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57. The Narrative Portions of the Torah
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If there’s one thing in the Torah that has been misunderstood, the Rambam tells us, it’s the narrative portions. These sections contain profound wisdom, yet many people consider them to be without value. [III, 50] After all, what possible use could we have for such things as the names of Noah’s descendants and the lands […]
Tzarich Iyun: Using Horseradish for Maror
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Misconception: Horseradish (chrain) is the preferred item to use to fulfill the mitzvah of eating maror at the Seder. Fact: Among Ashkenazim, horseradish is widely used for maror. While horseradish often appears as the translation for tamcha, one of the vegetables listed in the Mishnah that may be used for maror, the translation is probably […]
The Fourth Level of Emunah – Hashem Is Here
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Imagine you are walking down a dimly lit street. It’s the middle of February, late at night, and you’re in a part of town you don’t normally frequent. You look around—not a soul to be seen. “It’s mighty quiet,” you think to yourself. You tighten your coat and walk a bit quicker, listening to the […]
56. Ritual Purity and Impurity
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As noted above (in section 54), the Rambam says that the laws of ritual purity and impurity serve to limit people’s ability to enter the Temple at will. This served to create a sense of awe and reverence for the Temple, in line with Leviticus 19:30, “…you shall revere My sanctuary.” [III, 47] Human nature […]