250. Hocus Pocus!: The prohibition against “conjuring”

February 2, 2014, by

This prohibition includes at least two aspects. First, it prohibits ascribing auspicious times to activities such as, “If you take the 7:00 train you will make money today but if you take the 8:00 train, you will lose money.” (Again, the relevance of the timing makes a difference. “Buy today, before the stock splits” is […]

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248. Jumping the Gun: The prohibition against gluttony

January 31, 2014, by

In parshas Ki Seitzei (Deuteronomy chapter 21), we read of the ben sorer u’moreh, the “stubborn and rebellious son,” who is punished for, among other things, his gluttonous ways. We have a problem however: the Torah never imposes a punishment for something unless it had somewhere warned us not to do that thing! So where […]

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243. As Yourself: The obligation to love other Jews

January 26, 2014, by

In many ways, this is the seminal mitzvah of the Torah. In the Sifra, Rabbi Akiva calls this the great principle of Torah. In Talmud Shabbos (31a), Hillel paraphrases the idea to say that we should not do to others that which we dislike, calling that the entirety of Torah. Most world religions have adopted […]

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