Category Archives: Holidays

Parshat Shoftim: The Punishment of Not Being Punished

Parshat Shoftim includes a dire warning for those idol-worshiping nations with whom the Jews are unable to establish a peace treaty: דברים פרק כ (יג) … וּנְתָנָהּ ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְהִכִּיתָ אֶת כָּל זְכוּרָהּ לְפִי חָרֶב: (יד) רַק הַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף … Continue reading

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Sources and Notes: Yom Tov Sheini

I gave a Shiur over Shavuot on Yom Tov Sheini as it relates to Sefirat Ha’Omer and Shavuot. Here are the sources. A few notes based on the sources: 1) Sources 18 and 19 provide a fascinating back-and-forth between the … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Pesach, Shavuot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Succot | Leave a comment

Spring Leaning: Halachot of Leaning at the Seder

Yesterday I gave a Shabbat Hagadol Derasha on the Halachot of leaning at the Seder. Here are the sources. I want to highlight here a few points based on the sources, with gratitude to those in attendance whose comments and … Continue reading

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I happened to have the privilege this past Shabbat of learning with some friends at my nearest local out-of-town Center-Right Modern Orthodox Shul. As I do when I “happen to learn with friends,” I prepared plenty of sources ahead of … Continue reading

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Purim: Peeling Back the Mask, With a Little Help From Our Friends

A dichotomy: Purim is a time in which we are acutely aware of the poor. The Mitzvah of Matanot La’evyonim reminds us perhaps more poignantly than at any other time of year that the poor need consideration, attention, and respect. … Continue reading

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Hoda’ah and the Meaning of Thanksgiving

I just posted about the Halachic propriety of Thanksgiving, but perhaps a Hashkafic take is in order as well. I’ve been learning Shemoneh Esrei with my Sixth Graders, and just the other day we got to the final three Berachot, … Continue reading

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Frum … Or Krum??? – Thanksgiving

Time once again for our not-at-all-weekly segment exploring issues of relative importance to the Jewish community and whether perceptions and attitudes stack up to the rigors of Halachic analysis (Frum) or kneel at the knees of wisdom and reason (Krum). … Continue reading

Posted in Communal Matters, Frum ... Or Krum??, Halacha, Holidays, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

Weekly Feature: Frum … Or Krum?? – A Cappella Music During the Three Weeks

And now it’s time for our somewhat-weekly exploration of trends and whims in the Jewish community and how they stack up to the rigors of intellectual Halachic analysis. This Week’s Entry: An email I received last week from a Jewish … Continue reading

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Shavuot: Under the Mountain and Dreaming

For Shavuot, I am posting something I wrote many years ago, apparently just before Shavuot 2003, and shared by email at that time to some family and friends. I was finishing my first year of YU at the time. Shavuos: Standing … Continue reading

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Roundup of Seder Insights 2012

With tremendous thanks to all who honored us with your presence, I wanted to share with the general public some of what was developed at our Pesach table this year. 1) The Surprising Emergence of Yosef at the Pesach Seder … Continue reading

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