Biblical Rabbinic

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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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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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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Conflicting Documents, Conflicting Loans

by R. Gidon Rothstein Choshen Mishpat 85 Battling Documents We start with conflict. Sarah (not her real name) produces a shetar chov, a document declaring a loan Leah owed/owes. Leah has one of her own, showing Sarah sold her some other property, says she must have already paid the loan, otherwise Sarah would never have sold her the field. Sarah ...

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Finishing Yoreh De’ah 119

by R. Gidon Rothstein Starting Positive, Then Back to Lack of Trust Paragraph 43 of our long siman (and remember, Shulchan Aruch itself only had five paragraphs, suggesting this grew in significance in the interim)discusses those who sin out of fear. A convert who returned to his/her old religion due to governmental scrutiny or pressure (later in the paragraph, he ...

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Required Suspicions About Fellow Jews

by R. Gidon Rothstein Yoreh De’ah 119, Continued We’re in the middle of thinking about when we must worry a fellow Jew might affect us with his/her wrong actions. (In paragraph twenty, AH reminds us chashud, implicated, means we do not have firm evidence. If we did, we would have to act more stringently.) When and to What the Chashad ...

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Aruch HaShulchan’s Laws of Telling the Pesach Story

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Metzora, 5784 Let me say upfront: in my experience, Jews often limit the requirements/goals of Judaism with halachah, think that as long as we do what halachah says, we’ve fulfilled all God wants of us. The mitzvah of sippur yetzi’at Mitzrayim offers a corrective, reminds us it’s not all in those books. [For those who ...

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Jews We Can No Longer Trust

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Tazri’a: Yoreh De’ah 119, Jews We Can No Longer Trust Yoreh De’ah 119 takes up a topic probably more relevant today even than in AH’s time, Jews we can and cannot trust on halachic issues. There are twenty se’ifim in SA, fifty-five in AH, so we’re not going to finish it this week, and next ...

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Our Bodies, Our Prayers

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Shemini: Orach Chayyim 95 and 97 These chapters of AH are short enough to do two this time, expand our perspective of how our bodies do and should support our prayers. Our Feet Together Siman 95 starts with the idea of placing our feet right next to each other during prayer, to emulate the angels ...

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