Chulin Jan 7, 2019

“It is a sign between Me and the Jewish people that in ‘six days’ G-d created the heavens and the earth” (Shemot 31:17).…

Vaera Jan 4, 2019

The initial meeting between Moshe and Pharaoh did not go well. The workload placed on the poor Jewish slaves was increased, and more importantly, the…

Chulin Jan 2, 2019

That one must be Jewish to shecht an animal is not necessarily obvious. One might have argued that as long as the meat is slaughtered…

Chulin Dec 26, 2018

When I mention to people that it is likely worse to smoke than to eat pork, I often get strange looks. And usually the more observant the person, the…

Chulin Dec 24, 2018

There are few, if any, semicha programs that require their students to learn shechita or safrut, and even fewer that require good…

Chulin Dec 20, 2018

One of the questions I am often asked by those of my students who do not keep kosher, is have you really never eaten non-kosher food? I generally…

Chulin Dec 18, 2018

Over and over again the Torah warns us not to allow avodah zara, idolatry, in the Land of Israel. Yet, as is often the case, things are not always…

Chulin Dec 13, 2018

"It was for this reason that man was first created as one person [Adam]…to teach that no man is the same as another; therefore, every…

Chulin Dec 11, 2018

In the fall of 1860, Rav Yaakov Ettlinger penned what is likely the most revolutionary responsa of modern times; one that opened the door to allowing…

Chulin Dec 10, 2018

Some years back I attended a talk by Rabbi Dr. M.D. Tendler who spoke about the most important teshuvot written by his father-in-law, Rav Moshe…

Chulin Dec 5, 2018

That the role of a modern rabbi in the Western World is far different than that of the rabbi of Eastern Europe is rather obvious. The typical 19th…

Dec 3, 2018

One of the painful realities of Jewish life is that the Jewish people are often judged by a double standard. What in other cultures is done with…

Chulin Dec 3, 2018

Masechet Chulin, a derivative of the word chol, translates as “The Secular Tractate”, and stands in contrast to the first two…

Vayeshev Nov 30, 2018

“And Yaakov ripped his garments and put sackcloth on his loins, and he mourned for his son many days” (Breisheet 37:34). Thinking—…

Menachot Nov 29, 2018

“It is said of the olah sacrifice of cattle, ‘rei’ach nichoach, an offering made by fire of pleasing odor’ (Vayikra 1:9); and…

Menachot Nov 27, 2018

The Sochochover Rebbe, in the introduction to his classic work on the laws of Shabbat, Eglei Tal, explains that Torah study is meant to be…

Menachot Nov 23, 2018

“And you shall place on the table showbread before Me tamid, at all times” (Shemot 25:30). The lechem hapanim …

Vayishlach Nov 23, 2018

“Therefore, the Jewish people will not eat the gid hanasheh, sciatic nerve, that is on the hip joint, to this day” (Breisheet…

Menachot Nov 20, 2018

“At that time, the Lord said to me, ‘Hew for yourself two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to Me onto the mountain, and make…

Menachot Nov 15, 2018

The opening Mishna of masechet Megillah teaches that those living in small rural communities could fulfill the obligation to hear the Megillah…

Toldot Nov 9, 2018

“And there was a famine in the land, aside from the first famine that was in the days of Avraham...And G-d appeared to him [Yitzchak] and said…

Menachot Nov 8, 2018

The Jewish people are a most contentious one. We argue about (almost?) everything and then some. Debate is most healthy and part and parcel of…

Menachot Nov 1, 2018

"All korbanot mincha, flour offerings, are to be made of matza with the exception of the chametz of the korban todah,…

Vayeira Oct 26, 2018

“And the people of Sedom were evil and sinners towards G-d beyond all measure” (Breisheet 13:13). Despite their depravity, Avraham Avinu…

Menachot Oct 24, 2018

It is well known that the mitzvah of tzitzit is a classic case of a mitzvah aseh shehazman grama, a time-bound positive mitzvah…

Lech Lecha Oct 19, 2018

"And there was an argument between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock, and the Canaanite and the…

Menachot Oct 18, 2018

There is little that turns one off from religion more than corruption in the religious sphere. When one sees someone cheating who outwardly…

Menachot Oct 9, 2018

Our generation has been blessed with the renewal of two mitzvot that had, for all intents and purposes, lay dormant for centuries.…

V'zot HaBracha Sep 30, 2018

Even though Parshat Vezot Ha'beracha is read over and over again during Simchat Torah it is probably one of the least understood and studied…

Menachot Sep 28, 2018

The opening Mishna of masechet menachot teaches that just because one lacks proper intent when slaughtering an animal, the korban remains…

Sukkot Sep 23, 2018

Judaism is not oblivious to the power and even importance of physical beauty. Phrases such as yefat tohar v’yefot ma’areh, loosely…

Menachot Sep 21, 2018

“Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy One, Blessed be He, sitting and tying ketarim, crowns…

Haazinu Sep 21, 2018

Jewish thought teaches that the physical and spiritual worlds are meant to function harmoniously. Both are essential, and a proper balance must be…

Yom Kippur Sep 18, 2018

“For the sin that we sinned before you with the evil inclination”.  The double alphabetic acrostic of the al chet lists a…

Menachot Sep 17, 2018

One of the most moving parts of the Yom Kippur davening is the recital of the asara harugei malchut, the ten rabbinic leaders martyred…

Yom Kippur Sep 12, 2018

“Rav Yehuda said in the name of Rav: the majority [of people sin] regarding theft, a minority regarding adultery, and all with lashon hara…

Menachot Sep 8, 2018

“Blessed are Torah scholars for whom the words of Torah are very dear to them” (Menachot 18a). One can tell much about a person by seeing…

Nitzavim Sep 6, 2018

One of the most vexing issues in Biblical interpretation is the relationship between pshat, loosely translated as the plain meaning of the Biblical…

Menachot Aug 31, 2018

There is no area of Jewish law as regimented as that of sacrifices. There are strict rules as to the type of animal that may be brought, when and…

Ki Tavo Aug 30, 2018

In the secular world in which we live it can be—and often is—hard to feel the presence of G-d. The Western world has turned religion into…

Ki Teitzei Aug 22, 2018

When studying Torah we must study not only its content, but also its form; not just what the Torah says, but also how it says it. Proper study…

Menachot Aug 19, 2018

In 1977, the New York State Legislature passed the “Son of Sam law”. Named for serial killer David Berkowitz’s adopted name, the…

Shoftim Aug 17, 2018

Evil does not exist in a vacuum. A culture is needed for evil to be nurtured, in which it can grow and develop. And when that happens,…

Menachot Aug 15, 2018

There is seemingly no better proof for a Talmudic viewpoint than support from a biblical verse. Expressions such as dik’teev, “…

Menachot Aug 13, 2018

“Now it came to pass after many days, that Cain brought of the fruit of the soil an offering, a mincha, to the Lord” (Breisheet 4:3…

Re'eh Aug 10, 2018

“Guard the month of the spring, and make Pesach to the Lord your G-d, because it was in the month of the spring that the Lord your G-d took you out…

Zevachim Jul 29, 2018

The fashion industry is a one that employs millions of people worldwide and both reflects and molds societal trends. Top designers are paid…

Zevachim Jul 19, 2018

One of the frequent questions Rashi asks in his commentary to the Chumash is lamah nismicha, why are two parts of the Torah juxtaposed next to…

Mattot Jul 13, 2018

“In ten utterances did G-d create the world” (Avot 5:1). It is thus not surprising that many see man’s ability to speak as the…

Greece Jul 13, 2018

As I sit on the plane, having just spent ten glorious days in Greece, let me share some final thoughts of our wonderful trip. Greece is a…