Rabbi Jack Abramowitz is Torah Content Editor at the Orthodox Union. He is the author of five books, including The Tzniyus Book. His latest work, The Taryag Companion, is available from OU Press as well as on Amazon.
In the Torah, the name Cheilon is written what’s called chaseir (lacking) – ches-lamed-nun, without a letter vav to indicate the “O” sound. Onkelos renders the name malei (full) – ches-lamed-vav-nun. The significance of this? Absolutely none. It would appear to be nothing more than a transcription error on the part of copyists.
136:9 An arava that was picked on yom tov – whether on the first day or the second day – may not be used or even handled on that day because it is pure muktzeh. If it was picked on the first day of yom tov, it may be used on the second day. However, […]
136:7 A Jew must not cut the four species from the tree for himself, even if he has permission from the owner of the land. Rather, a non-Jew or another Jew should cut them and one should then buy them from him. (If the Jew did cut them for himself, with the land-owner’s permission, they […]
136:5 The arava (willow) has extended leaves, smooth edges and a red stem, though if its stem is green, the arava is still kosher because the stem turns red when it remains on the tree. Most of this species grows near rivers, which is why it’s called “arvei nachal” (willows of the river), but if […]
136:3 The minimum required length of the hadassim is three handbreadths (about 10.5 or 11 inches) but in a case of need, ten thumb-breadths (about 8.5 or 9 inches) is sufficient. The whole hadas should be three-leaved from bottom to top but in a case of need, if a small portion at the bottom is […]
136:1 It is already the practice for one who buys an esrog and a lulav, if he is not familiar with the laws, to show them to a rabbi who can determine whether or not they are fit for use. This is because there are many detailed laws involved. One should try to buy a […]
The Metzudas David explains that this verse continues from the end of the previous chapter, where it tells us that the nations of the world will abandon idolatry and come to recognize G-d. Nevertheless, the sin of Judah will already have become indelibly imprinted upon the people, as if carved there by the hardest implements […]
The bracha of Binyan Yerushalayim (the rebuilding of Jerusalem) continues by asking G-d to cause His Presence to dwell in Jerusalem as He has said He would do – a reference to this verse. The Radak – based on a parallel prophecy in Zephaniah chapter 3 – clarifies that this promise actually refers to all […]
The 14th bracha of Shemoneh Esrei is Binyan Yerushalayim, the rebuilding of Jerusalem. In this verse, G-d says that He will return the people from exile. The Talmud in Megillah (29a) explains that when God exiles the Jews, He also exiles the Shechinah (His Presence) to some degree. When the Jews return, He metaphorically comes […]
The twelfth bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, Birkas HaMinim (against heretics) was composed by Shmuel HaKatan. He is also cited in Pirkei Avos (4:19) for this statement, that we should not take joy in the downfall of our enemies. The Bertinuro explains that even though this dictum is a verse in Mishlei (Proverbs), it is attributed […]