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Jewish Holidays

Shavuos 5779

June 4, 2019, by

What is Torah LiShmah? (It’s much easier to define תורה שלא לשמה). Is it something attainable for the masses? The Rambam says even learning for the spiritual reward is considered שלא לשמה, rather תורה לשמה is learning because one loves God and wishes to draw closer to Him. This is the ultimate goal, what should […]

Yerushalayim: Two Visions of Community

Yom Yerushalayim, Shavuot, and Parshat Bamidbar. The first census, which counted those who left Egypt took place on Rosh Chodesh Iyar, a month after the Mishkan was completed. There was another census, taken when the mishkan was built (the silver from which was used for the sockets of the Mishkan) 6 months earlier. The numbers […]

Torah: Black Fire on White Fire

June 3, 2019, by

“ויאמר יהוה מסיני בא וזרח משעיר למו הופיע מהר פארן ואתה מרבבת קדש מימינו אש דת למו” Rashi says that this pasuk teaches that in heaven, the Torah is like black fire on white fire. The Ramban says that in Hashem’s Torah which is black fire written on white fire, the letters are contiguous (not […]

More Topics for Shavuos Study

May 30, 2019, by

If you would like to learn a selected topic on Shavuos night but don’t know where to begin, look no further! Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein has prepared a number of topics, adapted from his book Journeys in Talmud, designed to guide users through the primary Gemaras, the positions of the Rishonim and selected insights of the Acharonim. […]

Ruth and Contemporary Conversion: Lessons in Ahavat HaGer

May 28, 2019, by

From Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth (YU Press and Maggid/Koren Books, 2019) edited by Rabbi Dr. Stuart W. Halpern The biblical story of Ruth has been frequently mined for insights, both halachic and ideological, into the conversion process. The Talmud[1] cites Ruth’s words to Naomi as examples of the type of mitzvah acceptance — Kabbalat Ol […]

Vayigdal Moshe on Shavuos

May 17, 2018, by

וידבר אלקים Why is the name Elokim the one which is employed for the aseres ha’dibros? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for it to have been the sheim Havayah? Rashi brings from Chazal that the implication of the name Elokim is dayan lipara, a judge who can exact punishment. In the sefer, Pischei Shearim, […]