Torah Tidbits

28 July 2014 / 1 Av 5774

Visit Torah Tidbits online

Issue 1015
Shabbat Parshat Nitzavim
September 13, 2012
Lead Tidbits
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliyah Haazinu

Kohen - First Aliya 6 p’sukim - 32:1-6
[P>32:1 (43)] Moshe Rabeinu begins his farewell “song” to the People by calling upon the heavens and the earth to be witnesses to what he will be saying. He asks the people (in a very poetic way) to listen well to his words. Moshe tells us that G-d is completely fair and just; it is we who are responsible for “messing things up”
“When I (singluar) call G-d’s Name, you (plural, minimum 2) praise G-d for His Greatness.” From this pasuk we learn that when three people eat together, one calls to the other two to “bless G-d” - ZIMUN (benching m’zuman).

Continue Reading
Sedra Stats

Haazinu Stats

53rd of the 54 sedras;
10th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 92 lines in a Torah, ranks 51st
3 Parshiyot; all open (extra open!)
52 p’sukim - ranks 51st (8th in D’varim)
614 words - ranks 52nd (9th in D’varim)
2326 letters - ranks 52nd (9th in D’varim)
P’sukim are relatively very short

MITZVOT
The Chinuch does not count any mitzvot in Ha’azinu; Rambam counts one - YAYIN NESECH. This is the only mitzva on Rambam’s whole list of 613 mitzvot that the Chinuch does not count.

Continue Reading
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliyah Vayeilech

Kohen - First Aliya 3 p’sukim - 31:1-3
[P>31:1 (6)] Moshe Rabeinu concludes his words to the People and tells them that at his age of 120 years, he is no longer able to lead them.
And that G-d has told Moshe that he will not be crossing the Jordan River, so his journey is truly over. He tells them that G-d will be with them, destroy the nations that they will encounter in Eretz Yisrael, and that Yehoshua will be the one to lead them.

Continue Reading
Sedra Stats

Vayeilech Stats

52nd of the 54 sedras;
9th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 72 lines in a Torah (rank: 53)
3 Parshiyot; 2 open, 1 closed
30 p’sukim - ranks 54th (11th in D’varim)
553 words - ranks 53rd (10th in D’varim)
2123 letters - ranks 53rd (10th in D’varim)
Shortest sedra in number of p’sukim; longest p’sukim in the whole Torah.

MITZVOT
2 of 613, both positive. The last two, according to Sefer HaChinuch; Rambam counts one more in Haazinu.

Continue Reading
Guest Article

Simchat Beit HaSho'eiva: PLAYING WITH FIRE - Guest article by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

All the festivals are times of rejoicing, but only Sukkot is called ZMAN SIMCHATEINU (season of our happiness). While today we immediately think of Simchat Torah when it comes to joy, the Mishna (Sukka 5:1) tells us about a ceremony held on Sukkot that “he who has not seen the rejoicing at the place of the water-drawing has never in his life seen true rejoicing.”

Continue Reading
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliya Sedra Summary

[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
Sedra Stats

Nitzavim Stats

51st of the 54 sedras;
8th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 87 lines in a Torah (rank: 52)

Continue Reading
Lead Tidbit

The Mitzva Champ: Nitzavim

The Year’s Final Sedra

Continue Reading
Other Tidbits
TTriddles "Report"

TTriddles

TTRIDDLES…
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

Continue Reading
ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

Combined Nitzavim-Vayeilech and Haazinu
The family in the upper-left represents the beginning of Nitzavim that describes all who are standing today before G-d. Included are men, women, and children
11 dots above Lanu Ulvaneinu…

Continue Reading
Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Nitzavim sees Moshe instructing the people not to become haughty to the point that they consider themselves beyond, or immune to, the curse that will befall them for not hearkening to Hashem’s covenant and oath. The language of the text reads as follows: “Lest there be among you a man or a woman or family…whose heart turns away this day from the Lord”.

Continue Reading
"From Machon Puah"

The Importance of a Full Medical History

Last week we started reviewing the lecture delivered by Dr. Natan Bar Chama at the recent joint Puah and OU Conference on Fertility and Intimacy in Teaneck. As a urologist dealing with a large religious population, Dr. Bar Chama stressed the importance of running a full male evaluation of the husband and he spoke about the wealth of information that can be gained by taking a full medical history before embarking on tests that may present halachic challenges.

Continue Reading
Portion of the Portion

Fasting on Yom Kippur

We fast on many days throughout the year - Zom Gedaliya, Taanit Esther and Tish’a b’Av to name a few. Is the fasting on Yom Kippur similar to the reason that we fast on the other days? What exactly is the purpose of the INUYIM of Yom Kippur?

Continue Reading
Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

In this season of t’shuva one might ask, “Is t’shuva an actual mitzva and, if so, where do we find its source?” Almost all traditional authorities maintain that it is a mitzva and some see its source in this week’s parsha of Nitzavim (D’varim 30:2) “V’shavta ad Hashem Elokecha”, “You will return to Hashem, your God”. Rambam and Sefer HaChinuch maintain that t’shuva is indeed a mitzva but that this pasuk refers to the promise of Israel’s ultimate return to Hashem and that the source of the mitzva of t’shuva is elsewhere.

Continue Reading
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…

Continue Reading

Go to the Torah Tidbits Article Archives

Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By:

Sedra Stats

51st of the 54 sedras;
8th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 87 lines in a Torah (rank: 52)

Read More

52nd of the 54 sedras;
9th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 72 lines in a Torah (rank: 53)
3 Parshiyot; 2 open, 1 closed
30 p’sukim - ranks 54th (11th in D’varim)
553 words - ranks 53rd (10th in D’varim)
2123 letters - ranks 53rd (10th in D’varim)
Shortest sedra in number of p’sukim; longest p’sukim in the whole Torah.

MITZVOT
2 of 613, both positive. The last two, according to Sefer HaChinuch; Rambam counts one more in Haazinu.

Read More

53rd of the 54 sedras;
10th of 11 in D’varim
Written on 92 lines in a Torah, ranks 51st
3 Parshiyot; all open (extra open!)
52 p’sukim - ranks 51st (8th in D’varim)
614 words - ranks 52nd (9th in D’varim)
2326 letters - ranks 52nd (9th in D’varim)
P’sukim are relatively very short

MITZVOT
The Chinuch does not count any mitzvot in Ha’azinu; Rambam counts one - YAYIN NESECH. This is the only mitzva on Rambam’s whole list of 613 mitzvot that the Chinuch does not count.

Read More

Word of the Month

How to determine the 5773 calendar without buying one! (Okay, you can buy one if you want, but it’s still nice to know how it works.) Will 5773 have 12 months or 13? (One Adar or two?) Divide 5773 by 19 (the number of years in a Lesser (Lunar) cycle). Answer (quotient): 303 remainder 16. 303 nineteen year cycles have passed since Creation and 5773 is the 16th year of the current 304th cycle. Which cycle we are in is not relevant to setting up the calendar for 5773, but the year number (16) is.
Next, you need to know the molad of Tishrei of 5773. It can be calculated with details provided by the Rambam in his Hilchot Kiddush HaChodesh. We’ll skip those details and just state that the molad of Tishrei 5773 is early Sunday morning (September 16th). Rosh HaShana is fixed on the day of the molad of Tishrei unless that day is Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday. In those cases, RH is fixed on the day following the day of the molad. This “postponement” is known as LO ADU ROSH. There are three other D’CHUYOT, rules that push RH later than the day of the molad. So, based on the molad of Tishrei and the LO ADU ROSH rule, we know that RH 5773 is MONDAY (and Tuesday).
We need one more piece of information - the molad of Tishrei 5774. The will be mid-morning of Thursday (Sept. 5th ‘13). RH 5774 will be on THURSDAY (and Friday).
A regular 12-month year has 354 days. But if 5773 were to have that many days, its last day would be Thursday, September 5th. No good. That day is scheduled to be RH 5774. We need to take one day away from 5773. The day that is “removed” when necessary is the 30th of Kislev. 5773 will not have one. The year will not be a regular 12-month year, but a deficient one - known in Hebrew as CHASEIR.
Knowing that 5773 is a 12-month year that begins on Monday and that Kislev has only 29 days is all we need to know to determine all the Rosh Chodeshes (Rashei Choda- shim), the holidays, fast days, etc. All without buying a calendar or downloading Kaluach.
Knowing how our calendar works - both when we have a Sanhedrin and when we don’t - is within the spirit of the mitzva of HACHODESH HAZEH LACHEM - the first mitzva given to B’nei Yisrael while they were still in Mitzrayim.