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Jewish Holidays

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 […]

Parshat Shemini Shabbat HaChodesh 5757

September 26, 2016, by

“It was on the eighth day that Moses summoned Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel.” (Vayikra 9,1). “It was on the eighth day…” Eighth day of what? Rashi explained it “the eighth day after the seven days of inauguration (Miluim) which preceded it, and it is the first of Nisan in the […]