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Tzarich Iyun: Milk and Honey
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Misconception:In the Biblical phrase that praises the Land of Israel, “Eretz zavat [1] chalav udevash, a land flowing with milk and honey,” the honey refers to bee’s honey, and the milk to cow’s milk. Fact: In the Bible, honey usually refers to date honey, not bee’s honey. And the milk is as likely to be […]
Tzarich Iyun: Mayim Achronim
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Misconception:Mayim achronim (washing before bentching) is a chumrah (stringency) in which women need not participate. The water used for mayim achronim needs to either be covered or removed from the table. Fact: Mayim achronim is an obligation equally incumbent upon men and women. There is scant basis for covering or removing the water. Background: An […]
Tzarich Iyun: Women’s Zimun
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Misconception:Three or more women forming a zimun (responsive introduction to Grace after Meals), especially in the presence of one or two men, is the product of late 20th century feminism and has no basis in traditional halachah. When such a zimun is formed, the men present should leave. Fact: Women participating in a meal in […]
Tzarich Iyun: Rashi’s Father
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Misconception:Rebbi Yitzchak, whom Rashi—the commentator par excellence—cites in his commentary on the first verse of the Bible, is Rashi’s father. Fact: Rashi’s father, Yitzchak, and the “Rebbi Yitzchak” whom Rashi cites are different people. Background: The name “Rashi” is an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, i.e. Rabbi Shlomo, the son of Reb Yitzchak.[1] But the […]
Tzarich Iyun: The Translation of “Yam Suf”
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Misconception:Upon leaving Egypt, the Jews crossed the Yam Suf, which is translated as the Red Sea. This translation, however, is an error. Red Sea is a corruption of the correct Old English (OE) translation, Reed (Rede) Sea. (Rede is a legitimate spelling of reed in OE.) Fact: The notion that the Yam Suf is the […]
Understanding Judaism – Volume 4
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UNDERSTANDING JUDAISM: A six-part series for individual and group Torah study Sponsored by the Orthodox Union, this unique collection of six lectures forms a complete foundation for the introduction to Judaism together with the workbook by Rabbi Eliezer Gevirtz. Rabbi Blech’s comprehensive view of Judaism will be available to all, from beginner to advanced student, […]
Understanding Judaism – Volume 2
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UNDERSTANDING JUDAISM: A six-part series for individual and group Torah study Sponsored by the Orthodox Union, this unique collection of six lectures forms a complete foundation for the introduction to Judaism together with the workbook by Rabbi Eliezer Gevirtz. Rabbi Blech’s comprehensive view of Judaism will be available to all, from beginner to advanced student, […]
Understanding Judaism – Volume 3
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UNDERSTANDING JUDAISM: A six-part series for individual and group Torah study Sponsored by the Orthodox Union, this unique collection of six lectures forms a complete foundation for the introduction to Judaism together with the workbook by Rabbi Eliezer Gevirtz. Rabbi Blech’s comprehensive view of Judaism will be available to all, from beginner to advanced student, […]
Understanding Judaism – Volume 1
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UNDERSTANDING JUDAISM: A six-part series for individual and group Torah study Sponsored by the Orthodox Union, this unique collection of six lectures forms a complete foundation for the introduction to Judaism together with the workbook by Rabbi Eliezer Gevirtz. Rabbi Blech’s comprehensive view of Judaism will be available to all, from beginner to advanced student, […]
Tzarich Iyun: The Meaning of “Pesach”
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Misconception:The only meaning of “Pesach,” the Hebrew name for the holiday of Passover, is “to pass over.” Fact: While that is a correct translation, an equally valid, and possibly older, translation is “to have compassion for.”[1] Background: The name of the spring holiday, and its associated temple animal offering, is based on a description first […]