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Jewish Holidays

OU Tisha B’Av Video 5765

June 28, 2010, by

Mourning for what was, hurting for what is, believing in what will be. The OU’s Tisha B’av Video for 5765 featuring Rav Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Dr. JJ Schacter, and Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb.

Joy During the Nine Days

June 22, 2010, by

The Mishnah (Ta’anit 25b) says that once the month of Av begins, during the Nine Days, we have to reduce our joy. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 551:2) rules according to the Rishonim who interpret this rule as meaning that we may not engage in business, build items that bring us pleasure or make preparations […]

Showering During the Nine Days

June 17, 2010, by

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 551:16) records a custom practiced by Ashkenazim of not bathing or showering during the Nine Days, from Rosh Chodesh of the month of Av until the end of the Tisha B’Av mourning. Rav Moshe Soloveichik explained the custom as follows: When someone’s relative dies, there are three periods of mourning […]

Getting Married on Shivah Asar BeTammuz

June 9, 2010, by

Fast days, with the exception of Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, begin in the morning. Does that mean we can enjoy ourselves the night before? In particular, the Three Weeks, with the custom in memory of the destruction of the Temple of refraining from having parties, begin on Shivah Asar B’Tammuz. If the fast of […]

Devarim: Serenity and Desire

July 22, 2009, by

Tisha B’av and Devarim (the parsha) make appropriate bedfellows. Chazal find in Moshe’s eicha complaint echoes of Yirmiyahu and future lamentations. Thus the prevalent minhag of chanting that verse in the sad eicha tune. Devarim, Moshe’s retrospective is all about what could have been and what went wrong. Finally, it is a parsha that sows […]

Mishnas Chayim – The Three Weeks: What Are We Missing?

July 21, 2009, by

In keeping with the atmosphere of aveilus (mourning) for the Beis Hamikdash, Jews the world over meticulously observe the various restrictions that are in effect at this time. In fact, as the Bach points out (Orach Chaim 551), many of the practices adopted and adhered to over the centuries go well beyond the letter of […]

The 3 Weeks and Sacrifices: Part II

July 21, 2009, by

For part 1 click here. In the absence of the Beit HaMikdash, prayer replaces the sacrifices. Shabbos serves the same purpose, to bring us closer to God. Rabbi Moishe Lichtenstein’s new installment of Water-Cooler Questions. To send in a question of your own please email watercooler@ou.org.

The 3 Weeks and Sacrifices: Part I

July 7, 2009, by

Rabbi Moishe Lichtenstein’s new installment of Water-Cooler Questions. To send in a question of your own please email watercooler@ou.org. Sacrifices were brought to form a relationship with God, not just to seek atonement for a sin; When we become closer to God we won’t sin in the first place. For part 2 click here.

A Nation’s Loss: National Mourning in the Jewish Tradition

July 7, 2009, by

NATIONAL MOURNING IN THE JEWISH TRADITION The news of a loved one’s death utterly transforms us and our perception of the world. A young man, returning to his studies after being called home following the death of his father said, “The buildings were all in their familiar places, but it was a wholly different place… […]

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