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Friday, September 22, 2017

Divrei Torah

Shoftim: On the Lamb

Devarim: 17:16

Once, in the town of Washington Township, there lived a man who had too many gray sweaters.

How it all began is hard to nail down. Gray was not his favorite color. That would be downright gloomy. Maybe it happened when he was in college. While he was at Rutgers in the 1990s, grunge was in. If you weren’t wearing black,

Open Handed

The Dubno Maggid once solicited a very wealthy individual for a worthy tzedakah. The individual was known for being a kamtzan, a stingy person. The man rejected the Maggid’s request. The Maggid responded to the man that he was destined for a place in the world to come. The wealthy man was astonished. Was the Maggid saying that he would merit the world to

Giving Meaning to the Season of Elul: Profound Inspiration for the Yomim Noraim

Review of Dorash Dovid on Moadim Elul-Purim, By Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Publisher and Distributor: Israel Book Shop

The Moadim, the Jewish holidays, are the highlights of the Jewish year. Often we are so involved in the physical and logistical preparations for the holidays that we lack the wherewithal to contemplate the many questions on the Moadim that

Despite the Excuses

It’s been a gratifying and enjoyable yet exhausting summer season. And now, after eight wonderful weeks at Camp Dora Golding, we have returned home.

It takes a few days before I can sit and relax without worrying that someone is calling me on my camp radio. In fact, sometimes I still think I hear my name called, despite the fact that my radio has been shut

Shabbat Rosh Chodesh: Parshat Re’eh

As this Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh, we take a “break” from the series of “consolation” haftarot (shiva d’nechemta) to read the final perek in Sefer Yishayahu, a selection that ties into the theme of Rosh Chodesh. The obvious connection of this special reading to the day itself is found in the final pesukim where the navi foretells of a time when “midei chodesh

Re’eh: The Destruction of Atlantic City

Devarim 13:13-19

It might have amazed Rabbi Baumgarten’s congregants to know this, but before the day Mel Crandall went missing the rabbi had never been in a casino in his life. He had served as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Jacob in Ventnor for the past 27 years, just a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, but he had never set foot on a

A Precedent for ‘OK, Google’ in the Gemara?!

Beloved Shaarei Orah member Joe Negari called with a cutting-edge halachic question—does the halacha permit performing melacha on Shabbat via voice commands? Perhaps the prohibition is to perform melacha, as it is written in the Aseret HaDibrot, “Lo ta’aseh kol melacha b’yom haShabbat,” do not perform any work on Shabbat. Would we be able to discover the

Bava Kama 87

 

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

When a Child Damages

Our daf teaches that dealing with children and damage is difficult. If one damages a child he must pay. However, when a child damages others there is

Parashat Balak: The Haftorah’s Message

The closing words of today’s haftorah are among the most familiar in all of Tanach. The navi Micha’s statement that Hashem demands no more of you than: “…asot mishpat v’ahavat chesed v’hatz’ne’ah lechet im Elokecha,” “doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God,” is a cry well known even to those who have a minimal acquaintance with

Devarim 5776: Uncommon Purpose

We’ve written before that Devarim—Deuteronomy—begins what may be history’s first (and possibly its longest) farewell address. Leaders, such as President Washington returning to Mount Vernon, and others, have used these moments to cajole or recommend, or, as Moses does, to remind.

Moses

Bava Kama 67

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 67. These are some highlights.

Bava Kama 67: Using a swimming pool as a mikvah for men

According to Jewish law, in our times, men do not usually need to immerse in a mikvah. A woman who is a niddah must

Bava Kama 73

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 73. Here are some highlights.

If he mistakenly began his Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharit with the words