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)
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 DealPublished May 02, 2013
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.Published May 02, 2013
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.Published May 02, 2013
Vayikra 25:38 - I am Hashem, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Knaan, to be a God for you.Published May 02, 2013
In a poem by TS Eliot there is a statement, “In my end is my beginning” - Much earlier a similar idea was expressed by the Jewish poet who wrote in L’cha Dodi, sof ma’aseh b’machshava t’chila - “The end of the deed was the initial thought.” An appropriate notion for a week when we come to end of a Biblical Book.
The end of Vayikra reveals its beginning. Both its first and last sentences speak of God addressing Israel through Moshe. In between is a treasury of teaching on what Israel were to make of themselves under Moshe’s leadership.
Five Double Letters
Of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, five are called “double letters,” as they take on a different form when appearing at the end of a word. The five letters are MEM, NUN, TZADI, PEI, and KAF.
Based on Talmudic tradition (Shabbat 104a), the dual form of these letters goes back to the prophets. The letters as an acronym can spell MiN TzoFayiCh, ‘from your prophets.”
From the Prophets
It is a word that one hears frequently these days, in many contexts. The word is ‘process’. It is a word that reflects our growing recognition that there are very few things in this world that occur in an instant, yesh mei’ayin, something out of nothing.Published May 02, 2013
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.Published May 02, 2013
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.Published May 02, 2013
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?
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