Rabbi Dr. Yitzchak Breitowitz's scope of knowledge, brilliance, as well as a unique ability to grasp complicated material and communicate it clearly to others is legendary. Rabbi Breitowitz received his bachelor of arts from Johns Hopkins University and obtained semicha from Ner Israel Rabbinical College. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and shortly thereafter became the Rav of the Silver Spring Woodside Shul in Silver Spring Maryland while maintaining status as a tenured professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Rabbi Breitowitz teaches at Or Sameach as well as the OU Israel center and he has published widely on Jewish law and ethics.
The four cups represent the four dangers from which we were saved: physical, spiritual, lack of connection to history, and a lack of connection to hope. In order to merit redemption we had to take a proactive step in each of these areas. Chazal say that we were redeemed because of four merits. Delivered at […]
The Seder night is the only time when there is a positive obligation to eat matzah. The beginning of the Haggadah says we eat matzah to remember what our ancestors ate in Egypt. Rabban Gamliel gives a completely different reason – when our ancestors were freed they didn’t have time for the dough to rise. On […]
There are 2 mitzvot connected to Amalek – remembering what they did and eliminating them. We are never vulnerable to the external Amalek unless there is a part of Amalek that is in our character. Thus, even if we can’t eradicate Amalek externally, we can eradicate those aspects of our personalities. The two traits of […]
There were two half-shekel offerings: a one-time donation (for the building of the mishkan) and the annual half shekel (for korbanot) – building fund vs. operating budget. Why was there an upper limit for the machatzit hashekel, why can’t a rich person give more? Reish Lakish says that the Machatzit HaShekel counters the shekalim that […]
Ptolemy ordered the sages to translate the Torah into Greek. The day it was translated is considered by a Chazal to be a dark day. Why? Chazal say some fast on the 9th of Tevet but they wouldn’t give a reason why. Machzor Vitry provides a reason. Unlike 17 Tammuz and 9 Av, the 10th […]
Even with the grief of what we don’t have there is still the obligation to rejoice over that which we do have. Yerushalayim has over 100 names in Tanach. Linguists tells us that when society has many names for 1 concept, it indicates the concept’s centrality.
The Gemara provides 3 answers as to why we don’t say Hallel on Purim. The Shulchan Aruch only quotes 1 – that the Megillah is the Hallel of Purim. The Megillah shows us the Hand of God in concealment and is therefore more fitting for Purim which was a concealed miracle than Hallel, which is […]
In Zechariah the fast days are not connected to specific days but to specific months. Unlike the other fast days connected to the Churban, were Asara B’Tevet to fall on Shabbos we would fast on Shabbos. The purpose of a fast is to do teshuva for the events that occured on that day. If Asara […]