Weekly Torah Reading Resources

It’s Not In Heaven

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Nitzavim/VaYelekh Ok, I broke this week. Normally, with a double parsha, I try to find a mitzvah from each. To my chagrin, Nitzavim/Vayelekh is very short (the two together are still in the twentieth percentile of parashiyyot by length). In addition, last year, I covered both mitzvot found in the two. Instead of a mitzvah de-oraita, then, I will investigate the halakhic application of Devarim 30;12, lo ...

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Doubtful Dishonesty

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Ki Savo Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Is a possible lie a lie? When it happens that you come to the land that Hashem, your God, is giving you as territory, and you inherit it and settle it; You are to take of the first of all the fruits ...

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What’s Inside Matters, Too

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tavo We live after almost two hundred years of important rabbis and poskim finding ways to accommodate those who have left observance, let alone are not observing for the exact right motives. R. Yehudah’s quote of Rav, Pesachim 50b, that a Jew should observe the Torah without perfect motive, because it will build to better motives, has ...

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Not To Eat Ma’aser Sheni While an Onen

by R. Gidon Rothstein Our mitzvah might seem ho-hum, because we have not eaten ma’aser sheni in many centuries.  Still, the aspect of aninut sheds light on two realms, mourning and the experience of sanctity. Ma’aser Sheni and Aninut: Getting Our Terms Straight Rambam’s Prohibition 151 starts with the basics, Jews may not eat ma’aser sheni while in aninut. Pause to define terms, the easy then the ...

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Mitzvah or Method?

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Ki Seitzei Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: What makes something a real mitzvah? When you build a new house, you shall make a fence for your roof, so that you do not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone should fall from it. (Deuteronomy 22:8) The Chasam Sofer notes ...

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Hurting Ourselves When We Think We’re Helping

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tetzei Honest Measures Can Also Be a Problem The Torah warns us not to have two kinds of weights, big and small, 25;14. Were they both, the big and small, off from the truth, the verse could/should have just said do not have false weights or measures. Kli Yakar therefore argues one of these was actually ...

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Ma’akeh and Preventing Danger

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Ki Tetzei The Torah requires us to place a ma’akeh, a fence or girding, around rooftops of our homes, Devarim 22;8. Rambam’s Obligation 184 understands the Torah more broadly, thinks it commands us to protect against all dangers, to the extent possible. In his view, the barrier we put around our rooves, wells, ditches, and backyard pools are ...

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On the Council; No Rank of Master

by R. Moshe Kurtz Lomdus on the Parsha: Shoftim Based on the Acclaimed Sefer Chavatzeles HaSharon Q: Are there real Rabbinical judges these days? Judges and officers shall you make for you in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, throughout your tribes: and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. (Deuteronomy 16:18) The Ramban asserts ...

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