Pesachim Oct 13, 2013

The Talmud is the written record of the Oral Law. With the destruction of the Temple and subsequent exile of the Jewish people, it was no longer…

Pesachim Oct 10, 2013

One of the basic ways we express gratitude is simply to say thank you. One way in which observant Jews do such is by reciting abracha before…

Oct 9, 2013

The highly successful MaTaN Mother and Daughter Bat Mitzvah Program will restart on October 9, for a ten-week series of text-based classes and…

Pesachim Oct 6, 2013

Considering the myriad of opinions on almost every aspect of Jewish law, it is not surprising that many pious Jews would try to act in a way that…

Noach Oct 4, 2013

"In the midst of the day, b'etzem, Noach came, and Cham and Yefet, the children of Noach, and the wife of Noach, and three wives of his…

Pesachim Oct 4, 2013

Jewish law is most strict when it comes to accepting charity. "Make your Shabbat like a weekday"--eating less quantitatively and…

Pesachim Sep 29, 2013

One of the unusual laws regarding the korban pesach is that it can only be eaten leminuyav, by those who were specifically intended to…

V'zot HaBracha Sep 25, 2013

“And Moshe was one hundred and twenty years when he died” (Devarim 34:7). It is a beautiful, if somewhat unrealistic, custom to offer…

Pesachim Sep 23, 2013

It is amazing how a slight change in perspective can make a huge difference. "R. Hiyya taught: What is meant by the verse, 'G-d understands…

Pesachim Sep 22, 2013

We generally tend to view exile from the land of Israel as punishment for our sins, an apparent truism reinforced during the Yom Tov mussaf that…

Sukkot Sep 18, 2013

The Talmud classifies sukkah as a mitzvah kalla, a light and easy mitzvah. Where one must be almost deathly ill before one is permitted to eat…

Sukkot Sep 18, 2013

The Talmud classifies sukkah as a mitzvah kalla, a light and easy mitzvah. Where one must be almost deathly ill before one is permitted to eat…

Yom Kippur Sep 13, 2013

In trying to develop the potential of man, the Mussar movement[1] developed two different approaches to the sinning of man. One school of…

Yom Kippur Sep 13, 2013

In trying to develop the potential of man, the Mussar movement[1] developed two different approaches to the sinning of man. One school of…

Pesachim Sep 10, 2013

The Gemara (Pesachim 68b) records a debate as to the proper way to celebrate Yom Tov. Rabbi Eliezer says that one must make a choice; we must either…

Pesachim Sep 8, 2013

The korban pesach entailed many steps, both before and after its slaughter; and the Mishnah lists those activities that may, or may not, be carried…

Rosh Hashanah Sep 4, 2013

David, Karen, and Beca Bookman dedicate the Devar Torah in honour of our parents Leon & Ethel Bookman, Howard Libman, and in memory of Karen…

Rosh Hashanah Sep 4, 2013

David, Karen, and Beca Bookman dedicate the Devar Torah in honour of our parents Leon & Ethel Bookman, Howard Libman, and in memory of Karen…

Pesachim Sep 2, 2013

One of the underlying pillars of democratic thought is confidence in the people to make the right choices, and in leaders to respect those choices.…

Pesachim Sep 1, 2013

While Korbanot tzibbur, public offerings, were sacrificed on Shabbat and Yom Tov--and serve as the basis for our davening mussaf on…

Nitzavim Sep 1, 2013

“Lest there be a man or a women or a family or tribe...when they hear this curse, they will bless themselves, saying peace will be to me, and I will…

Pesachim Aug 30, 2013

Akavya ben Mehalelel is best known for the teaching, “Focus on three things, and you will not come to the hands of sin: know from where you…

Pesachim Aug 28, 2013

"Rav Simlai came in front of Rav Yochanan and asked him to teach him Sefer Yuchsin, the Book of Lineage. He [Rav Yochanan] asked him where he…

Pesachim Aug 26, 2013

Some of the most fundamental mitzvoth of the Torah are stated in the vaguest of terms, with few clear guidelines as to how they are to be fulfilled.…

Pesachim Aug 25, 2013

The greatest blessing one can have is that of good health. And aside from the three cardinal sins of adultery, idolatry, and murder, no law is as…

Ki Tavo Aug 23, 2013

The central aspect of the Pesach seder is the mitzvah of sippur yetziat mitzraim, retelling and reliving the Exodus experience. The Rabbis chose, as…

Pesachim Aug 22, 2013

Man, unique amongst all creations, was blessed by G-d with a soul. We are not just physical creations, doomed to death in due course, but spiritual…

Pesachim Aug 20, 2013

Our tradition has long taught that it is a great mitzvah to do the right thing, even if for the wrong reason. “A person should, leolam, always…

Pesachim Aug 18, 2013

This Daf Yomi Thought is dedicated in honour of the upcoming wedding of Yonah Dorfman to Laurel Dayan. May they have many years of good health…

Aug 16, 2013

It is often hard for us to realize that concepts we take for granted are foreign to others. That helps explain why so many in the Western world are…

Pesachim Aug 16, 2013

To produce excellence, a certain degree of elitism is required. We are influenced by those around us; and if those who surround us are average, then…

Pesachim Aug 13, 2013

Getting married is a very big deal, and a mitzvah that supersedes almost all else. And like all mitzvoth, this is something we should do at the…

Pesachim Aug 12, 2013

The Yomim Tovim celebrate monumental events in Jewish history. The focus of these days is on bringing Jews together as a people and as friends.…

Aug 10, 2013

Dr. Bryna J. Levy will be scholar in residence at the Or Chaim Minyan on Shabbat, Parshat Shoftim, August 10, 2013. Her topic is Saving the…

Shoftim Aug 9, 2013

Almost always, wrongdoing requires that people work together to perpetrate such. As has been accepted in the legal systems of Western countries, it…

Africa Aug 9, 2013

Having just returned from the Torah in Motion African Safari, I would like to share some impressions of the Jewish community in South Africa. While…

Pesachim Aug 7, 2013

Matzah is the most basic of foods. Mix some grain with water and bake ASAP, and presto! We have the most important course for the most important meal…

Aug 6, 2013

Dr. Bryna J. Levy returns with another fascinating text-based study of the relationship between Joseph and his brothers. This program is cosponsored…

Re'eh Aug 2, 2013

This week's d'var Torah is dedicated in honour of David Polisuk by Richard Polisuk and family: Mazel Tov, David, on your Tefillah award and your…

Pesachim Aug 1, 2013

I imagine I am not the only one who has dozed off during a lecture. While I might manage to pick up a point or two, surely such dozing limits my…

Pesachim Jul 31, 2013

Soon after the editing of the Mishna in the land of Israel, Jewish life and learning started slowly shifting towards Bavel. This was set into motion…

Eikev Jul 26, 2013

Effort vs. result. The relative value of these two concepts is a fundamental dispute between our western worldview and Jewish teachings. The secular…

Pesachim Jul 24, 2013

On the first page of the laws of Shabbat, the Mishnah Berurah discusses the problem of price gouging by fishmongers. Knowing the desire of observant…

Pesachim Jul 21, 2013

“Shimon Ha'amsoni—and some say, Nechemia Ha'amsoni—used to derive [laws] from all the etim (plural of et) in the Torah.…

Va'etchanan Jul 19, 2013

Life is so unfair. While we believe that ultimately (and ultimately can take an eternity!) justice must and will prevail—to believe otherwise…

Tisha B'Av Jul 15, 2013

“Everything is dependent on mazal, even the sefer Torah in the ark”. Certain mitzvoth just luck out, being widely observed across the…

Tisha B'Av Jul 15, 2013

“Everything is dependent on mazal, even the sefer Torah in the ark”. Certain mitzvoth just luck out, being widely observed across the…

yellow clocks
Pesachim Jul 11, 2013

The halachic legal system is much more than a set of abstract principles or technical details. It incorporates factors such as human…

Pesachim Jul 10, 2013

"Two verses that contradict each other, until a third verse is found and reconciles between them". This 13th and last of the interpretive…

Mattot Jul 5, 2013

“And Elazar the priest said: This is the law of the Torah, which the Lord commanded Moshe” (Bamidbar 31:21). The Torah goes on to…