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Jewish Holidays

Traveling Through the Temple: King vs. Am Ha’aretz

April 7, 2019, by

The route the king takes through the Beit HaMikdash vs. the path taken by the rest of the people as described by Yechezkel mirrors the difference between a Talmid Chacham and an unlearned person. Why do the people exit through a different gate whereas the king exits using the same gate through which he came? […]

Parshat Zachor and the Dialectic of Jewish Unity

March 14, 2019, by

In the special Torah portion for Zachor, G-d commands the Jewish people to remember the terrible and heinous deeds of the evil Amalek nation. Zachor et asher asah lecha Amalek, baderech betzetchem Memitzrayim, Remember that which Amalek did to you, on the way when you left Egypt, This verse of Zachor is puzzling and unusual, in that […]

The Half Shekel and the Shekalim of Haman: What is the Connection?

March 3, 2019, by

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 […]