Understanding the joy associated with Sukkot, Simchat Torah and “Zot HaTorah” – “This Torah”. In one of the piyutim for Simchat Torah we refer to the Torah as “Zot HaTorah”. An exploration of what the phrase means based on the 2 places in the Torah where the phrase is used.
I. Towards the end of the “cycle of the festivals”, as presented in parashat Emor, we are faced with a difficulty. The portion itself follows chronological order: First it deals with Shabbat, and then the order of festivals, starting with Pesach (since Nisan serves as the beginning of the year for the Regalim [Rosh Hashana […]
At face value, the mitzvah of “Taking the Four Species” begs explanation. On the one hand, Halacha stipulates that once a person has lifted the Species (for the sake of performing the mitzvah), he has fulfilled his obligation (Sukkah 42a). On the other hand, after lifting the Species, one should wave them right away, as […]
The “Ushpizin,” The Seven Guests On Pesach, at the Seder, we express the idea that “In every generation, each person is obligated to see himself as if he were one of the redeemed Jewish slaves.” Similarly, on Sukkot, as we sit and enjoy the festive meals, we are privileged to have as our company seven […]
One of the toughest tasks during the High Holidays is to come up with meals that aren’t the same old same old gefilte fish appetizer and brisket and roast chicken entrees. While tradition has its place sometimes you just need to think outside the proverbial recipe box and re-imagine what you might like to serve […]
Let me get this out of the way before I go any further with this column: pomegranates while delicious, good for you in so many ways and truly a wonderful addition to any dish they can be a PAIN to peel. Ok, not really technically difficult, mind you, just a pain or should I say, […]
Midrashic literature states that the Arba’ah Minim represent either four bodily organs (heart, spine, eyes and lips) or four different types of Jews (those who are learned and pious, only learned, only pious, or neither.) By taking the Four Species together, we symbolically unite diverse entities (parts of the body or individual Jews) to uniformly […]