Yerushalmi: Hc Svnt Dracones
In ancient times, writers would draw monsters, dragons, and all manner of fearsome beasts at the edge of their maps. This often signified that there was no knowledge of that darkly unknown area, and thus it was frightening to go there, or even think of going there. There was even a term for this in Latin (more…)
Published February 2016.
Shabbos Drasha, Parshas Tetzaveh
This week’s Parsha starts off by telling us “V’yikche aylechu shemen zeis zoch” to take pure olive to burn in the lamp continuously. We see the Torah instructing us in a chronological order. In last week’s parsha it gives the exact details and the intricate measurements on how to build the Mishkan – the Tabernacle. Now that we have the Mishkan up and standing, we are told on who should be the ones to Minister in it, to do the Avodah. In the first part of this week’s Parsha we go through the details on how to make the vestments for the children of Ahron, the Kohanim, on how they should dress while doing the services. (more…)
This article was written a few months back.
Haters of the Draft
With the day of “demonstration and prayer” in Israel and the one in New York over, the Israeli cabinet is set next week to take up the Shaked commission’s resolution to have a universal draft for all. This will require a good part of the Charedi community to join the army. Speaker after speaker, article after article in the Charedi newspapers condemned this as an “attack on Torah”, saying there is no other reason for this, other than to destroy torah learning. (more…)
Rashbi’s Yahrzeit and a Printing Mistake
If one looks in the Shulhan Arukh or Tur, as well as various early commentaries, one will not find any other reason as to why there should be simcha on Lag Ba’Omer, other than the students of R. Akiva stopped dying on Lag Ba-Omer. How then, did the connection between Meron, Rashbi, and Lag Ba’Omer come about? (more…)
Why Schlissel Challah?
The Shabbos following Pesach, there is a custom of some to bake “Schlissel Challah” – challah in the design of a key, alleged to be a segulah for parnassah.
There is a debate about the origins of this custom, many claiming it is rooted in early Christian practices. (more…)
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
I vividly remember my first impression of Lakewood almost 30 years ago, when I visited family members living in the small kolel town in New Jersey. In those days the kolel families were pretty much contained to a few block radius. There was a sense of comradeship and belonging that created a wonderful “one big happy family” type feeling. Simchas were a community event. (more…)