Friday, February 03, 2023

Divrei Torah - JewishLink

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.



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


Bava Kama 60

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 60. These are some highlights.

Bava Kama 60: He left his loaded gun in the classroom and a child fired it and damaged another boy. Did the adult have to pay?

A question: A teacher also served as the


Are Orthodox Jews Antiquated? A Response to Criticism Hurled at a Shaarei Orah Member

You are antiquated! You live in the past! Such was the criticism hurled at a beloved member of Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck. Our member was invited by a relative to spend this past Sunday, August 14, at the pool. Our member responded that she could not since she would be honoring the fast and


The True Power

The Gemara in Bechorot poses the question as to why honey is considered to be kosher. The Torah prohibits any secretion or part of a living being from being consumed while the creature or animal is still alive. The same question is posed elsewhere concerning milk. The basis of this law is the prohibition of “ever min hachai,” one of the seven Noahide laws


Kiss of Life

This week, as Chani was getting ready to leave for her scheduled doctor’s appointment, our almost 3-year-old son, Dovid, said to her: “You no need to go doctor, Mommy. I give you kiss and make it all better!”

In Dovid’s mind it makes perfect sense. After all, whenever he gets a boo boo,


Bava Kama 51-58

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 53 and 55. These are some highlights.


Finding Comfort in the ‘Seven Haftarot of Consolation’

With the haftarah of “Nachamu” we begin a series of readings known as the “Shiv’a D’n’chemta,” the Seven haftarot of Consolation that lead up to Shabbat Shuva, the Shabbat before Yom Kippur. All of these haftarot are taken from the Book of Yeshayahu and are meant to lift us from the depths of depression and rejection


Devarim: Og’s Bed

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Tehillim 116:3: Chevlei Mavet Have Encircled Me

Many of us know the term chevlei mashiach. Although this term is not found in Tanach and is a later expression, the word chevlei (root: chet, bet, lamed) is found in Tanach. It has the meaning of the anxiousness and/or labor pains that the expectant mother feels approaching birth. So chevlei mashiach means the period of anxiousness or pains before the coming of the


Why Are My Sephardic Neighbors Getting Haircuts, Washing Their Clothes and Bathing This Week?

Why did my Sephardic neighbor get a haircut in the middle of the Three Weeks and even in the midst of the Nine Days? Why are they doing their laundry and bathing during the Nine Days? Doesn’t this run counter to the halacha?

The answer is that it runs counter to the Rama, Rav Moshe Isserles, who is the major arbiter of Ashkenazic Halacha. However, Rav Yosef

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