Author Archives: Moshe Kurtz

Rabbi Moshe Kurtz is Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Agudath Sholom of Stamford, CT. He welcomes questions, feedback and speaking requests at: [email protected].

The Non-Holy vs. The Unholy

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayeitzei Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Was Yaakov permitted to use the stones he rested on for an altar? Early in the morning, Yaakov took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. ...

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Absolution from a Child’s Sins

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Toldos Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: What is the origin and rationale behind a father reciting a blessing for absolution of his son’s sins? When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the outdoors; but Jacob became a mild man, raising livestock. (Genesis 25:27) ...

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Fasting on One’s Wedding Day

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Chayei Sarah Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon But when food was set before him, he said, “I will not eat until I have told my tale.” He said, “Speak, then.” (Genesis 24:33) Eliezer, servant of Avraham, is tasked with finding  a wife for his master’s son, Yitzchak. Upon entering Besuel’s ...

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The Limits of Good Intentions

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Vayeira Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: If one gives charity to an undeserving person or organization, have they  fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedakah? Looking up, he [Avraham] saw three men standing near him. Perceiving this, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to ...

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Choose the Bigger Sin

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Lech Lecha Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q:  Is it worse to commit one major sin or multiple minor sins? “Please say that you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may remain alive thanks to you.” (Genesis 12:13) We may ...

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A Dietary Limitation for Ark-bound Animal

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Noach “A Dietary Limitation for Ark-bound Animals” Based on the acclaimed sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Which dietary restriction did Noach have to account for on the Ark? For your part, take of everything that is eaten and store it away, to serve as food for you and for them.” (Genesis 6:21) While ...

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Force-fed Sin

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Bereishis – Force-fed Sin By R. Moshe Kurtz Based on the acclaimed Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Why was Adam guilty for eating from the Tree of Knowledge?  And Adam said, “The woman You put at my side—she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) Conventionally, many understand Adam to be ...

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Is it Permissible to Dance on Shabbos and Yom Tov?

by R. Moshe Kurtz This year, many synagogues will reluctantly curtail or omit the dancing from their Simchas Torah services in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. R. Hershel Schachter published a responsum (Piskei Corona #55) on October 2nd, 2020 in which he advised that similar to Hoshanos either the chazzan (prayer leader) should be the only one making ...

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Siyumim During the Nine Days: Sanctioned or Sacrilege?

by Moshe Kurtz I. The Prohibition of Consuming Meat and Wine During the Nine Days The Talmud (Bava Basra 60b) relates a fundamental anecdote in which, following the destruction of the second Temple, a portion of the Jewish population sought to abstain from consuming meat and wine. R. Yehoshua, being troubled by this extreme measure, engaged in a dialogue with ...

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