R Ari Enkin

Gezel Sheina: Stealing Sleep

by R. Ari Enkin To disturb someone who is sleeping or to prevent someone from falling asleep is a violation of gezel sheina.1 In fact, some sources maintain that stealing sleep is even worse than stealing possessions.2 This is because one who steals another person’s possessions can usually make restitution by returning the stolen items or reimbursing the owner for ...

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Kohanim: Air Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Dead bodies are routinely flown in the baggage compartments on passenger flights for burial in distant places. Since it is considered very worthwhile and meritorious to be buried in the Land of Israel, this is an especially frequent occurrence on El Al flights. Indeed, over 65 percent of all El Al flights have dead bodies on ...

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Airplane Travel

by R. Ari Enkin Although it is not widely known, there is a view among halachic authorities that Tefillat Haderech is not recited for airplane travel.1 This is based on the Talmudic teaching that air travel is something associated exclusively with birds and not with people.2 According to this approach, the reason Tefillat Haderech is not recited when flying on ...

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Publicizing the Donors

by R. Ari Enkin Is it proper to publicize the names of donors? The practice of publicizing the names of those who make donations for charitable causes is quite ancient. The Talmud relates that it was publicized that Yosef Ben Yo’ezer made a generous donation to the Beit Hamikdash.1 In fact, the famous “Nicanor Gate” of the Beit Hamikdash was ...

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Knock before Entering!

by R. Ari Enkin Our sages teach that one should not enter any home, even one’s own, without knocking first. As Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai teaches: “There are four things that God hates that I also don’t like…a person who enters his own home suddenly without knocking, and it goes without saying, one who enters his neighbor’s house without knocking.”1 ...

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The Rabbi’s Drasha

by R. Ari Enkin It is customary in synagogues worldwide for the rabbi or other designated individual to deliver a drasha – a sermon – every Shabbat morning. In most congregations the drasha is delivered immediately prior to the silent Mussaf amida, while in others it may be given before the Torah reading service.1 In other congregations, it is given ...

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Karpas

by R. Ari Enkin After Kiddush has been recited at the start of the Seder, the hands are washed in preparation for karpas. Karpas is the “station” in the Seder when a vegetable is dipped into salt water1 or vinegar.2 There is actually an opinion that the karpas should be dipped into charoset,3 though common custom is not in accordance ...

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Parshat Parah

by Ari Enkin On the Shabbat following Purim we read “Parshat Para,” the portion which discusses the Para Aduma, the Red Heifer.1 The Para Aduma was a sacrificial cow whose ashes were used for ritual purification. One who became impure, such as by coming in contact with a corpse, was required to have himself sprinkled with the ashes of a ...

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The Fast of Esther

by Rabbi Ari Enkin The Fast of Esther is perhaps the most misunderstood of the annual public fast days regarding what it represents and why we actually fast. It is not mentioned anywhere in the Talmud,1 and only makes its first appearance in Rav Achai Gaon’s “Sheiltot”.2 Contrary to popular misconception, the Fast of Esther is not the anniversary of ...

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