Rabbi Jack Abramowitz is Torah Content Editor at the Orthodox Union. He is the author of five books, including The Tzniyus Book. His latest work, The Taryag Companion, is available from OU Press as well as on Amazon.
“Divrei” (“the words of”) denotes a harsh prophecy. The Radak cites a Midrash that three prophets – Jeremiah, Amos and Koheles (i.e., Shlomo) – start their books this way. They each spoke harshly to the people so the negative things in their prophecies started with them. Radak explains that this means that their books describe […]
The last words of this verse are appended to Deuteronomy 4:44 during hagbah, when the Torah is displayed to the congregation. Rashi on Numbers 9:18 explains the meaning of “at the command of G-d by the hand of Moses.” When it was time for the Jews to travel, G-d’s cloud would rise. It would not […]
This verse is recited when the Torah is held aloft and displayed to the congregation. In context in the Torah, the words “and this” must refer to some specific referent. The Sforno feels that they refer to what immediately precedes this verse. Rashi feels that the referent is what was to be written after.
After the kohein is called up to the Torah, this verse is recited by the congregation. Of course, Hashem is not a physical Being Whom one can literally hold. Accordingly, Onkelos renders this verse, “But you who held fast to the fear of Hashem your G-d are all alive today.”
In Talmud Sanhedrin 106b, a heretic asked Rabbi Chanina how long Balaam lived. Rabbi Chaninah replied, “I haven’t seen anything specific on the matter but since Psalms 55:24 says that bloodthirsty and deceitful people will not live out even half their days, I would guess that he was 33 or 34.” The heretic replied, “That’s […]
משנה ה שתי נשים של שני אנשים שלא בכרו וילדו שני זכרים זה נותן חמש סלעים לכהן וזה נותן חמש סלעים לכהן מת אחד מהן בתוך שלשים יום אם לכהן אחד נתנו יחזיר להן חמש סלעים אם לשני כהנים נתנו אינן יכולין להוציא מידם זכר ונקבה האבות פטורין והבן חייב לפדות את עצמו שתי נקבות […]
משנה ג מי שלא בכרה אשתו וילדה שני זכרים נותן חמש סלעים לכהן מת אחד מהן בתוך שלשים יום האב פטור מת האב והבנים קיימים ר’ מאיר אומר אם נתנו עד שלא חלקו נתנו ואם לאו פטורין רבי יהודה אומר נתחייבו נכסים זכר ונקבה אין כאן לכהן כלום ר’ עובדיה מברטנורא וילדה שני זכרים […]
The articles in this series are based upon ideas expressed in the Rambam’s Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed). Numbers in brackets represent the book and chapter of Moreh Nevuchim where these ideas are discussed. All names of God in Tanach are derived from His actions except for one – the name spelled yud-hei-vav-hei […]
144:8 If a kohein and a Yisrael are equal in their Torah knowledge, it’s a mitzvah to give precedence to the kohein, as per Leviticus 21:8, “he shall be holy to you.” The Sages explained this to mean that for holy matters, the kohein is the one designated. This includes being called first to the […]
144:6 A person is considered to be a Torah scholar by his contemporaries if he knows how to conduct business according to the Torah, he is largely familiar with the Oral Law and later authorities, the Torah is his occupation – even if he has a little business on the side in order to earn […]