Tuesday, August 16, 2022


One Renewal Donor Inspires Many More

During the season of our weekly learning of Pirkei Avot, we are advised in Perek 4, Mishna 2,

“Ben Azzai said, ‘Run to perform even a minor Mitzvah, and flee from sin, for one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah…’”

Founded 17 years


American Zionist Movement Officially Recognized by UN, Granted Advisory Status

The American Zionist Movement has been approved for NGO Special Consultative Status by a vote of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

(Courtesy of AZM) Statement of Deborah Isaac, president of The American Zionist Movement (following announcement of the Permanent


The Right and the Good

Buried among the epic passages in Va’etchanan – among them the Shema and the Ten Commandments – is a brief passage with large implications for the moral life in Judaism. Here it is together with the preceding verse:

Be very vigilant to keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and the


Making Sense of Shemittat Kesafim: A Large Problem

Shemitat Kesafim seems utterly irrational. The Torah seems to call for the cancellation of loans at the end of the shemitah year. How is this fair to the lender? Why extend a loan knowing the debt is automatically canceled at the end of the shemitah year?

Moreover, the Torah severely (Devarim 15:9)


Shabbos Nachamu and Tu B’Av: What’s the Celebration?

The year was 1946. Rabbi Isaac HaLevi Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, came to visit Chicago. A huge entourage greeted the Chief Rabbi at Midway airport and escorted him to a large shul, where an overflow crowd of men, women and children were waiting. Rabbi Herzog started with a 45-minute shiur in Yiddish. When he finished, he


The True Leader

Parshat Va’etchanan
Shabbat Nachamu

“Nachamu, nachamu ami,” — Are there any better expressions of comfort to leave for a nation in mourning than the one which opens this week’s haftarah?

“Nachamu, nachamu ami,” — Are there any more fitting


Va’etchanan / Nachamu

Rebbe Moshe Yechiel Epstein, zt”l, was a masmid and brilliant Torah scholar who authored the 20 volume encyclopedic work on Jewish thought, “Sefer Aish Dos,” as well as the Torah commentary, “Be’er Moshe.” Reb Moshe Yechiel relocated from Poland to New York in the mid-1920s, while his relatives who remained in Europe were all


The Spirit of Shabbat

In this week’s parsha, Moshe recalls for Am Yisrael the seminal events of Har Sinai and reviews the 10 commandments given by God to the Jewish nation.

The commentaries note several discrepancies between this version of the 10 commandments and the version in Parshat Yitro. Perhaps the most prominent is


Sounds of the Soul

At our Shabbos table a few weeks ago, a friend of ours related that some time prior to this, she had been attending a wedding. She was standing next to her table and schmoozing with a friend, when she felt a tapping on her shoulder. She completely ignored it and continued conversing.

After a minute, she


Ketubot 40b: Filiae Lectionis

On Ketubot 40b, we encounter varying reports of an exposition by Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish based on the spelling of na’arah. While na’arah is considered a precise legal term, referring to a six-month span from the onset of puberty , the consonantal Biblical text is often “נער” — but in a single instance is spelled


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”רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בֶן דּוֹסָא אוֹמֵר …
כֹּל שֶׁיִּרְאַת חֶטְאוֹ קוֹדֶמֶת לְחָכְמָתוֹ, חָכְמָתוֹ מִתְקַיֶּמֶת. וְכֹל שֶׁחָכְמָתוֹ קוֹדֶמֶת לְיִרְאַת חֶטְאוֹ,

Making Changes to Shabbat Clock on Shabbat

Question: May one make changes on Shabbat (and which ones?) to the settings on a Shabbat clock that is connected to electrical appliances?

Answer: The use of Shabbat clocks, even without making changes, used to be debated (see Yabia Omer III, Orach Chayim 18; Igrot Moshe, Orach Chayim IV:60),

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