Latest Essays

Audio Roundup Special: Dr Marc Shapiro

by Joel Rich   Dr. Marc Shapiro -Class 182. Great Rabbinic Thinkers: Rav Yechiel Michel Epstein Part 1 The genealogy and geography of R YM Epstein (author of the aruch hashulchan). Major focus on the reliability of mkor baruch (his son’s book) as a historical source. Part 2 Discussion of the aruch hashulchan’s early rabbinic positions and ...

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The Kohen Soldier

by R. Gil Student Kohanim are the descendants of Aharon, the priests of our people. In past eras, a kohen had a special role in the nation. Even today, a kohen retains certain privileges and obligations, such as being called first to the Torah and not allowed to enter cemeteries. The question arose during World War I how far these ...

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How do you want your Purim to look?

Are you tired of the same old routine every Purim? Is it just about scrambling for costumes, hurriedly delivering mishloach manot, and overindulging in food and drink? What if this year, you could make your Purim truly special, meaningful, and different? This year, go deeper into the sugyas and halachos of purim with Virtual Halacha Program. Our digital platform provides ...

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Keranot, Parochet, and Aron

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Terumah I find I’ve studied HaKtav VeHaKabbalah at greater length than our other commentators in previous weeks. Terumah gives me a chance to recalibrate a bit. Horns and Extensions The Torah calls the corners of the altar keranot, 27;2, a word that really means horns. HaKetav VeHaKabbalah says the word was expanded from its original ...

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Are Newly Ripe Avocados Muktzeh?

by R. Daniel Mann Question: Today, Friday, our avocados are not quite ready to eat. If they become ripe enough on Shabbat, may we eat them then? Answer: Fruit that are so unripe that they are inedible are muktzeh (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 308:31). When Shabbat begins, during bein hashemashot (twilight), several matters of halachic status are set for ...

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Audio Roundup 2024:5

by Joel Rich From Maaseh Harav: In the essay we are discussing, the Rav expresses his disgust at the prevalent preaching to the effect that “observing the mitzvot is good for digestion, sweet sleep, family tranquility and social status.” He had never attempted to interpret the Torah via “the categories of mental health, peace of mind and the like, despite ...

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Bodily Cleanliness for Prayer

by R. Gidon Rothstein Parshat Terumah Let’s stipulate we are all in close enough contact with our inner child to make bathroom jokes, then set aside the temptation. Siman 76 of Orach Chayim discuss the problems with the presence of feces or urine for prayer and how we can alleviate the issues. Manure Is Like Ervah, Except Where It’s Not ...

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Audio Roundup Special: Yichud Hashem

by Joel Rich Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank- Yichud Hashem    Shiur 1 There’s a constant mitzva of “leida”, to know HKBH is the only necessary existence. Leida may include knowing (TBD), believing, even loving (me-I suppose you know it when you feel it)   shiur 2 In addition to yedia there’s yichud hashem (“oneness”). His oneness is unlike any ...

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