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Mitzvot 236 and 71: Defamation
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How do we define rechilut (usually translated as gossip) and how should it impact freedom of the press? What if something is defamatory only in a specific community? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Wednesday, June 20, 2018/7 Tammuz 5778
Mitzvah 38: Thou Shall Not Covet
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Lo Tachmod is a thought-based prohibition. How can we be commanded about a thought? Is it a built-in safeguard against stealing? Why is it in the 10 commandments with capital offenses? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Wednesday, June 13, 2018/30 Sivan 5778
Mitzvah 37: Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness
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The Sefer HaChinuch phrases this mitzvah as not to give false testimony in a court. Lying vs. giving false testimony. Women giving testimony in beit din. When is it permissible to lie? Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Wednesday, June 6, 2018/23 Sivan 5778
Mitzvot 326-335: Torah Economics (Shemitta and Yovel)
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The 10 mitzvot that discuss Shemitta and Yovel all revolve around how to create a Torah-based economy. Rav Chaim David HaLevy writes that the Torah doesn’t have a specific economic vision but provides guiding principles. Download the mekorot here Delivered at the OU Israel Center, May 23rd, 2018, 9 Iyyar 5778
Mitzvah 94: Ger Toshav (Shemot 23:33)
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The commandment not to allow idolaters to settle in the land of Israel. If they want to remain in the land they must accept upon themselves the seven Noahide laws. The relationship between Jews and non-Jews in the Land of Israel. Delivered at the OU Israel Center, May 16th, 2018, 2 Iyyar 5778
Mitzvah 36: Thou Shall Not Steal
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The Sefer HaChinuch based on Rashi says that the mitzvah of לא תגנוב (thou shall not steal) refers to kidnapping. The Heinz dilemma – can you steal in order to save a life? If you save your life by damaging someone else’s property are you required to reimburse them? Stealing ideas and “גניבת דעת”. Delivered […]
Mitzvah 34: Thou Shalt Not Murder
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What is the difference between the words להרוג and לרצח (to kill vs. to murder)? How do we view this mitzvah as relevant in our day and age when we instinctively view murder as wrong and have no desire to murder? Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Wednesday, April 25, 2018/10 Iyar 5778 Download the […]
Mitzvah 33: Honor thy Father and Mother
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The Sefer HaChinuch discusses what is involved in honoring one’s parents, who bares the financial costs, honoring a step parent, and honoring an older sibling. How we understand why the mitzvah includes a step-parent and older sibling affect how we understand the nature of the mitzvah. Delivered at the OU Israel Center, Wednesday, April 18, […]