Journal

Blocked: Three Steps Back

by R. Eliezer Melamed When taking the customary three steps back after finishing the silent prayer, you must take care not to disturb others by walking too close. If so someone is praying nearby, you might have to wait patiently for him to finish. The law is as follows for someone who has finished praying: if the person still praying ...

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More Than Repetition

by R. Yair Kahn 1.  Moshe and Betzalel  Parashat Vayakhel describes the actual building of the Mishkan and its vessels, and much of the sedra is therefore almost an exact repetition of parashat Teruma. What is the purpose of this repetition? After all, the Torah is sometimes so sparing that majorhalakhot are derived from no more than an additional word or letter! In this case, in contrast, the ...

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Born to Bentch: Judaism and Positive Psychology

by R. Elchanan Poupko One of the most important modern discoveries in the rapidly expanding field of Positive Psychology is recognition of the benefits of gratitude. Much evidence has shown the power of gratitude to make people happier, mentally stronger, and more appreciative of what they have. Research has shown that the simple activity of writing down five things for ...

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The Varieties of Anonymity

by R. Norman Lamm This essay is excerpted with permission from Derashot Ledorot: A Commentary for the Ages–Exodus. All brackets and ellipses are added by the editor. This essay was written in 1974 but seems even more timely today in the Internet age. In the Bible, as in all Semitic culture, a name is more than a means of identification. ...

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Commitment vs “Connecting”

Commitment vs. “Connecting” The Current Crisis of Our Youth1 by R. Yehuda Amital One of the cornerstones of Judaism is commitment. However, the very concept of commitment today faces a severe crisis among some of the religious-Zionist youth, in high schools and pre-military academies and, I imagine, also among some students at hesder yeshivot. (Although my remarks are directed primarily ...

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The Jewelry and the Tent

by Rav Chanoch Waxman I In studying Parashat Ki Tisa, we are often drawn to the dramatic events that follow the sin of the golden calf (32:1-6). Moshe’s prayer (32:7-14), the tumultuous and bloody aftermath at the bottom of the mountain (32:15-29), and Moshe’s offer of his own life on behalf of the children of Israel (32:30-35) never fail to ...

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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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