Wednesday, April 27, 2016

[Aneinu] Please Daven - Surgery Erev Yontiff

Please daven for a Chicagoan, Rivkah Shaindel bas Malka Raitza, who is having surgery tomorrow, Erev yontiff.

Monday, April 25, 2016


HA LACHMA ANIA The EIshes Chayil Haggadah brings the Belzer Rebbe who says HASHEM is at our Seder.(for more see pages 70-71)


MAGGID THINK ABOUT IT The night of Pesach is a magical time.families spanning several generations around the yom tov table discussing the exodus.This night is all about emunah bitachon and Divine Providence and we should also see this in our daily lives.(for more see pages 69-70)


MASE BREBBI ELIEZER Rav Belsky asks how could they not see outside that it was time to say krias shema?When they were discussing the Exodus a fire came down from Heaven so they couldn't see outside.(for more see pages 56-57)


Avadim Hayinu Rav Belsky Zt"l says you might think avadim hayinu is the answer to the Ma nishtana but the answer really is in Raban Gamliel kol shelo omar shelosha devarim.So make sure the kids are up for that and don't go to sleep after Abadim Hayinu.(for more see page 50-51)


HISTORY(Page 43) In what way were Bnei Yisrael noticeable while they were in Egypt?They didn't change there names, their language,their religon or the way they dressed.In all these areas they kept there Jewish identity and not try to become more Egyptian.


VHE Sheamda The Living Lessons Haggadah asks Why do we cover the Matzos b/4 saying Vhe Sheamda?This paragraph is said while holding the wine and we don't want to emberessing it when we focus on the wine.


Rasha Rav Belsky says we see from the fact that bris milah was a prerequisite and they immediately circumcised themselves this indicates that the korban Pesach can help bring even the Rasha back in the fold.(for more see page 173)


For the Holy One Calculated the End Rav Steinsaltz brings the Chida and others who say this is not merely a reference to the Egyptian exile.Rather it is an all inclusive lesson based on that experience:Just as there was an end to the Egyptian exile that brought redemption and salvation so it is with all Bnei Yisrael exiles until the final redemption..(for more see page 86)


Whoever is hungry let him come and eat Rav Steinsaltz says the purpose of this invitation which summons every person to the seder night feast comes as a response to thefact the Beis Hmikdash was destroyed due to baseless hatred.The secret of redemption is for Bnei Yisrael to have achdus.(for more see page 57)


In the Otzros Haggadah section(back of big Mesivta haggadah) The Mesivta haggadah asks why do we sing Ma Nishtana?Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin answers Ma Nishtana is in the gemara Pesachim 116 and the gemara Megillah 32a says And Rav Shefatiah also said in the name of Rav Yochanan whoever reads from the Torah w/o a pleasant tone our recites mishna w/o song about him scripture says So too I gave them decrees which are not good etc.(for more see page 445)


The Haggadah Mvueres section(front of the haggadah)of the big Mesivta haggadah asks do you sing Shalom aleichem and Eishes Chayil when Pesach on friday night?By Shalom aleichem its a machlokes in minhagim and Eishes Chayil there are those that say to only sing Eishes Chayil.(for more see page 68)


We were slaves to Pharoh in Egypt but HASHEM our GOD took us out with a mighty hand Rav Moshe taught that avadim hayinu We were slaves is the answer to the Ma Nishtana and the primary part of this response is that we were led out of Egypt with a mighty hand.Not a natural manner and this teaches us our redemption is eternal once we became HASHEM people and got the Torah.We wereno longer slaves to material existence and we are free in whatever situation our place we find ourselves.


Whoever is needy let him come and celebrate Pesach For many years an elderly widow was guest for the seder in Rav Mosghe home.One year however she didnt arrive.The halacha is that that 1 should start the seder immediately but Rav Moshe didnt start until he sent his wife and Rav Reuven his son to find the widow house to find her.It took a while until they returned with her only then di Rav Moshe start the seder.(Reb Moshe page 142)

YWN Rav Shlomo Dichovsky’s Condition Deteriorates – Tefilos Requested

Dayan HaRav HaGaon Shlomo Dichovsky Shlita, a former head of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Batei Din, was taken to the hospital on seder night in serious condition. It is reported that his condition has since deteriorated and he is connected to a respirator and sedated. The family calls on the tzibur to be mispallel on his behalf, Refael Shlomo ben Sara Gitel bsoch kol cholei am yisrael. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem) - See more at:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Halacha Yomis - Kosher L'Pesach Cheese OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. Why must cheese be certified kosher for Passover? A. Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 442:5) writes that cheese that was made with wheat vinegar must be destroyed before Pesach. Mishnah Berurah explains that this is true, even if the vinegar is less than one part in sixty and does not give any taste to the cheese. Since the vinegar helps form the cheese (maamid), the regular halachos of bitul (nullification) do not apply. The same holds true for the bacterial cultures that are used to form the cheese. If the cultures were grown on glucose derived from chametz, the cheese may not be eaten on Pesach. Kosher l’Pesach cheese is made from kosher l’Pesach cultures. OU Kosher Halacha Yomis will continue BS'D after Pesach on Monday, May 2nd. We wish all HY subscribers and all of Klal Yisroel a Chag Kosher V’samayach.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

OU Floods Strike Houston Again: Please Help Today

Dear Supporter, Earlier this week, while Jews around the world busied themselves with preparations for Passover, United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston (UOS) was devastated by flood waters--for the second time in less than a year. The UOS community now faces a difficult reality -- massive flooding is a regular part of their lives and they need to undertake steps to protect against future damage.Flood waters have again devastated Houston and United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston faces the difficult task of rebuilding a shul that can withstand the now frequent floodwaters. Please help. Can’t donate online? You can send a check to Orthodox Union: Attn: Disaster Relief Fund 11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Please make checks payable to Orthodox Union and include “OU Disaster Relief Fund – Houston” in the memo. If you have any questions please call us at 212-613-8137.

NSN By the Book with Nachum Segal Episode 54: Featuring Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

On this edition of By the Book, sponsored by Koren Publishers, Nachum Segal interviewed Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg on his book, “Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot.” From the Koren website: The sages of the Mishna lived through one of the greatest transitions of Jewish history: the destruction of the Temple and withdrawal of divine revelation. Assuming responsibility for the future of the Torah, the sages set about bringing it out of the Temple and into everyday life, determined to keep it alive in a world of change. In his commentary to Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg mines the book for the religious and ethical wisdom, the humility and the courage, the staunch traditionalism and the bold innovation that guided the sages through this tempestuous era. Framed by thumbnail sketches of the lives and times of the sages, the book’s line-by-line commentary offers an original reading of Pirkei Avot, applying its teachings to the questions and challenges of our rapidly changing world.

Nachum Hosted Yerachmiel Begun to Preview the Chol Hamoed Miami Phenomenon Featuring the 100 Voice Choir of Unity

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Nachum Hosted Eli Gerstner & Yossi Neuman for a YBC Update and Chol Hamoed Preview

Nachum welcomed Eli Gerstner & Yossi Neuman to the studio during this morning’s JM in the AM for a complete rundown of the Chol Hamoed Pesach Yeshiva Boys Choir concerts and EG Productions news. Eli discussed the expected release of the next YBC CD, the next stop on the HASC Tour and much more.


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Halacha Yomis - Bedikat Chametz OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. How must bedikat chametz be performed? Can a flashlight be used? A. One must check all rooms, closets and anywhere chametz may have been brought. Special care should be given to corners and crevices as it is possible that chametz may be lodged there. The Rama (432:2) writes that it is customary to hide pieces of bread so that one will definitely find chametz and the bracha will not be livatala (in vain). The Mishna Berura (432:13) quotes the Arizal who recommended putting 10 pieces of bread in the home for Kabbalistic reasons. Each piece should be carefully wrapped (to avoid leaving crumbs) and should be less than a kezayis (in case one gets lost). The bedika should begin immediately after tzais ha’kochavim (approximately 42-72 minutes after sunset) with the aid of a single-wick candle. The generally accepted custom is to start with a candle and then one may transition to a flashlight if desired. (Halachos of Pesach (p. 86) quoting Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l and Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l that a flashlight is acceptable.)

Moadim Perspectives: Pesach - Shavuos Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Rav Dr. Salomon Breuer, Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer

In his writings, Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch offered profound and original insights into the meaning of all aspects of Jewish life and thought. His successor, Rav Dr. Salomon Breuer, and his grandson, Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer, offered further understanding, following the ideas of Rav Hirsch. Moadim Perspectives: Pesach-Shavuos contains inspiring teachings from these great Rabbinic leaders that will serve to imbue a deeper appreciation for these festive days and enhance the spiritual level that these Moadim help us to achieve.Bring Rav Hirsch to your seder but hurry to your local bookstore it sells fast.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OU TORAH Mishnah Brurah Iyun Chaburah(DIRSHU) Chol Hamoed Trips and Tefillas Haderech By Rabbi Ephraim Glatt, JD

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YWN Aneinu TEHILLIM – 6-Year-Old Child Critical After Being Struck By Vehicle In Boro Park

6-year-old child is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in Boro Park, and people are being asked to say Tehillim. The tragic incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at around 2:30PM on 54th Street near 13th Avenue – in the heart of Boro Parks Jewish community. Ads By Artscroll: Click Here! Eye witnesses said the child was struck so hard that he was thrown many feet, and became pinned under a parked vehicle. Hatzolah was on the scene in seconds, followed moments later by FDNY and the NYPD. The child was quickly extricated, and Hatzolah Paramedics began working to stabilize the child. He was rushed to Lutheran Trauma Center, where he is listed in very critical condition. The NYPD Highway Patrol Unit was on the scene conducting an investigating into the cause of the incident. Please be Mispallel for Berish ben Chana Rivka.

JI The Maccabeats – Justin Bieber Passover Mashup – Let My People Go, Story, Why Do We Lean

Music video for “Justin Bieber Passover Mashup,” a parody mashup of “Love Yourself,” “Sorry,” and “What Do You Mean?” originally performed by Justin Bieber

Halacha Yomis - Medicine, Liquids and Chewables OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. I sometimes use liquid medicines or chewable pills without a hechsher during the year. Can I use them for Pesach? (A Subscriber’s Question) A. Liquid medicines, chewable pills and pills coated with a flavored glaze are considered palatable and may contain chametz. Therefore: 1.If possible, they should be replaced, under the direction of a doctor, with a non-chewable, uncoated pill. 2.If substitution is not possible and the person is in a state of sakana or sofek sakana (any possible danger to human life), the medication may be owned and consumed. The same applies if the condition is not yet a safek sakana but may deteriorate to that point. A rabbi should be consulted, on a case by case basis, as to whether it is preferable to purchase the medicine before or during Pesach, and as to how to dispose of the medicine once the danger passes. 3.If substitution is not possible and a doctor determines that there is no possibility of sakana if the person does not take the medicine, a rabbi should be consulted. He may be able to investigate if the medication actually contains chametz.

OU TORAH KIDUSHIN DAF 38 Daf Biyun Halachah LeMoshe Msinai By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Returning To Roots By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

he Mishnah notes that we begin recounting the events of the evening with words describing our disgrace, and we culminate with words of praise. Rav and Shemuel dispute whether these refer to our physical disgrace, and hence begin with “we were slaves to Pharoh in Egypt, or our spiritual disgrace, with “our forefathers were idolaters,”. We follow both opinions, and include both in our recounting. The commentators are troubled why we focus on our negative beginnings on this night of celebration of our redemption. The words of praise are formulated as “and now Hashem has brought us close to His service.” When is the “now”? Click here Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

NAALEH.COM Exile as Part of the Master Plan By: Rabbi Hershel Reichman

In this shiur (Torah class), Rabbi Hershel Reichman continues to explain the concept of Galut, exile, from a Chassidic perspective. In this lesson, Rabbi Reichman explores how exile is an integral part of G-d's Master Plan for the Jewish People and the World's history.

NAALEH.COM Parshat Metzorah: Seeing the Good By: Rabbi Hershel Reichman

Rabbi Hershel Reichman explains that through a unique understanding of the affliction of tzaraas, Shem MiShmuel expounds on fundamental ideas of how to view our fellow Jew. This Torah class is available online in streaming video and for download in mp3 and ipod formats.


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This week's parsha is truly one of the most difficult subjects for people in our time to contemplate, understand or from which to gain knowledge and inspiration. The entire subject of these mysterious diseases, which manifested themselves on the human body, in clothing and even in houses and buildings is technically discussed in Mishna and also in various places in the Talmud itself. However, the fact that the subject is discussed does not really reveal the underlying pathology of these diseases nor does it help explain it to us in a purely rational fashion.


The Shabbat preceding Pesach is titled “The Great Shabbat.” Over the ages there have been many reasons advanced as to why this Shabbat, over all others, deserves this title. I know that it is somehow presumptuous on my part to add my view on the matter when so many greater people than me have had their say. However, the Torah is so vast and all-encompassing and speaks to all times and generations that it always allows for everyone to advance ideas and insights in the hope that Torah will be enhanced.

OU TORAH The Power of Shame Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On 20 December 2013, a young woman, Justine Sacco, was waiting in Heathrow airport before boarding a flight to Africa. To while away the time she sent a Tweet in questionable taste about the hazards of catching AIDS. There was no immediate response, and she boarded the plane unaware of the storm that was about to break. Eleven hours later, on landing, she discovered that she had become an international cause célèbre. Her Tweet and responses to it had gone viral. Over the next 11 days she would be googled more than a million times. She was branded a racist and dismissed from her job. Overnight she had become a pariah.1

RAV KOOK ON Metzora Part 2: The Power of Speech

Only in Israel What is the root cause for the disease of tzara’at as described in the Torah? The Midrash explains that this skin disease is a punishment for gossip and slander. A person suffering from tzara’at is called a metzora because he is “motzee sheim ra” — he spreads derogatory reports (Vayikra Rabbah 16:1. See Rambam, Hilchot Tzara’at 16:15, that one fulfills the mitzvah “Be careful regarding tzara’at” (Deut. 24:8-9) by avoiding gossip). Given that tzara’at is brought about by slander, one would expect that all peoples would be afflicted, since even non-Jews are culpable for personal damages. Yet, Maimonides wrote that tzara’at is not a natural phenomenon, but a unique sign found only among the people of Israel. Why should only the Jewish people suffer from this ailment?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nachum Presented the Annual JM in the AM Pesach Products Program with the OU, Royal Wine and J-Drugs

With the first Seder of 5776 only days away (Friday night), Nachum welcomed Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld & Rabbi Eli Gersten (OU), Ronnie & Larry Birnbaum (J Drugs) & Jay Buchsbaum (Royal Wine) to this morning’s program for the annual JM in the AM Pesach Products Program. They discussed an array of Pesach concerns and topics among themselves and opened the phone lines so the listeners could take part in the conversation as well.

OU HOLIDAYS Something to Say at the Seder By Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD

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Muqata and [Aneinu] Please Daven

8:35am Current list of names for prayers Eden bat Rachel (15 year old girl very seriously wounded in bus bomb attack in Jerusalem) May they all have a refuah shelaima -- a full and speedy recovery among all the sick and wounded of Israel.

Halacha Yomis - Medicine, Non-Chewable Tablet OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. I am an adult diabetic. May I take a non-chewable tablet for my diabetes during Pesach? (A Subscriber’s Question) A. As an introductory comment, one should exercise extreme caution and consult with a doctor and rabbi before considering any changes in medication for Pesach. Known and tested medications in the form of non-chewable and non-candy coated pills may be owned, used and consumed on Pesach, even if they contain chametz and kitniyot, since they are inedible. This covers most medicines used by adults. If possible, it is preferable to procure a new container of pills before Pesach that had not been handled during the year together with chametz.

Monday, April 18, 2016


It’s Episode 11 of The Jewish Music Show. Featuring Mordechai Shapiro, Shloime Daskal, 8th Day, the world debut of brand new song, the title track from Pey Dalid’s new album Hashem Melech, new single from Boruch Sholom, Rogers Park’s The Maggid, the all star cast of Shine a Little Light, a tribute to Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz, Eitan Freilach’s Am Yisroel Chai, and Yiddish Nachas 2!

OU TORAH Haggadah 5776 By Rabbi Shalom Rosner

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JI Six13 – G-d Split The Ocean (2016 Passover Jam)

We might not be having any cake, but really, it’s all about the ocean. Passover is a time to celebrate the many miracles performed for us when we were led out of Egypt. We’re especially psyched about one in particular: how we crossed the Sea of Reeds when G-D SPLIT THE OCEAN!

Halacha Yomis - Baker's yeast OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. Is baker’s yeast chametz? A. The se’or prohibited by the Torah does not refer to baker’s yeast. Se’or is sourdough, which is made by allowing raw dough to become moldy and capable of leavening future dough. Baker’s yeast, however, is a microorganism propagated on various media, typically, in its final production stage, on molasses. It can be sold before Pesach even by people who are careful to avoid selling chametz gamor. Baker’s yeast should not, however, be consumed on Pesach. Even if a manufacturer claims that the medium for producing yeast is molasses, it should not be used. The production process for yeast involves multiple stages, and it is possible that the manufacturer is referring only to the final production stage.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

[Aneinu] Please Daven

Please continue to daven for a little boy, cousin of a Chicagoan, who was pulled unconcious from a pool in July 2014 and is still in need of a big refuah, Nosson Tzvi ben Sara Rivka Kashtiya

Friday, April 15, 2016

Halacha from the Daily Daf: Kiddushin 32-34--Honoring Rabbanim: A Deeper Understanding for Both the Rabbi & the Layman By Rabbi Chaim Eisenstein

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[Aneinu] Please daaven emegency surgery

From an Aneinu member: Please daaven immediately. Emergency life saving surgery happening now for my mother Chava Golda bas Rochel Leah

Piskei Halachah of Harav Yisroel Belsky zt"l on Orach Chaim and Yoreh Deah IS AT KESHER STAM

With the petirah of Rav Yisroel Belsky zt”l, Klal Yisrael finds comfort in learning the Torah and psakim that this venerated gadol left behind for us. Originally published in soft cover, Piskei Halachah of Rav Yisroel Belsky is now being reprinted, in hardcover, due to popular demand! This beautiful English sefer covers many topics in halachah, such as muktzah, toys and games on Shabbos, bedikas chametz, making a siyum, customs during Sefiras Ha’omer, and much more—all with the clear psakim of Rav Yisroel Belsky zt”l for each halachah. There are 54 concise chapters in the book, which makes it the perfect "learn-with-your-family” sefer for your Shabbos and Yom Tov table. Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits. A must-have, for all those with a true appreciation of halachah in general and of Rav Belsky’s noted psakim in particular! Here is a sample chapter from the just released sefer Piskei Halacha of Harav Yisroel Belsky zt”l which is distributed by Israel Book Shop Publications: - See more at:

OU TORAH B’inyan Bitul Chometz V’devorim She’b’lev Einom Devovim By Rabbi Yaakov Moishe Shurkin

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THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 Issue XXVII Tazria- Rosh Chodesh Nissan- Parshas HaChodesh CAN THE RABBIS UPROOT A MARRIAGE?- PART 2 Practical Applications of Hafka’as Kedushin. Adapted for print from a shiur delivered by Dayan Yitzhak Grossman, Dayan, Bais Havaad

The Rishonim discuss several examples from the Gemara where the Rabbis apply hafka’as kiddushin, uprooting the kiddushin. Releasing an Agunah The agunah is a woman who is anchored to her marriage. It may be a case where her husband refuses to give a get, or there is no clear proof that her husband is dead. The agunah is in limbo, without a husband and without clear permission to remarry. The Gemara1 discusses a case of a single, credible witness who presents testimony that an agunah may remarry because her husband is dead. According to the Torah, two witnesses are required in order for testimony to be accepted. However, the Rabbis are lenient in the case of an agunah. Rashi explains that Chazal allowed the testimony of one witness to uproot the marriage, by relying on hafka’as kiddushin.

THE BAIS HAVAAD HALACHA JOURNAL: Volume 5776 Issue XXVII Tazria- Rosh Chodesh Nissan- Parshas HaChodesh MATZOS: THICK, THIN AND IN BETWEEN PART 1 What is the proper thickness of matzah? By: Rabbi Ariel Ovadia

Ask any Jew, religious or not-so-much, what Matzah looks like, and most probably they will answer that it is hard and thin with many rows of holes punched in. Indeed, it is the practice of almost all Jews to eat thin Matzos. Some bakeries have even made a name for themselves by selling extra-thin Matzos, notably the famed Pupa-Tzehlim Matzah bakery of Williamsburg, New York. However, in recent years there are a growing number of bakeries that bake extra thick and – if you’re lucky – soft Matzos1. These were used by Yemenites for generations, and are now gaining popularity among many Sephardic Jews. In this article, I would like to examine the various sources that deal with the issue of the proper thicknessthat Matzos should be.

NAALEH.COM and YU TORAH Rejuvenation And Relationship By: Mrs. Shira Smiles

The last of the four special Parshiot we read as we approach Pesach is Parshat Hachodesh. We read it either when we bless the New Moon or on Rosh Chodesh itself when Rosh Chodesh coincides with Shabbat. This reading includes the very first mitzvah Hashem commanded the Jewish people as a nation, even preceding the bringing of korban Pesach, the Pascal sacrifice. On this order, Rabbi Schwab raises some very simple questions. First, what is so fundamental about this mitzvah of sanctifying the new moon that it even preempts the mitzvah of korban Pesach? We must assume that there is some connection to the redemption itself. Further, why designate a special Shabbat for reading about this mitzvah in the Shabbat services? Click here Summary by Channie Koplowitz Stein.

NAALEH.COM Parshat Tazriah: Fresh Beginnings By: Rabbi Hershel Reichman

In this shiur (Torah class) Rabbi Reichman discusses how this week's parsha,Parshat Tazriah teaches us about our constant relationship with Hashem. This Torah class is available online in streaming video and for download in mp3 and ipod formats.

CHABAD.ORG The Month of Miracles Life Lessons from Parshat HaChodesh By Yehoshua B. Gordon

On the Shabbat preceding the month of Nissan a special Torah reading is added, which discusses establishing the Jewish months and the Passover offering. Discover the special spirit of this month.

YU TORAH Seder Companion 5776

Divrei Torah on the Haggadah from members of YU Torah MiTzion Beit Midrash Zichron Dov, past and present, as well as university students who learn with us!

YU TORAH Toronto Torah: Tazria/HaChodesh 5776

Toronto Torah for Tazria/HaChodesh 5776 includes articles on the parshah, the The Night That Unites Haggadah, the Apter Rav and more


The ritual of circumcision has been one of the basic institutions of Jewish life since the beginnings of our familial and national existence. It is this covenant of our father Avraham which has always been a testament to the eternity of the Jewish people, to its heritage and identity. As in the case of Avraham circumcising his son Yitzchak on the eighth day after the infant’s birth, the Torah emphasizes this matter in this week’s Torah reading. The eighth day always has significance in Jewish thought and life. It is a day of action and of looking forward, of the future and not merely of the nostalgic past. The ritual of circumcision consecrates the boy to a life of service and holy purpose.


To help me with my weakening eyesight I purchased an iPad last week. After having my resident expert set the gadget up with the necessary applications, I began to enjoy this new wonder of our age. One of the applications installed on my iPad is Microsoft Word. I like the keyboard of the iPad as I find it easier to see the letters than on my regular computer keyboard.

Halacha Yomis - Product Thickeners OU Kosher Halacha Yomis This column is dedicated in memory of: Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevi Belsky, zt'l Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant from 1987-2016

Q. My elderly parents have a number of products that contain a thickener, which makes swallowing the product easier. These thickeners are usually identified in the ingredient panel as either “food starch”, “modified food starch” or “maltodextrin.” Are these ingredients chametz? A. Food starch, modified food starch, and maltodextrin, when sourced in the United States, are generally from corn (kitniyot). Kitniyot is permitted for the infirm and elderly who need it, (see Mishnah Berurah 453:7). If the product is “non-GMO” or is imported from Europe these ingredients are very likely chametz.