Moshe, Success or Failure?

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat BeHa’alotecha Moshe’s Extraordinary Comfort In the course of the rebuke to Miriam and Aharon for their slander of their brother, Hashem declares Moshe to be be-chol beiti ne’eman, the most faithful (or trusted) in all My house, 12;7. R. Yaakov Zvi Mecklenburg accepts the general view, the phrase means Moshe was like a trusted friend, ...

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Finishing Weddings, Divorce Can Wait

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Be-Ha’alotecha Wedding is a Family Right, Not Only a Personal One Se’if 12 of siman 64 tells us a groom must make a wedding for his wife even if only her relatives care (she says she doesn’t mind), and must meet the standards of whichever family occupies the higher socioeconomic class [if the bride’s family ...

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Celebrating a Wedding

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Naso Two points of order: I realized last week I had failed to do a chapter of Even HaEzer last round, so we’re going to do two in a row now (I know you may not care about going in a clear cycle through the parts of Shulchan Aruch, but my bit of OCD does. ...

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Ways to Achieve Status of Real Worth

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bamidbar The Showbread Table The end of Parshat Bamidbar describes the process of readying the Mishkan for travel, whenever the Cloud of Glory would rise to move. Among the steps, the Levi’im are told to spread a begged techelet, a blue cloth, on the Shulchan ha-Panim, 4;7. Whether that phrase should be capitalized (my Autocorrect ...

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The Rest of Siman 183, First Ideas of Hilchot Niddah

by R. Gidon Rothstein Last time, we saw the basics of what we call hilchot niddah, despite longstanding practice of the Jewish people having women act according to the rules for a zavah gedolah any time they bleed menstrually, wait seven days without any sightings of blood before they go to mikveh and restore their marriage to its usual footing. ...

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How We Decide on Gifts, How We Bring Punishments

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Bechukotai When the Torah refers to ma’aser, a tithe, 27;30, Rashi tells us it means ma’aser sheni, the second tenth of a harvest (after terumah, given to a kohen, and ma’aser, given to a Levi) taken in years one, two, four, and five of the shemittah cycle, to be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there ...

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Yoreh De’ah 183, An Introduction to Niddah

by R. Gidon Rothstein The most immediate surprise for our siman of Aruch HaShulchan lies in simple numbers: this siman has one paragraph in Shulchan Aruch and sixty-eight in Aruch HaShulchan. In our review—I will skip liberally, to cover the siman in two essays, for reasons that will become clear as we learn—I will look for clues to what exercised ...

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We Don’t Always Decide Who We Are

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Behar Do Not Free an Eved Kena’ani I chose the comment from HaKetav VeHaKabbalah for this parsha because it dovetails with other learning of mine, although it is not a full idea. Chapter 25, 44-46 introduces eved Kena’ani, a non-Jew in servitude to a Jew. [I avoid “slave” because of its English connotations, given the ...

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Orach Chayyim 113, Where to Bow in Prayer

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Behar Our last few times learning together, we saw chapters where AH has many more paragraphs than did SA (as we will again next time, on steroids!). Our siman has nine se’ifim, in both SA and AH. For whatever that’s worth… Basics of the First Blessing of Shemoneh Esreh Although the chapter will discuss where ...

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