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Torah Study at Night
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Sunday night is the 15th of Av, a festive day on which we don’t say Tachanun. The mishna at the end of Taanit mentions the various joyful customs and historical events which took place on this day in past generations. Among these is that from this day on they would stop cutting wood for the […]
Mezuza
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Our parsha includes the mitzva of mezuza, as part of the familiar portion of the Shema: “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates”. (Devarim 6:9.) The mitzva is to write the two parshiot which mention this mitzva, here and in Ekev (Devarim 11:20) on an appropriately prepared […]
Hatov Vehametiv in Birkat Hamazon
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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 […]
Blessing on the Birth of a Baby
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The Shulchan Arukh rules that on the birth of a baby boy, the parents bless “Hatov vehametiv”, thanking HaShem who is good and does good (SA OC 223:1). This is the blessing said on a blessed event which is common to several individuals (SA OC 222:1). The Mishna Berura explains that the boy is a […]
Shabbat Chatan a.k.a. Aufruf
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It is an ancient custom that a groom be called up to the Torah on the Shabbat before the wedding, or in most Sefaradi communities the Shabbat after. In Yiddish this is called “Aufruf” which literally means “calling up” to the Torah. The origin of this custom is given in the Midrash Pirkei d’Rebbe Eliezer […]