Wednesday, December 07, 2022


Bava Metzia 87 and 90

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 Metzia 87 and 90. Here are some highlights.

Bava Metzia 87: Is


Chanukah: A Feminist Fable

“Daddy, can you tell me a story?”

“Sure, honey. What do you want it to be about?”

“Well, how about Chanukah?”

“That works, since it is Chanukah.”

“How about a story


A Call to Refrain From Racism in the Wake of the Shameful United Nations Security Council Resolution

It was the first meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and United States President Jimmy Carter that occurred in July 1977. At this momentous occasion, President Carter expressed his opposition to the establishment of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Begin responded (as recounted by Yehuda


The Ordinary Miracle

It was a miracle to me, although many would not agree. Three years ago I traveled to Israel with my daughter Tziporah for my nephew’s bar mitzvah. With so much to see together in a short period of time, we had to make some difficult choices. While visiting some very serious places as we all do in Israel, we decided to do


A Message for All Time

Parshat Miketz

The prophet Zecharya spread the word of Hashem to the returnees from the Babylonian exile at the beginning of the Second Commonwealth. He, together with his contemporary Chaggai, shared words of encouragement to the newly returned exiles who faced the challenge of resuscitating


Hebrew Word Contractions

Did you ever wonder where the Hebrew word machar(m,ch,r), tomorrow, comes from? Well, if you stare at it, you will realize that it may be a contraction of yom achar, the day after! So suggested the 19 th-century Biblical commentator S.D. Luzzatto.

I will now offer a


Shu”t SMS: Chanukah Cellular Responsa With Rav Shlomo Aviner

Lighting candles on Erev Shabbat—when does one light Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbat?

Rav Aviner: One lights Chanukah candles before accepting Shabbat and lighting Shabbat candles. One should ensure that the candles have long wicks and enough oil to remain lit well into Shabbat, for


Chanukah—It’s All About the Menorah

Our menorahs on Chanukah shine bright, but for what purpose? Are they just ornaments for the holiday? The Gemara in Shabbos indicates that Chanukah is all about the menorah—publicizing the miracle of the oil lamp lit from a one-day supply of pure oil, burning for eight days.

With all the


There Is a Reason for Everything

Many times in life, and especially in Judaism, we don’t fully understand the reason why we do things or the source behind the origins of our traditions. For instance, how many of us truly understand why it is that on Chanukah we eat jelly doughnuts? And why do we eat mostly dairy foods rather that most of our other holidays when we have


An Analysis of Psalm 30 and Its Connection to Chanukah

As we all know, the second-most-referenced book of the Bible in our sacred liturgy is the Book of Psalms, the Sefer Tehillim. And one of the finest commentaries of recent vintage is that of Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s Psalm 27 in the Koren Tehillim, a work I previously referenced in my column, The Kosher


Culture and Outreach: The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene

What would motivate Zalmen Mlotek to offer classes at a Tokyo University introducing spiritual songs of resistance composed during the Holocaust to Japanese students? Possibly, it relates to his father’s having been saved from the clutches of the European decimation by being provided with a transit visa by


The Myth of Perfect Leadership

Editor’s Note: We welcome a new column by Jonathan (Yoni) Schick, President of GOAL Consulting Group.

“We do not appoint a leader over the community unless he has a sack of loathsome things hanging behind his back.” (Talmud Yoma 22b)

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