SHABBAT SHIRA - Symbol of Life's Paradox by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva
After Shirat HaYam, the Song of the Sea praising G-d (Sh’mot 15:1-18) has been sung, the nation - and the reader - are in a state of euphoria; thus, neither the nation nor the reader is prepared for the series of failures that Israel encounters in the second half of Parshat B’shalach: “And Moshe led Israel onward from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And they came to Mara and could not drink the water because they were bitter.” The Baal Shem Tov explains because the people were bitter, therefore, the water tasted bitter. And the people murmured against Moshe, saying: “What shall we drink?” (15:22-24).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 it.
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-count of Sefer HaChinuch AND Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot. A=ASEI (positive mitzva); L=LAV (prohibition). X:Y is the perek and pasuk from which the mitzva comes.
And you are holding a pencil in your gloved hand. You let go of the pencil. Does it (a) stay where it is? (b) float off into space? (c) fall to the ground?Continue Reading
Moshe raised and struck the stone twice. PAAMAYIM, twice. What did he do twice? Did he raise his hand once and strike the rock twice or did he raise his hand and strike the rock - twice?Continue Reading
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
We (Torah Tidbits) writes the name of the month in which we are in as SH’VAT. Not SHVAT and not SHEVAT. SH’VAT.Continue Reading
It seems that it is our lot to fight both physical wars of survival and spiritual battles for the continuity of our rich heritage and the honor of Torah. And at this time as our thoughts are filled with the external threats hanging ominously over our heads and the election of new and seasoned leaders who shape our future, we might well turn to this week’s parsha for inspiration.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe reminds us that both physical and spiritual conflicts are alluded to in this week’s Torah narrative. These are, respectively, Par’o's attempt to destroy us as a people and Amalek’s brazen attack against the spiritual revival of Bnei Yisrael as they fled Mitzrayim to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Last week we saw that Israel Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger addressed the question of what blessing should be made at the birth of a child with serious birth defects, during his lecture at the recent 13th Annual Puah Rabbinic Conference. He disagreed with the opinions that in such a case no blessing should be made or the blessing of Shehechiyanu should be combined with the blessing of Dayan HaEmet. Rabbi Metzger explained that the question which blessing should be made depends on why a blessing should be made at the birth of a child.Continue Reading
At the end of SHIRAT HAYAM, the song sung by Israel in thanks to Hashem after crossing the Reed Sea, Moshe prays, T’VI-EIMO V’TITA-EIMO B’HAR NACHALA- T’CHA (15:17). Moshe requests that not only will the nation be brought T’VI-EIMO to Israel but also TITA-EIMO - planted there. We should be planted in the land like trees with strong roots.Continue Reading
1) Why did Par’o have to be told that the Jewish people fled (14:5)? Wasn’t he the one who sent the Jews out of Egypt?
2) Why does the Torah first describe the Jews as having entered INTO THE SEA ON DRY LAND (14:22) and then switch to relating that they went ON THE DRY LAND INTO THE SEA (14:29)?
3) Why does the Torah use the extra words AND THEY DID NOT LISTEN TO MOSHE when describing the Jews leaving manna over until the morning (16:20)? Isn’t it obvious that in doing so they were going against Moshe’s command not to leave over any manna (see 16:19)?
When the Jews were sent out from Egypt, the Almighty chose not to lead them via the shortest way passing through the land of the Philistines. Why did G-d opt for the longer more complicated route?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
From Tz’fat of the Ari HaKadosh, Rosh Hashana LaIlanot became praise of the fruits of Eretz Yisrael, while renewed nationalism later made the trees of Tu BiShvat symbols of Israel’s return to its Land. Both of these are positive and desired concepts, yet they are essentially different from basic halakha.Continue Reading
In This Issue of Torah Tidbits
- Lead Tidbit
- Guest Article
- Candle A Day
- Gold from the Land of Israel
- Jewish Law
- Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary
- Sedra Stats
- How often does RH fall on Shabbat?
- Maharal on the Sedra
- Vebbe Rebbe
- Portion of the Portion
- Parsha Points to Ponder
- TTriddles "Report"
- Person In The Parsha
- Word of the Month
- Chizuk and Idud
- Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
- Unlocking the Torah Text
- Divrei Menachem
- "From Machon Puah"
Recent Torah Tidbits
- Issue 1056 - Shabbat Parshat Shoftim
- Issue 1055 - Shabbat Parshat R'ei
- Issue 1054 - Shabbat Parshat Eikev
- Issue 1053 - Shabbat Parshat Va’etchanan - Nachamu
- Issue 1052 - Shabbat Parshat D'varim
- Issue 1051 - Shabbat Parshat Matot Masei - Shabbat Mevarchim
- Issue 1050 - Shabbat Parshat Pinchas
- View All Issue Archives
Candle Lighting and Havdala
Candle Lighting Sponsored By:
16th of 54 sedras;
4th of 11 in Sh’mot
Word of the Month
Last opportunity for Kiddush L’vana this month is Motza’ei Shabbat Parshat B’shalach, January 26th, until
10:55pm. This time is half the time between one molad and the next, added to the molad of the month. The molad of Sh’vat was Shabbat morning 4:33am. 14 days, 18 hours 22 minutes later is the deadline - 10:55pm. Note that this time is correct for Israel and must be adjusted for other locales. For example, in NYC, the last op is 3:55pm on Shabbat - meaning that Friday night is the last op. So too for anywhere else.