Journal

A Continuous Beginning

The Korban Tamid – A Continuous Beginning by Yair Kahn 1.  And I will dwell among the children of Israel Parashat Tetzaveh continues where Parashat Teruma left off.  While the focus of Parashat Teruma was on the construction of the Mishkan and its various vessels, Parashat Tetzaveh describes how to make the priestly garments.  These two parashiyot combine to form a section known as “melekhet ha-Mishkan.” After describing the priestly garments, the section ends with detailed ...

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Gluten Intolerance, Wheat Allergies and Mitzvos

A Guide to the Observance of Mitzvos (with Explanations) Part 1: Brachos, Kiddush and the Shabbos Meals by Asher Bush There are five species of grains that the Torah considers to be the “official” grains for all purposes. These grains are wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.  While not spelled out in the Torah itself, the Mishna1 rules that only ...

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The Flipped Beit Midrash

by Tzvi Pittinsky “But our students can’t read! Will this help our students read?” I remember many years ago, when Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky told me this at a Torah Umesorah convention when I showed him Gemara Berura, a technology assisted methodology for learning Gemara. As a high school rebbe, I have utilized many strategies over the years to combat this ...

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Are Women Better Than Men?

In a recent essay, I quoted authors who say that women are spiritually equal or even superior to men. A reader, writing under the pseudonym Prithee1, responded with extensive quotes from the Maharal contradicting the theory that the Torah considers women superior to men. I asked R. Moshe Zuriel, author of Otzeros HaMaharal among other books, for his opinion on ...

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The Importance of Good Intentions

by Efraim Vaynman I. Noble Intentions The need for specific intent in even the most objectively proper religious acts seems odd but speaks to a basic truth about Judaism and the relationship between man and God. The opening line of this week’s parasha reads (Ex. 25:2): דבר אל בני ישראל ויקחו לי תרומה מאת כל איש אשר ידבנו לבו תקחו ...

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Mishkan and Renewal

1. When Did Hashem Command Moshe to Build the Mishkan? The section that precedes Parashat Teruma states: And Moshe went up the mountain and a cloud covered the mountain… And He called to Moshe on the seventh day from within the cloud. And the vision of Hashem’s glory was like a fire devouring the top of the mountain to the eyes of the children of ...

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Hashem’s Direct and Indirect Influence

Derashot haRan, I’ve been suggesting in these columns, is Ran’s sustained attempt to analyze the balance between the world following its course and Hashem actively intervening. This fourth Derasha is going to grapple with those issues even more explicitly than the previous ones. In this series * 1: Drasha 1: Communities, Combination and Creation * 2: Drasha 1: What Science ...

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Can Educators Ride the Mercava Into the Future?

by Shalom Z. Berger Who is greater? A well-read scholar (“Sinai”) – or he who uproots mountains (“Oker Harim”) – the keen dialectician? A well-read scholar is greater, for all need the owner of the wheat. This paraphrase of a well-known Gemara in Horayot (14a) comes to mind when discussing the Mercava project. This new educational tool, promoted via YouTube, ...

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