Torah Tidbits

25 July 2014 / 27 Tammuz 5774
Torah Tidbits Article Archives

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

Published August 08, 2013

Parsha Pix

Upper-left are the symbols of SHO-F’TIM (gavel) and SHO-T’RIM (sheriff’s star)
Negation circle over the planting of a sappling = prohibition of planting trees in the Mikdash or Mizbei’ach area Tilted scales = perversion of justice - a recurring theme in the sedra

Published August 08, 2013

SHO - F'TIM

In honor of the sedra, we’ll take another shot at one of the rules that is grossly disregarded by many people - especially (it seems) by native English speakers.
Many people pronounce the name of this week’s sedra SHOF-TIM. [We’re just looking at the syllables, not which syllable is accented - so we put the whole word in uppercase letters. Most of the words that we will be looking at are accented on the last syllable.]

Published August 08, 2013

Divrei Menachem

Parshat Shoftim reminds us of the responsibilities of those who exercise power and authority in society. Of particular interest are the instructions given to a king appointed to rule over the people. One of these directives reads as follows: “And it shall be that when [the king] sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself two copies of this Torah in a book”... (D’varim 17:18).

Published August 08, 2013

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

The parsha of this week deals with the subject of following the decisions of the court and judges of one’s time, even if one personally disagrees with those judicial conclusions. From this flows a later concept in halacha of a zakein mamrei - a leading scholar, a member of the Sanhedrin itself, who refuses to accept or abide by the majority position and opinion of his colleagues.

Published August 08, 2013

The Antidote for Anger

Many people lose their temper and then regret it. Is there a magic formula to prevent or at least control our anger?
The Talmud in Shabbat 105b and Nedarim 22b say, “When one becomes angry, it is as if he is serving idols”. This seems to be a very extreme and exaggerated statement. How can the Talmud compare anger to the severe sin of idolatry?

Published August 08, 2013

Blood, Litigation, Affliction

D’varim 17:8 - If a matter of judgment will be hidden from you, between blood and blood, between verdict and verdict, between affliction and affliction, matters of dispute in your cities…

Published August 08, 2013

In Ones or Twos?

A look at Sho-f’tim

Published August 08, 2013

The Proper Time to Light

It is customary in most Jewish communities to light Shabbat candles 18 minutes before sundown.
[Ed. note: Some communities light 20 or 22 minutes before sunset; some 30 minutes, and some - like Yerushalayim - light 40 minutes before sunset. Whatever the accepted practice is in a particular community should be considered neither early nor late as far as this essay is concerned.]

Published August 08, 2013

'Anarchy or Utopia'

Who would you consult if you wanted to know a thing or two about the perfect society? Would you ask a politician? A professor of government? A philosopher expert in theories of utopia? Or perhaps a historian familiar with successful societies across the ages?

Published August 08, 2013

Treating Mitochondrial Disease

As we saw last week, the cell contains extremely small structures that hold the cell’s energy like little batteries. In addition, the mitochondria contain small amounts of DNA which is the map to building a new life - but in extremely rare cases this DNA is damaged.

Published August 08, 2013

A Jewish King

Last week we took some of our kids to see the Herod the Great exhibit at the Israel museum. I don’t know if they were as excited about the exhibit as I was. Herod may not have been a nice husband (according to some, he killed his wife Miriam) and was not the most favored leader, but he was an amazing builder - expanding the second Temple, building Caesarea, Masada, the monument above the tomb of our Patriarchs in Hebron, his winter palaces in Jericho, and his tomb in Herodion.

Published August 08, 2013

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Candle Lighting and Havdala

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