are some highlights.

Bava Kama 97: Using someone else’s worker

Reuven needed work done in his home to repair his sink. His

Bringing the Prophets to Life

Parshat Shoftim
 
After recognizing in the opening words of the third haftarah of consolation (a selection we did not read last week because it was Rosh Chodesh) that Israel was not yet fully comforted (“Aniya so’ara lo

The Trial—Thirty Days To Go

Let’s begin with the beautiful words of the Chayei Adam: “It is by reason of His great love for His people, Israel, that the Holy One, blessed be He, favored us and commanded us to turn to Him whenever we sin. Although teshuva (repentance) is good at all times, the month of Elul is choicest for teshuva for this was the time that after the sin of the Golden Calf