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Tzarich Iyun: Giraffe Meat
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Misconception:Although the giraffe is a kosher animal, it is not slaughtered because it is not known where on the neck to perform the shechitah (ritual slaughter). Fact: The makom shechitah (region of the neck in which ritual slaughter is valid) on a giraffe is precisely defined by halachah, just as it is for all animals, […]
35. What Is the Purpose of the Universe?
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Intelligent people drive themselves crazy trying to figure out the purpose of creation. The Rambam proceeds to demonstrate how absurd the question is according to the various points of view regarding the origin of the universe (refer back to section 10). [III, 13] First, a few ground rules must be established. It should go without […]
Acquiring Torah
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Torah is greater than the priesthood or sovereignty, for sovereignty is acquired with thirty virtues, the priesthood with twenty-four, and Torah is acquired with forty-eight qualities. These are: 1) study, 2) listening, 3) verbalizing, 4) comprehension of the heart, 5) awe, 6) fear, 7) humility, 8) joy, 9) purity, 10) attending to the sages, 11) […]
A Tail Among Lions
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Rabbi Masya son of Cheresh used to say: be first in greeting every man. Be a tail among lions rather than a head to foxes. – Avos 4:20 The above quoted text appears to be two axioms rather than one. The former seems to be simpler and straightforward. In the second perek of Pirkei Avos […]
34. The Three Kinds of Evil
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The Rambam says that there are three kinds of evil in the world. [III, 12] The first is based on the fact that man is a physical and temporal being. Because of this, we are subject to physical ailments, whether based on weaknesses in our own constitutions or exposure to harmful agents in our environments. […]
Tzarich Iyun: Errors in Laining
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Misconception: If a baal korei (person publicly reading the Torah) makes an error that alters the meaning of the text and he has already read God’s name in that verse, he must first finish the verse and then reread the entire verse. Fact: There is no need to first complete the verse, nor to restart […]