One of the amazing aspects of the Book of Psalms is its ability to strike within us very deep and emotional chords. It is even more astounding because the author, King David, was known as a warrior and conqueror. And yet, he left us an eternal legacy of beautiful and profound ideas that we say and can ponder every day.
In one of the best-known and oft-recited chapters of Psalms it is written: Song of Ascents! From out of the depths I have called unto You, O God! God hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. (130:1-2)
Names play a significant role in Judaism. In the Torah, the name of almost every person comes with an explanation or reason for the name. The name Adam is derived from the Hebrew word, ADAMA (earth), to remind us of our humble roots and beginnings. Avraham, will become the AV (father) of many nations. The name Yitzchak, is a reminder of his parents’ TZ’CHOK (laughter), upon hearing the miraculous and joyous news of his upcoming birth. Yaakov’s name is derived from his grabbing the AKEIV, the heel, of his twin brother Eisav at birth. The name Yaakov symbolizes the eternal struggle the two brothers would share throughout history.Continue Reading
[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in the parsha.Continue Reading
DAYEINU line 13.5
Reference: Hagada - DAYEINU!
This well-known (and beloved) song from the Hagada is introduced by the line: KAMA MAALOT TOVOT LAMAKOM ALEINU - How many good things did G-d do for us…
There are 15 items on the list, which means 14 DAYEINU couplets in the style of - If G-d had (just) done this, but not done that (the next item on the list), DAYEINU - we would have sufficient cause to thank Him.
are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered throughout, usually at the bottom of different columns. In the electronic versions of TT, they are found all together at the end of the ParshaPix-TTriddles section. The best solution set submitted each week (there isn’t always a best) wins a double prize a CD from Noam Productions and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book, etc.) from Big DealContinue Reading
Har Sinai, with a pair of Luchot at the top. Negation circle over someone planting a sapling. Question mark between them. - represents the famous question MA INYAN SHMITA EITZEL HAR SINAI?
The abacus is for counting the seven years of each Shmita cycle and the seven Shmita cycles to Yovel
B’chukotai opens with the conditional clarion call to all Jews that, “If you will go in the way of Hashem’s statutes (Chukim) and preserve the commandments (Mitzvot) and observe them,” then material benefits will follow. Needless to say our commentators attempt to distinguish between Chukim that have no apparent rational explanations and Mitzvot for which the human intellect can fathom the reasoning behind them.Continue Reading
Last week we saw that Rav Ovadiah Yosef is of the opinion that a child who was conceived through fertility treatment and was born on Shabbat will be circumcised on the following Shabbat. He rejected Rabbeinu Chananel’s statement that any child conceived in a miraculous manner will not be circumcised on Shabbat, since the classic sources only discuss the case of a child whose birth was unusual or questionable but do not mention conception. Therefore even if the conception was miraculous this has no bearing on the eventual decision to circumcise or not on Shabbat.Continue Reading
When I saw the ad for the trip organized by the Israel Center on the red Egged double-decker Jerusalem tourist bus number 99 - it caught my eye. I thought it would be fun for the family to go on it with my mother who is visiting from the States. My mother was very interested in joining - but my teenage kids were not so excited and all told me that they had other “very important” things to do. If the bus trip had been around Barcelona, Paris or Prague they might have found the time.Continue Reading
1) The Torah relates that the law of sh’mita was taught at Har Sinai (25:1) even though all laws were taught at Sinai to teach us that details of all laws were taught at Sinai - as Rashi explains. Why was sh’mita chosen as the mitzva to teach this important lesson?
2) Why are the commands regarding the sh’mita year taught in the singular while the laws of Yovel are taught in plural?
3) Why does the Torah say that the fruits of sh’mita are FOR YOU (LACHEM) to eat (25:6) instead of simply teaching that they are TO EAT?
A verse in this week’s parsha references two distinct covenants: Brit Avot and Brit HaAretz, the covenant of the fathers and the land. The verse reads: “I will remember my covenant with Yaakov, and even my covenant with Yitzchak, and even my covenant with Avraham will I remember, and the Land I will remember” (Vayikra 26:42). As opposed to the Brit Avot the pasuk does not explicitly use the terminology of a covenant in speaking of the divine remembrance of the land. Torah Temima explains that the juxtaposition of the two parts of the verse led the Midrash to exclaim: “How do I know a Brit was made with the Land, because it says: I will remember the Land”.Continue Reading
The Orthodox Union - via its website - fields questions of all types in areas of kashrut, Jewish law and values. Some of them are answered by Eretz Hemdah, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, headed by Rav Yosef Carmel and Rav Moshe Ehrenreich, founded by HaRav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l, to prepare rabbanim and dayanim to serve the National Religious community in Israel and abroad. Ask the Rabbi is a joint venture of the OU, Yerushalayim Network, Eretz Hemdah… and the Israel Center. The following is a Q&A from Eretz Hemdah…Continue Reading
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Word of the Month
Word of the Month
A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem…
We bench Rosh Chodesh Sivan which is on Friday, May 10th. One day because Iyar has 29 days.
ROSH CHODESH SIVAN YI-HEH B’YOM HASHISHI HABA ALEINI V’AL KOL YISRAEL L’TOVA:
The molad is on Fri (May 10) 7h 41m 16p (8:21am Israel Summer time)
HAMOLAD YI-HEH BYOM SHISHI, ARBAIIM V’TEISHA DAKOT V’SHISHA ASAR CHALAKIM ACHAREI SHEVA BABOKER.
In Rambam notation: Friday 13: 754 - Actual (astronomical) - Fri. 3:29am
B’har and B’chukotai are combined in “regular” years (12-month, 1 Adar years - SHANA P’SHUTA) and are separated in 13-month (2 Adar years - SHANA M’UBERET). This is the status in Chutz LaAretz. In Eretz Yisrael, when Pesach is Shabbat to Friday, we resume Parshat HaShavua on their 8th day of Pesach. So they can catch up with us, we separate B&B while they read them together. The last time B&B was combined in Israel was 3 years ago (5770). 5771 was a M’UBERET and Pesach 5772 began on Shabbat.
FYI: Over 660 Jerusalems in Tanach are spelled YERUSHALEM
Only 3 times in Tanach do we find YERUSHALAYIM