As he marches forward, silently focused on his mission, Avraham proves that he is prepared to fear and obey God no matter what the cost, no matter what the task. As the knife in his hand descends toward his son’s neck, the episode comes to an abrupt conclusion, as a heavenly voice calls out, “Now I know that you fear God” – not love God, not emulate God – fear God.
The Coming Week’s Daf Yomi by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz This essay is based upon the insights and chidushim (original ideas) of Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, as published in the Hebrew version of the Steinsaltz Edition of the Talmud. Hullin 131a-b – Who received first tithes? Aside from the zero’ah (shoulder), lehayayim (cheeks) and kevah
After eating non-vegetable foods and most processed foods, we bless “borei nefashot,” thanking HaShem “Who creates many souls and their deficiency; for everything He created, in order to enliven all living things. Blessed is the Life of the Worlds.” The Tur (OC 207) explains that this berakha consists of three distinct parts, almost like three
This Shabbat is Tu beAv, a happy day when Tachanun is normally omitted because of the many joyful historical events which occurred on this date. One such event is that on this day the Romans permitted burial for the victims of the terrible massacre of Beitar, which we mourned on Tisha BeAv. The gemara relates
S’lichot prior to Rosh HaShana – part one The custom of reciting selichot (penitential prayers) in the days preceding Rosh HaShana is quite ancient, and is mentioned already in the early Rishonim. The custom of the Sefaradim, as mentioned in Shulchan Arukh (OC 581), is to recite selichot from the beginning of Elul; the Rema
A theme which we encounter repeatedly in the mitzva of Shofar is “confusing the accuser” (Satan). For instance: 1. The gemara tells us that we blow the shofar on Rosh HaShana both sitting and standing “in order to confuse the accuser” (Rosh HaShana 16b). 2. In the siddur of Rav Amram Gaon and in Machzor