Arachin Jun 24, 2019

Amongst the most obscure laws of the Torah are those of erachin, which form the subject matter of the last chapter of sefer Vayikra. The…

Naso Jun 14, 2019

A Jew is commanded to recite one hundred blessings each and every day (Menachot 43b). We need constant reminders to ensure that we recognize the…

Bechorot Jun 13, 2019

The toy industry has come a long way since Talmudic times. Perhaps the most popular "toy" during the Talmudic era was that of a…

Bechorot Jun 11, 2019

When a kosher animal gives birth to a bechor, a firstborn male, there is an inherent conflict of interest that arises. The Torah instructs that…

Shavuot Jun 7, 2019

Our attitude towards Torah is a most fickle one. On the one hand, the Jewish people demonstrated great faith in following Moshe into a barren…

Shavuot Jun 7, 2019

Our attitude towards Torah is a most fickle one. On the one hand, the Jewish people demonstrated great faith in following Moshe into a barren…

Bamidbar Jun 7, 2019

Sefer Bamidbar opens with names and numbers, a theme that continues throughout the book; hence its name, Chumash Pekudim, the book of counting.…

Bechorot Jun 5, 2019

It is highly unlikely that one would give repeat business to a supposedly kosher butcher who sold you non-kosher meat, or to one who misled you…

Bechukotai May 31, 2019

Twice a year, before Shavuot and Rosh Hashana, we read the tochecha, the list of dire consequences that will, G-d forbid, befall the Jewish…

Bechorot May 30, 2019

How much should we pay teachers? As we discussed in our last post, the Gemara has a clear and simple answer: Nothing. “Just as I [Moshe] taught…

Bechorot May 28, 2019

In our last post, we discussed the need to have an expert examine a bechor in order to declare that it has a mum, thus allowing…

Behar May 24, 2019

The Torah was wary of the employer-employee relationship. Almost by definition, an employee is not much different than a slave; both are told what to…

Bechorot May 23, 2019

A rabbi, dayan, shochet, doctor, and matir bechorot—these are some of the licensed functionaries needed to fully run a Jewish…

Bechorot May 16, 2019

Sometimes the most obscure of arguments can teach the greatest of lessons. That Rabbi Eliezer’s “proofs” from heaven were rejected…

Bechorot May 15, 2019

It is not uncommon to hear people define a mitzvah as a “good deed”. And there is little doubt that many mitzvot are, in fact, very good…

Yom Ha'atzmaut May 9, 2019

The period of sefirat haomer has undergone great transformation over the ages. In the Torah itself, it links the korban haomer …

Acharei Mot May 3, 2019

For those who write divrei Torah, the next few months will be a bit challenging and will demonstrate our geographical frame of reference.…

Acharei Mot May 3, 2019

“Speak to the people of Israel, and say to them, ‘I am the Lord your G-d: Do not follow the ways of Egypt where you once lived, nor of…

Bechorot May 2, 2019

Amongst the many wonderful opportunities and challenges wrought by the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is that of running our…

Bechorot Apr 25, 2019

The privileges and obligations of the firstborn are a major theme of Pesach. Most famously, the proximate cause of the Exodus was makat bechorot, the…

Pesach Apr 25, 2019

As we all know too well, there is often a gap between the ideal and reality. In trying to implement our goals, we all too often fall prey to conflict…

Pesach Apr 25, 2019

As we all know too well, there is often a gap between the ideal and reality. In trying to implement our goals, we all too often fall prey to conflict…

Chulin Apr 22, 2019

It is an amazing but all too common phenomenon that two people can witness the same event and yet “see it” very differently. This is the…

Pesach Apr 19, 2019

“In each and every generation, one must see oneself as if they had left Egypt”.  In Judaism, we not only commemorate the past, we…

Chulin Apr 18, 2019

“Where is Moshe [mentioned] in the Torah?” It is hard to imagine a more—let's be gentle here—superfluous question. A…

Chulin Apr 11, 2019

When I ask ba’alei teshuva what the hardest thing for them to give up is, the most common response I receive is "…

Tazria Apr 5, 2019

The first of Nissan and the first of Tishrei mark the beginnings of the Jewish year. The solar aspect of our calendar—representing the fixed…

Chulin Apr 3, 2019

It is an often-cited truism that the Orthodox community, most ironically, tends to place much greater emphasis on kosher food than on kosher money.…

Shemini Mar 29, 2019

When tragedy strikes there is a tendency to search for some rational explanation as we subsequently attempt to find meaning and a degree of comfort,…

Chulin Mar 27, 2019

“Mar Ukva said: I am, with regard to this matter, like vinegar, son of wine, with respect to Father. Father, if he were to eat meat…

Shemini Mar 26, 2019

“Moshe then inquired, darosh darash, about the goat of the sin offering, and it had been burned” (Vayikra 10:16). Judaism has always…

Tzav Mar 22, 2019

Excitement and consistency: We tend to view these terms as contradictory. Man gets excited over discovering new things and views variety as the spice…

Purim Mar 20, 2019

Purim celebrates the eternity of the Jewish people. Despite exile and dispersion, genocidal enemies and those willing to turn a blind eye to such,…

Chulin Mar 14, 2019

“Because of this the children of Israel, to this day, do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the socket of the hip, since Jacob’s hip…

Chulin Mar 7, 2019

Rabbinic debates are not for the faint-hearted. They can be most intense, and sadly, can lead to tragic consequences. One of the most famous of…

Chulin Mar 5, 2019

In our last post, we spoke about geneivat da’at, generating false goodwill, in the context of gid hanasheh. I imagine very few people…

Vayakhel Mar 1, 2019

“The laws of Shabbat…are like a mountain being held up by a thread” (Chagigah 10a). Shabbat is the pivot around which Jewish life…

Chulin Feb 28, 2019

One would not normally associate the prohibition to eat the gid hanashe, the sciatic nerve, with issues of business ethics. But  related…

Ki Tisa Feb 22, 2019

“G-d declared to Moshe, Go down [from the mountain] for the people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt” (Shemot 32:7…

Chulin Feb 21, 2019

One of most famous mitzvot of the Torah is that of shiluach haken, the obligation to send away the mother bird before taking her little chicks…

Chulin Feb 13, 2019

One of the teachings that is ingrained in us from a young age is that every letter, and surely every verse and story, found in the Torah is of great…

Chulin Feb 8, 2019

The least observed of biblical holidays is undoubtedly Rosh Chodesh. As a holiday based in the Temple, with no home or synagogue based rituals,…

Terumah Feb 7, 2019

Symbols play a crucial role in self and group identification and affect almost everything we do. Be they roses or a diamond ring, symbols can…

Chulin Feb 1, 2019

Dan Arielly begins his best-selling book, Predictably Irrational, by noting that for we humans it’s all relative. We do not by evaluate A…

Mishpatim Feb 1, 2019

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot” (Shemot 21:24). Perhaps no Biblical verse has generated as…

Chulin Jan 25, 2019

That the “Orthodox” community is more careful about kosher food than kosher money is sadly obvious, and demonstrated all too often.…

Yitro Jan 24, 2019

Vayedaber Hashem el Moshe lei'mor is the most commonly occurring verse of the Bible. While it is usually translated as, “G-d spoke to…

Chulin Jan 17, 2019

In the introduction to his responsa, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that the Sages of each generation are permitted and obligated to issue halachic…

Chulin Jan 13, 2019

“And it will be, when the Lord, your G-d, brings you to the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you,…

Chulin Jan 9, 2019

In a beautiful teshuva (Orach Chaim 4 #89) written during Chanukah 1960, Rav Moshe Feinstein was asked (by Rabbi Leo Yung, rabbi of the Jewish Centre…