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Holidays

Hilchos Uminhagei Purim

March 13, 2014, by

The following is meant as a convenient review of Halachos pertaining to Purim. The Piskei Din for the most part are based purely on the Sugyos, Shulchan Aruch and Ramah, and the Mishna Berura, unless stated otherwise. They are based on my understanding of the aforementioned texts through the teachings of my Rebeim. As individual […]

The Tisha B’Av That Wasn’t There

March 10, 2014, by

It’s about time. Megillas Esther is all about time. It’s all over the entire sefer, the whole book is chock-full of times. Everywhere you look in the Megillah, there is another referent to time. A gala extravaganza planned for the third year of the reign of King Achashverosh (1:3) 180 days from the start of the festivities until the slamdunk grand […]

Who Am I?: Behind Our Masks

March 10, 2014, by

Who am I? In the musical, Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was a good and decent man who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family.  Imprisoned for his crime, he is given a chance to become good and decent again only to have events he has long sought to escape come back to threaten […]

The Obligation to Sleep on Purim

March 2, 2014, by

One of the lesser-known duties of the Purim holiday is the obligation to sleep. This obligation is mentioned explicitly in the Rema: “A person should drink more than he his accustomed to, so that he may sleep” (OC 695:2). The source for this obligation is the statement of Rava, that a person is obligated “livsumei […]

Fast of Esther

March 1, 2014, by

The Fast of Esther is observed in commemoration of the Fast observed by Mordechai and Esther and all Israel. On that very day, the enemies of the Jews had planned to subjugate and destroy them. The opposite, however, occurred and the Jews ruled over their enemies. The practice of fasting was observed by the people […]

The Puzzling Story of the Megillah

February 28, 2014, by

The story of Esther tells us in the most lively, realistic fashion, with a tinge of refined yet biting sarcasm, about paradoxical, absurd events, which are both tragic and comical at the same time. We are told a story of a king who, as our Rabbis have already remarked, killed his beautiful, beloved, young queen […]