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Jewish Holidays

Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah: A Duet Between Hashem and Man

September 24, 2021, by

The chag of Sukkot isn’t anchored to a particular historical period or geographical location. It doesn’t commemorate a miraculous event that occurred on a specific day in history. Sheltered huts positioned under the open sky symbolize Hashem’s compassion for creation, His care for humanity and His love of the Jewish people. Exiting our homes and […]

A Mystery of Authorship

September 17, 2021, by

And Moshe ascended, from the Plains of Moav, Mount Navo to the peak that faces Yericho.  And Hashem showed him the entire land from the Gilad to Dan.  (Sefer Devarim 34:1) I. The recording of Moshe’s death This passage introduces the final chapter of Sefer Devarim and the Torah.  Moshe ascends Mount Navo.  From its […]

Dancing and Clapping on Shabbat and Yom Tov

September 1, 2021, by

In the last shiur we looked at showering on Yom Tov and the tricky question of whether the halacha, as laid down by the Gemara and the Shulchan Aruch, is still unchanged today, give the different reality of bathing habits in the 21st Century. In this shiur we will engage with the issue of dancing […]

Showering on Yom Tov

August 26, 2021, by

In today’s world, where many people shower at least once daily, not showering can be a cause of discomfort. Where there are two days of Yom Tov – such as a Rosh Hashana in all places or other Chagim in chu’l, this concern is deepened. In some cases there can be three days of Chag […]

Haftarah Helper – Shemini Atzeret

Download PDF 1 Kings 8:54-66 After the hubbub surrounding the placing the Ark in the Holy of Holies, which was read on the Second Day of Sukkot[1], Solomon and the people embark on the actual consecration of the Temple. Solomon blesses the people, and they engage in a 14-day consecration feast. On Shemini Atzeret itself […]

Chag at Home

September 9, 2020, by

Pursuant to our acclaimed “Sinai at Home” program, OU Torah Initiatives is proud to present Chag at Home, a way for all of us to get our holiday inspiration in this pandemic era. Chag at Home features dozens of packets of educational material – articles, source sheets, family discussions, and more – to enable individuals […]

The History of Shmini Atzeret

October 7, 2019, by

The festival of Sukkot isn’t anchored to a particular historical period, or geographical location. It doesn’t commemorate a particular event which occurred on a specific day in history. Sitting under the sky in sheltered huts symbolizes G-d’s compassion and care for his creation in general, and for Man in particular. He safeguards us even in […]

Yizkor in Halacha and Hashkafa

October 3, 2019, by

For many people, including many who are otherwise not observant, Yizkor has become an indispensable part of their shul experience. Indeed, although Yizkor can halachically be said privately and without a minyan, it has become a major draw to the synagogue, especially on Yom Kippur. How is it permitted to conduct an ostensibly sad ceremony […]