Life

What I Truly Desire

October 2, 2011, by

Aseret Yimei Teshuva (10 Ten Days of Atonement) is a time for deep reflection and personal inventory individually and collectively, of our past deeds, misdeeds and omissions. It is a time when G-d is particularly near and entreats us to redouble our efforts and determination to correct ourselves, advance in our spiritual growth and access

Masechet Chullin 89a-95b

September 22, 2011, by

The Coming Week’s Daf Yomi by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz This essay is based upon the insights and chidushim (original ideas) of Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, as published in the Hebrew version of the Steinsaltz Edition of the Talmud. Hullin 89a-b – Recognizing the blue of tzitzit Following the quote from Avraham that appeared on

Masechet Chullin 96a-102b

September 22, 2011, by

The Coming Week’s Daf Yomi by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz This essay is based upon the insights and chidushim (original ideas) of Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, as published in the Hebrew version of the Steinsaltz Edition of the Talmud. Hullin 96a-b – When eating is considered significant In Jewish law, in order for food to

Nitzavim-Vayeilech – Symbolism of the Shofar Blasts

September 22, 2011, by

The Torah tells us that Rosh HaShana is a “Yom Teruah”, meaning a “day of sounding the shofar” (Bamidbar 29:1). However, the sages of the Talmud inferred from the nuances of the verses that actually we sound a fanfare of three different blasts: a “tekiah”, which is a simple blast; a “tru’ah”, which is a

NCSY: What’s New for 2011 and Beyond

September 21, 2011, by

Rosh Hashana is a time for new beginnings. In American culture, one might make a “New Year’s resolution” to quit smoking or lose weight. In Judaism, a similar though profoundly different concept exists. Rosh Hashana marks the start of the Ten Days of Repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur, when all of our slates are wiped

Exotic Shofarot

September 21, 2011, by

Most shofarot are made from a ram’s horn. However, an increasing number of exotic shofarot are available from species such as the kudu, the gemsbok and the ibex. While some of these “alternative” shofarot are quite popular, there are serious halachic concerns regarding their acceptability. The most well-known “alternative shofar” is made from the horn

Masechet Chullin 82a-88b

September 15, 2011, by

The Coming Week’s Daf Yomi by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz This essay is based upon the insights and chidushim (original ideas) of Talmudic scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, as published in the Hebrew version of the Steinsaltz Edition of the Talmud. Hullin 82a-b – Setting priorities in the slaughter of animals We have learned above (see daf,

Ki Tavo – S’lichot prior to Rosh HaShana – part one

September 15, 2011, by

S’lichot prior to Rosh HaShana – part one The custom of reciting selichot (penitential prayers) in the days preceding Rosh HaShana is quite ancient, and is mentioned already in the early Rishonim. The custom of the Sefaradim, as mentioned in Shulchan Arukh (OC 581), is to recite selichot from the beginning of Elul; the Rema

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