Wednesday, March 30, 2016

RAV KOOK ON Purim: The Joy of Purim

The following description of Purim festivities in Rav Kook’s home in Jerusalem, celebrated together with students from his yeshiva, took place in the 1930s, under the shadow of the rise of Nazi Germany. Rav Kook, who had studied in the famed Volozhin yeshiva in his youth, transplanted the Volozhiner Purim merriment to his own yeshiva in Jerusalem, Mercaz HaRav. Just as he would completely immerse himself in the special holiness of the Sabbath and holidays, so too, the joy of Purim would radiate from his entire being. On Purim, his happiness was evident in his exuberant speech; in his eyes, lit up like two merry torches; in the quickness of his movements; and in the lively content of his ‘Purim Torah.’

OU TORAH Daf Sugya With Rabbi Elefant Kidushin Daf 13 – Sidur Kidushin Part 2

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OU TORAH Daf Sugya With Rabbi Elefant Kidushin Daf 13 - Sidur Kidushin Part 1

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Halacha Yomis - Kashering drinking glasses OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. Can one kasher drinking glasses for Pesach? A. Shulchan Aruch (451:26) writes that glass does not absorb and therefore does not need to be kashered. However, Rama (Orach Chaim 451:26) writes that the minhag of Ashkenazim is that glass that had been used with hot chametz may not be used on Pesach even if it was kashered. There are two reasons given for this. One reason is because we compare glass, which is made from sand, to cheres (earthenware), which is made from clay. Just as cheres cannot be kashered, likewise glass may not be kashered. The other reason is because we are concerned that one might not kasher glass properly for fear it might crack. Although Chayei Adam 125:22 writes that if it is difficult to get new drinking glasses for Pesach, one may be lenient and kasher glasses, however in America this situation doesn’t really apply.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 XXV Tzav- Purim TIME IS MONEY Can a service provider charge a fee when a client cancels at the last minute? By: Rabbi Yehoshua Grunwald

Delinquent Clients Query: As a professional consultant, I service my clients for half-hour appointments scheduled in advance. Many times, clients miss appointments, causing loss of my time that would have been used to service other clients. The only way this profession is profitable is by maximizing the time by filling each slot with appointments. Can I charge those clients who miss appointments? Can I charge them the full amount I normally charge for a consultation?

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 XXV Tzav- Purim BERNIE ON BILLIONAIRES The (putative) hegemony of the “billionaire class” By: Rav Yitzchak Grossman, Dayan at The Bais HaVaad

The central theme of the presidential campaign of self-described “democratic socialist” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is a scathing denunciation of what he considers the outrageous influence of money in politics: “This great nation and its government belong to all of the people, and not to a handful of billionaires”. His opponents, even those on the opposite end of the political spectrum, are generally not bold or foolish enough to bluntly contradict him and declare, as the Founding Fathers sometimes did, that “those who own the country ought to govern it”. What is the Torah's view of the matter? Does it accept the modern principle of “one man, one vote”, or does it accept the concerns of the Father of the Constitution that “[I]f elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure … Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests”?

Bais Havaad Halacha Journal Volume 5776 Issue XXV Tzav- Purim A project of the BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA CENTER AUDIO: THE HALACHOS INVOLVED IN CREATING A MEGILAS ESTER by: Rabbi Reuvain Mendlowitz Should one seek to purchase a "Hamelech" Megila?

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NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Poors Portion By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

Two of the mitzvoth unique to Purim are mishloach manot and matanot laevyonim, sending delicacies to others and giving gifts to the poor. Why are these mitzvoth singled out as requirement on Purim but not on other holidays, and what is the significance of these mitzvoth in their relationship to Purim? Further, it seems obvious that matanot laevyonim refers to tzekadah, generally (but not really accurately) translated as charity. Why rephrase it and call it “gifts” instead of tzedakah? First, it should be noted, , that at least the first two of matanot laevyonim may not be taken from money reserved for tithing, and that the funds (or foods) should be sufficient to cover a meal. Click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

NAALEH.COM Parshat Tzav: Inner Service of G-d By: Rabbi Hershel Reichman

Parshat Tzav relays the importance of the inner spiritual service of G-d.

CHABAD.ORG and JEWISH.TV The Need for Passion! Life Lessons from Parshat Tzav By Yehoshua B. Gordon Zt"l

The daily burnt offering in the Holy Temple is singled out with special encouragement in the Torah, and contains timely messages on commitment and passion in a Jew’s service.

YU TORAH Toronto Torah: Tzav 5776

Toronto Torah for Tzav 5776 includes articles on the parshah, Rabbi David Fohrman's The Exodus You Almost Passed Over, the prohibition against living in Egypt, learning halachah from aggada and more.



The story of Purim takes place about 2500 years ago in the, long ago, almost forgotten, Persian Empire. Yet this ancient tale remains instructive to this very day. The details of the plot of the story, as recorded for us in the book of Esther, are well known to all. However, the implications and eternal lessons of those details and the overall story itself must be relearned in every generation.

OU TORAH Understanding Sacrifice By Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

One of the most difficult elements of the Torah and the way of life it prescribes is the phenomenon of animal sacrifices – for obvious reasons. First, Jews and Judaism have survived without them for almost two thousand years. Second, virtually all the prophets were critical of them, not least Jeremiah in this week’s haftarah.1 None of the prophets sought to abolish sacrifices, but they were severely critical of those who offered them while at the same time oppressing or exploiting their fellow human beings. What disturbed them – what disturbed God in whose name they spoke – was that evidently some people thought of sacrifices as a kind of bribe: if we make a generous enough gift to God then He may overlook our crimes and misdemeanours. This is an idea radically incompatible with Judaism.


Wed night: Tehillim tonight for Tammy Kaplan Tehillim needed for Tammy Kaplan. Community-wide Tehillim for women will be held tonight, Wed. March 30th, at Cong. Kesser Maariv, 4341 W. Golf, Skokie, at 7:30 pm. Please forward to others who may want to come. Please daven for a refuah Shlayma for Chaya Toba Rivka bat Brona.

OU TORAH God’s Hidden Call – A Thought about Purim By Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Hazal, our Sages, asked a strange question in the Gemora of Chullin (39b): Esther min haTorah minayin? “Where do we find a hint in the Torah to the book of Esther?”, the last book of Tanakh to be canonised. The Gemora answers with the words, v’anochi haster astir panai, “I will hide my face on that day.” Hashem’s most fearful warning had always been that there would come a time when there would be hester panim, the concealed face of God, when it would look as if, God forbid, Hashem has stopped communicating with us.

RAV KOOK ON Tzav Part 2: Appreciating Boundaries

One type of offering brought in the Temple was the korban Todah, the Thanksgiving offering: “This is the law of the Peace offering (Shelamim)... If offered as a thanksgiving offering, then it is presented along with unleavened loaves.” (Lev. 7:11-12) Who brought this offering? The Talmud mentions several examples: “Four need to give thanks: those who sail the seas, those who travel through deserts, the sick who are cured, and prisoners who are freed.” (Berachot 54b) Why did the Sages choose these four situations as examples of individuals who need to publicly thank God?

RAV KOOK ON Tzav Part 1: The Prohibition of Cheilev

“Do not eat any of the hard fat (cheilev) in an ox, sheep, or goat.” (Lev. 7:23) Some commentaries (Maimonides, Guide, III:48; Sefer HaChinuch, mitzvah 147) explain that the Torah prohibits eating these fats for health reasons. Yet, if this were true, why is only the cheilev of these three animals forbidden? Curiously, we find that the mitzvah of kisuy ha-dam, covering the blood after slaughtering, only applies to non-domesticated animals and fowl. Why does the Torah not require kisuy ha-dam also for cattle, sheep, and goats? Why do these two mitzvot, both of which pertain to the preparation of kosher meat, apply to two mutually exclusive groups of animals?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

OU TORAH The Daf in Halacha KIDUSHIN DAF 17 Does an Employee Get Paid for Sick Time By Bais Havaad Halacha Center

Rav Fund brings the Bnei Yissaschar who says its better to be HASHEM eved then a poel.Also an interesting shila that the Miram Marotenberg got an answer in a dream in prison.for the rest of the shiur click here.

OU TORAH ONE+ONE Devorah By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Many have the practice to recite, in the prayer following Shemoneh Esrei, a verse that starts and ends with the same letter as their name, or that contains their name, or both. This is considered a source of merit. In this series, we will briefly analyze these verses. דּוֹדִי צַח וְאָדוֹם דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה My beloved is white and red, surrounded by myriads. – Shir HaShirim 5:10 Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) tells the story of the relationship between G-d and Israel in the form of a metaphor; the metaphor is a love story between a young man (representing G-d) and a young woman (representing the Jewish people). Accordingly, Rashi gives two explanations, one for the mashal (the “fable”) and the other for the nimshal (the “moral”). On this verse, he explains the mashal simply – a complexion that mingles red with white is a handsome look for a young man. As far as the nimshal, G-d is in charge of both compassion (represented by white) and strict justice (represented by red).

OU TORAH Mishnah Brurah Iyun Chaburah (DIRSHU) Passing a Person During Davening By Rabbi Ephraim Glatt, JD

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Halacha Yomis - Kashering Quartz OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. Can I kasher my quartz (stone aggregate) countertops for Pesach? A. Engineered quartz countertops, such as Caesarstone or Silestone, are made from a combination of stone, synthetic resins and pigments. Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 451:8) writes that stone can be kashered. But there are differences of opinion regarding whether one may kasher synthetic materials for Pesach. Rav Belsky, zt”l said that even those that have the minhag not to kasher synthetic materials, as per the psak of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, can still be lenient and kasher these counters. This is because these counters are primarily made of stone and the resin is only a small amount used to bind the stones together. Achronim debate whether we can define a material based on the majority of it components (See Minchas Yitzchak 4:114:4), which in this case is stone. Since not kashering synthetic materials is itself a chumra (stringency), Rav Belsky, zt“l said that one may rely on the poskim that view this material to be like regular stone. However, on a practical level, it is difficult to properly clean and kasher a countertop. Rav Belsky, zt”l would recommend that instead of kashering, countertops should be covered for Pesach.

Monday, March 28, 2016

NSN Dr. Erica Brown Encourages Everyone to “Take Your Soul to Work.”

Nachum welcomed renowned author and lecturer Dr. Erica Brown to this morning’s JM in the AM to explore her latest book, “Take Your Soul to Work: 365 Meditations on Every Day Leadership.” They talked about approaching life incrementally to optimize growth. From Dr. Brown’s website: “Take Your Soul to Work is a daily meditational for business and nonprofit leaders looking for inspiration. Each entry focuses on a different quality, emotion, or aspiration (“on discipline,” “on compassion,” “on impermanence,” “on callousness,” “on productive narcissism”) by presenting a relevant quote, story, or question inspired by the traditions of all faiths as well as artists, poets, and business thinkers to help leaders re-frame, rethink, and reset.”


Urgent Tehillim needed for Tammy Kaplan. Community-wide Tehillim for women will be held tonight at Cong. Kesser Maariv 4341 W. Golf, Skokie, at 7:30 pm. Please daven for a refuah Shlayma for Chaya Toba Rivka bat Bronya.

[Aneinu] Please Daven

Please daven for Chasha Esther bas Aydel who is having some testing done this afternoon.

OU TORAH DAF SUGYA WITH RABBI ELEFANT Kidushin Daf 7 - Mechiras Chometz

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Halacha Yomis - Kashering Granite OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. How do I kasher my granite countertops for Pesach? A. Granite countertops are made from a slab of stone. Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 451:8) writes that stone can be kashered. The general rule in kashering is kbol’o kach polto (the way the material absorbed is the same way it needs to be kashered). Since the concern is that hot chametz might spill on the counter, it requires kashering with iruy, pouring boiling water over every area of the counter. The water cannot be poured directly on one area and allowed to flow down the counter, but rather one must pour on every spot directly from the kettle. Mishnah Berurah (451:114) adds that if hot bread might have been placed on the counter, it is not sufficient to kasher with iruy alone, but rather one must accompany the boiling water with a heated stone. Using a heated stone allows for a leniency as well. The boiling water need not hit directly on every spot, so long as the heated stone follows after the water. The stone will need to be reheated several times, so that it remains hotter than the boiling water. Granite counters can be kashered even though a sealant had been applied. The sealant is absorbed into the stone, and does not act as a chatzitza (barrier) to kashering. However, on a practical level, Rav Belsky, zt”l would recommend that countertops not be kashered but instead be covered, since it is difficult to do this correctly, safely and without flooding the kitchen.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

HAGGADAH PICK # 4(Special for Rav Belsky Zt"l) 2016

Torah Vodaas Haggadah, Vol. 2 This Pesach, invite a constellation of Torah luminaries to your Seder withThe Torah Vodaas Haggadah, Volume 2. Explore the layers of deeper meaning of the Haggadah with Gedolei Torah of yesteryear: Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, Rav Reuven Grozovsky, Rav Shmuel Kushelevitz, Rav Yaakov Kantrovitz, Rav Moshe Rosen, Rav Aharon Yeshaya Shapiro, Rav Nesanel Quinn, as well as Gedolei Torah of today: HaRav Yisroel Belsky and HaRav Moshe Wolfson. Together, they will transport you to a fuller and uplifting understanding of Haggadah and the meaning of Pesach.


Passover Haggada with commentary by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz In this user-friendly Haggada, Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz employs his renowned pedagogical skill and insight to explain the texts and rituals of the Seder night, their background and inner meaning. Divided into a clear, concise commentary and thought-provoking expansions, this is a Seder user’s manual you have been waiting for.Available from Koren directly Rosenblooms and Davka.


From the ones who brought you the Mesivta gemara comes Haggadah Mesivta with Piskei Halachos / Large Size הגדה מתיבתא ומבוארת עם אוצרות ההגדה * פסקי הלכות The Mesivta Haggadah features the haggadah text with an expanded commentary, as well as Piskei Halachos from Chodesh Nissan, Erev Pesach, and Leil HaSeder. It also includes the different Nuschaos according to Haggados from Rishonim and Gaonim.


The Reb Moshe Haggadah Comments,rulings and minhagim of Hagaon Reb Moshe Feinstein Aryeh Family Edition By Rabbi Shalom Meir Wallach Invite Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l to your Seder table. The Reb Moshe Haggadah beautifully captures the many facets of the gaon and posek hador: his brilliance in piskei halachah and Gemara; his insights and deep understanding of Torah hashkafah; his incredible diligence and his extraordinary compassion. Much of the commentary is taken from Reb Moshe's prolific writings on halachah, Chumash, and Talmud. Stories about Reb Moshe from dozens of other sources paint an inspiring and breathtaking portrait of a caring and empathetic leader who had a profound understanding and endless love for the Jews he led for so many decades. When we read about the "Four Sons" we will hear Reb Moshe share his teachings on chinuch, child-rearing and Torah education. From a Shabbos HaGadol lecture given by Reb Moshe in 1922, we listen to him compare the merciless Communist regime where he lived to Pharaoh's Egypt. From the Ten Plagues Reb Moshe offers us a new understanding of the power of free choice; from the Splitting of the Sea he points out a vital lesson in strengthening our faith. We are taught that the voices of the great Torah scholars are not stilled even after their passing, and in these pages we can clearly hear the voice of the beloved Torah leader, HaGaon Reb Moshe Feinstein zt"l.

Halacha Yomis - "18 minute" matzah OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. What is the difference between regular machine matzah and those labeled “18 minute” matzah? A. Regular machine matzah is made in a continuous production, such that any tiny crumbs of dough that might separate from an earlier dough will almost certainly get mixed into one of the subsequent doughs which immediately follow. Since it takes 18 minutes for dough to become chametz, the assumption is that all crumbs will get mixed back in and will be baked before 18 minutes. Matzahs baked in the first 18 minutes after a cleaning are labeled "18 minute" matzahs. These matzahs are considered more mehudar (superior), since there is no possibility at all that they might contain crumbs that were not baked within 18 minutes.

Halacha Yomis - Pesach, kashering plastic OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. Can one kasher plastic bowls and utensils for Pesach? A. Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim II: 92) was asked whether it is permissible to kasher synthetic materials for Pesach. He writes that the Torah sets forth guidelines for kashering metal, wood and clay, but does not discuss new materials that were recently developed. Since, we do not have any clear guidelines from the Torah or early poskim as to what they might have held regarding these new materials, we should not permit kashering them. However, many other poskim including Minchas Yitzchak (3:67), Chelkas Yaakov (Yoreh Deah 45), Tzitz Eliezer (4:6) and Rav Ovadya Yosef zt”l (Chazon Ovadya, Hilchos Pesach) were lenient, provided that the plastic will not melt or get ruined from the kashering process. However, if the plastic has scratches or cracks, it cannot be kashered. Many in America have the minhag to follow Igros Moshe and not to kasher plastic. However, if one does not know if that is their minhag, it is the position of the OU poskim that one may be lenient if there is a need.

Halacha Yomis - Israeli wine OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016)

Q. I would prefer not to rely on the heter mechira, (selling the fields in Israel to a non-Jew) with respect to shemita produce grown in Eretz Yisroel. If I buy OU certified wine produced in Israel, is there a possibility that the supervision is based on the heter mechira? (A subscriber’s question) A. OU policy is not to certify any products that rely on the heter mechira. Therefore, with the exception of a few wines that were yevul nachri (i.e. grown in vineyards that are owned by non-Jews and are not dependent on the heter mechira), the OU did not certify any Israeli wine productions from the shemita year. More about this program and


Go to your local bookstore to pick 1 up.Makes a great supplement to your daf learning.


Introduction to Melachim By A Journey Through Nach SO JOIN Rabbi Dr. Gidon Rothstein and Rabbi Jack Abramowitz FOR MELACHIM TODAY. I Kings: Torn in Two (Studies in Tanakh) (Maggid Studies in Tanakh) The Book of Kings narrates the vivid and turbulent history of Israel and its monarchs. In I Kings: Torn in Two, master educator Alex Israel uncovers the messages hidden between the lines of the biblical text and draws rich and indelible portraits of its great personalities. Revealing a narrative of political upheaval, empire building, religious and cultural struggle, national fracture, war and peace, I Kings: Torn in Two depicts the titanic clashes between king and prophet and the underlying conflicts that can split apart a society. Using traditional commentaries and modern literary techniques, the author(Rabbi Alex Israel) offers a dynamic dialogue between the biblical text and its interpretations. The result is a compelling work of contemporary biblical scholarship that addresses the central themes of the Book of Kings in a wider historical, political and religious perspective.(FROM KOREN)SO AS YOU STUDY A CHAPTER OF MELACHIM A DAY USE THIS AS A SUPPLEMENT.ORDER ONE HERE FROM AMAZON. LISTEN TO NSN 1ST BY THE BOOK HERE On this episode of By the Book, sponsored by Koren Publishers, Nachum Segal interviewed Rabbi Alex Israel about his book “I Kings – Torn in Two.“THIS MAKES A GREAT INTRODUCTION TO MELACHIM 1.

OU TORAH The Daf in Halacha KIDUSHIN DAF 15 A Lien on a Loan and Shibuda Drebbi Nosson By Bais Havaad Halacha Center

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OU TORAH The Daf in Halacha KIDUSHIN DAF 10 Under the Chupah By Bais Havaad Halacha Center

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OU TORAH The Daf in Halacha KIDUSHIN DAF 9 Giving a Plain ring for Kiddushin By Bais Havaad Halacha Center

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THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 XXIV Vayikra- Shabbos Zachor HOW TO DESIGN AN EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT TO AVOID BAAL TALIN Is it better to employ exclusions and avoid transgressions, or is it ideal to fulfill the positive commandment? By Rabbi Yehoshua Grunwald

Hiring New Employees?? Watch Out For These Potential Pitfalls. After a grueling interview process and meeting countless people you finally decided to hire someone. You and the new employee are both excited as you both have endless possibilities in your eyes, but, beware! Hiring an employee comes along with the responsibility of many Torah commandments. On a biblical level, when an employer doesn't pay his employee within the end of the day, (or night) of the last day of a work cycle, he can potentially commit 5 Biblical prohibitions, the same amount of prohibitions as shaving one's face with a razor or eating five kzaisim of pork! There is also a Biblical positive commandment to pay on time (within the onah of which the work ended,), and, thus, the lack of paying on time is a violation of that commandment as well.1 There are a few exclusions to the above mentioned prohibitions. They are the following: if the employee was either, hired through an intermediary, doesn't demand the money, or agreed to be paid later2. Another exception is if the employer doesn't have funds to pay (or even if he has funds but will suffer a loss to pay on time.) Although the aforementioned exclusions apply on a Biblical prohibitions level, there remains a Rabbinic requirement to pay as soon as possible, learned from the Passuk 'al tomar lerayacha lech veshov veyesh iticha.’3 It’s logical that an employer should employ one of the aforementioned exclusions to avoid any potential occurrence of violating any of the biblical transgressions. However, according to many opinions there is a disadvantage, because when the transgressions are inapplicable one doesn't positively fulfill the positive commandment of “byomo titen scharo” either.4 So by setting the arrangement up in a manner that Bal Talin does apply – there is the ability to gain that Mitzva when attained (albeit at the risk of transgressing the multiple prohibitions when not attained.) So which one is better? Employing the exclusions and thereby avoiding any possible biblical transgressions? Or is it ideal to attempt to fulfill the Biblical positive commandment?

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 XXIV Vayikra- Shabbos Zachor WHEN A SELF-DRIVING CAR CRASHES Who is responsible for the damage wrought by Google’s Self Driving Car? By Rabbi Yosef Fund

Google Car Misses It’s Cue Over the past several years of testing, Google’s fleet of autonomous vehicles have been involved in a number of minor accidents, but up until now all of them were caused by human driven vehicles running into Google’s machines. This changed in February 2016, as an autonomous Lexus RX450h slowly ran into the side of Mountain View, California transit bus.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 XXIV Vayikra- Shabbos Zachor Are Women Required to Hear Parshas Zachor? All of the variables examined. by: Rabbi Mordechai Fuchs

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NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Recognition, Respect, And Repentance: Parshat Zachor By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

It is well known that the Maftir, the special final portion of Torah reading, for the Shabbat before Purim recounts the perfidy of Amalek’s attacking Bnei Yisroel as Bnei Yisroel left Egypt in a weakened state. Because this selection begins with the word zachor – remember-, the Shabbat itself is called Shabbat Zachor, We are exhorted to remember what Amalek did to us specifically at this time because Haman, the villain of the Purim narrative, is a descendant of Amalek. The Tosher Rebbe raises an interesting question in Avodat Avodah. Given this reasoning, would it not be more appropriate to read this selection on Purim itself rather than on the Shabbat preceding Purim? Further, why read this selection that recounts the attack at the end of the forty years in the desert and our obligation to remember it and annihilate Amalek rather than the original narrative at the time it happened? Click here for Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

YU TORAH and NAALEH.COM Vayikra: Moshe, Soul of Shabbos, Soul of the Mishkan/ Giving for G-d By: Rabbi Hershel Reichman

YU Torah summary click here. In this Torah shiur (class), Rabbi Hershel Reichman discusses Moshe's unique characteristic- his ability to give all for the Almighty. This Torah class is available online in streaming video and for download in mp3 and ipod video formats.(

YU TORAH Toronto Torah: Purim 5776

Toronto Torah for Vayikra/Zachor 5776 is our Purim edition! The opening page is Torah; the rest is... not.

OU TORAH Vayikra Purim 5776 Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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The Torah in this week’s parsha identifies human beings with the word nefesh. There is no exact translation of this word in English that captures the nuances associated with the word in its Hebrew form. The word certainly implies a much more spiritual, soulful, ethereal human being than the flesh and blood physical being that we usually associate with people.


The Purim story is a collection of unlikely events and almost irrational decisions by all parties involved in this drama. There is ample evidence of the mercurial instability of Achashveirosh and of the diabolical wickedness of Haman. What is however the most perplexing, of all of the behavior of the major participants in the story, is that of Mordecai.

RAV KOOK ON Rebuilding the Temple

A brief notice posted in a small magazine ("The Christian") in England generated a great stir in the London Zionist office. The London office quickly dashed off a request for an immediate clarification to the Zionist executive in Jerusalem. And the surprised Jerusalem executive committee forwarded the inquiry to the Chief Rabbi. The Zionist office quoted the original London article, dated Dec. 22, 1921: “A matter of great significance to the public has been reported from Jerusalem. Chief Rabbi Kook has announced that a new yeshiva or seminary will be established in the holy city, with the goal of instructing men of priestly or Levite descent regarding their Temple duties. The studies will include rites connected to the Temple sacrifices. “The rabbi believes that this matter is extremely pressing, as he is convinced that, with [the state of] the world at this time, the Jews will once again offer sacrifices to God. Indeed, such a possibility has been long expected by those with insight into Jewish sensitivities, knowledgeable in the prophecies of the Messianic Era.” The Jerusalem executive demanded a response. What was going on? Were there imminent plans to rebuild the Temple and reinstate the Temple service?

The Pursuit of Meaning By Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The American Declaration of Independence speaks of the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Recently, following the pioneering work of Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology, there have been hundreds of books on happiness. Yet there is something more fundamental still to the sense of a life well-lived, namely, meaning. The two seem similar. It’s easy to suppose that people who find meaning are happy, and people who are happy have found meaning. But the two are not the same, nor do they always overlap. Happiness is largely a matter of satisfying needs and wants. Meaning, by contrast, is about a sense of purpose in life, especially by making positive contributions to the lives of others. Happiness is largely about how you feel in the present. Meaning is about how you judge your life as a whole: past, present and future.