Is There A Meaning To The Mitzvot?

On a daily basis we all go through an internal struggle. We all wonder which mitzvot are more important, adam l’makom(man to god) or adam l’chavero (man to his friend). Sometimes we might even stop and ask ourselves, if we had to improve on one aspect of our daily...

Torah, Society and the Land

The Torah does not explicitly link the Festival of Shavuot to the Giving of the Torah. Shavuot is called by various names: Katzir [“Harvest”], Shavuot [“Weeks”], Atzeret [“Assembly”] and Bikurim [“First Fruits”]. The crown — the Torah — was left out, so to...

Today’s Matan Torah

In two days, we will, God willing, celebrate the festival of Shavuot. What is this holiday all about? Why is it considered such a sacred day, to the point where the Ar”i Hakadosh claimed that it is holier than any other festival, even than Rosh Hashanah? We are...

The Essence of Sefirat HaOmer

The Sefira (Counting of the Omer) expresses a process that transitions from the (Omer sacrifice) to the Shtei HaLachem(the Two Showbreads).  Its essence can be understood in the context of the debate with the Baytussim (heretic sect of the time of the Second Beit...

Lag Ba’Omer

The Gemara (BT Shabbat 33b) cites the familiar story of Rashbi (R’ Shimon bar Yochai) and his son R’ Eliezer, who remained in a cave for twelve years. We are first told about the well-known debate between Rashbi, R’ Yehudah, and R’ Yosi. The three discuss the deeds of...

When did Yerushalayim become core?

When we come to speak about Yerushalayim, we encounter a slight problem. Whenever we want to find out about a certain term, we look at the first place it appears in the Torah, and that is where we will be able to find the most accurate definition.  But the surprising...

The Recitation of Hallel on Yom Yerushalayim

The source for the obligation of the recitation of Hallel is in Pesachim 117a, “The Rabbis taught, ‘Who instituted this Hallel? The prophets legislated for the Jewish people that this Hallel should be recited at each designated season and on any trouble that should...

Parshat BaMidbar and Yom Yerushalayim

“And HaShem spoke to Moshe, in Midbar Sinai in the Ohel Moed…” – The Rashbam comments that the beginning of Sefer BaMidbar, from the aspect of its location and timing, belongs to Har Sinai before the Jewish people embarked on their journey to the Land of Israel!...

Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Bazeh

The book of Vayikra concludes with a description of the the covenant between am Yisrael and Hashem The covenant involves the blessings that am Yisrael receive when they follow the paths of the Torah and the curses that befall them if they fail to go on those ways....

Why Is Jerusalem Not Mentioned In The Torah?

Before we celebrate Yom Yerushalaim this week, I think it is important to address the question at the head of this page. A simplistic answer could be something in the line of: “Of course it’s not mentioned – it was only founded as a Jewish city by King David,...