Torah Tidbits

22 August 2014 / 26 Av 5774

Visit Torah Tidbits online

Issue 1051
Shabbat Parshat Matot Masei - Shabbat Mevarchim
July 04, 2013
Lead Tidbits
Guest Article

From the pen of Rabbi Berel Wein - Reprinted from Shabbat Shalom #4 with permission

The double parsha of this week pretty much concludes the narrative portion of the Torah. The stops and encampments of the Jewish nation during their forty year stay in the wilderness of Sinai are dutifully recorded. What is the purpose of this holy travelogue? After all, at first glance it appears to be nothing more than a list of places and oases, most of whose locations are completely unknown to later generations. Even the true location of Mount Sinai, the lowly peak where the Torah was given to Israel and the world, is a subject of archeological and historical disputes.

Continue Reading
Guest Article

Why Does Psalm 79 Sing about the Temple's Destruction?

Was the act of the Churban Beit HaMikdash (the Destruction of the Temple) a totally negative event or really a hidden positive one?
Tehillim chapter 79 holds the answer.

Continue Reading
Sedra Stats

Matot-Masei stats

of 54 sedras 42nd 43rd -
of 10 in Bamidbar 9th 10th -

Continue Reading
Lead Tidbit

How do you see it?

This will be an expanded version of the old philosophical question about whether a glass is half full or half empty. The answer reflects a person’s outlook - is he basically optimistic or pessimistic. For this Lead Tidbit, we will expand the question to include an empty glass and a full one and we will ask (and hopefully answer) a further question about the half-filled glass.

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. 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 Deal

Continue Reading
ParshaPix Explanations

Parsha Pix

Father/daughter - see them? He’s giving her a bracha, but in the context of Parshat Matot, he (the father) has the power to annul her vows (on the day he hears of them). This applies to a daughter of a specific age - see Sedra Summary for details

Continue Reading
Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

Sometimes one only needs to look at the surface text of the Torah and all becomes clear in an instant. There is no need for parshanut (commentary); there is no need for pilpul (dialectical analysis). Take, for example, the statement in this week’s parsha that, “When you are passed over the [River] Jordan into the Land of Canaan, you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land… and abide therein - for I have given you the Land to possess it” (Bamidbar 49:52-53).

Continue Reading
Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading

Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading

Now you hear it, now you don’t

We are reviewing the silent and the sounded HEI this week in “honor” of the first portion of Matot that has a very large number of MAPIK HEIs that are particularly irksome to an asthmatic BK (Baal K’ri’a or Korei).

Continue Reading
"From Machon Puah"

Knowing is Not Always Success

Last week we saw the advantages of using the new technology of time- lapse imaging to track the exact development of embryos in the laboratory. This method leaves fertilized eggs to divide, cleave and compact in a machine which takes one picture every few minutes. We have discovered a tremendous amount of invaluable and vital information that has been gleaned from perusing these pictures and having an exact view of the minute by minute development of the human embryo. I have received several hopeful questions from couples who would like to use this new technology in order to have successful treatments.

Continue Reading
Portion of the Portion

Prophecies of Doom

Last week we read the portion of Pinchas. Anyone who was in shul noticed that we didn’t read the usual haftara for the portion of Pinchas, but had to flip ahead to the following portion of Matot. There we read from the first chapter of the book of Yirmiyahu - DIVREI YIRMIYAHU (1:1-2:3).

Continue Reading
Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

David had been learning well in an Israeli yeshiva for two years, and had made many Israeli friends when suddenly the country was plunged into war. David was torn. His parents were frantically pleading that he return home, but how could he board a flight and desert his country and friends? How could he place his parents’ desires before the Jewish people’s needs?

Continue Reading
Vebbe Rebbe

Overtime on Shabbat

Question: I work for a Jewish institution doing important work with Jewish groups from a range of religious and political affiliations. There are periodic Shabbatons (of sorts), which provide positive religious exposure for many participants who need it, although that is not the organizer’s main interest. My boss told me I can report and receive pay for “overtime hours” over Shabbat. Is it permitted to do so? A negative ruling may encourage them to mold the pay arrangement to obviate the problem.

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

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

Candle Lighting Sponsored By:

Sedra Stats

of 54 sedras 42nd 43rd -
of 10 in Bamidbar 9th 10th -

Read More

Word of the Month

It seems that there were communities in the past that felt we shouldn’t announce the month of Av in advance, since the month has tragic vibes. The accepted practice is that there isn’t another month that needs our blessing more. Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av (always one day in our fixed calendar) will be on (Sunday night and) Monday, July 8th. Molad: Mon 9h 18m 0p (9:57am)

ROSH CHODESH MENACHEM AV YI-HEH B’YOM SHENI HABA ALEINI V’AL KOL YISRAEL L’TOVA:

HAMOLAD YI-HEH B’YOM SHENI, SHMONEH ESREI DAKOT ACHAREI TEISHA BABOKER.

Actual: 10:14am