It was no longer tenable for uncle and nephew to live together. Avraham the Patriarch A’H ZY’A tells Lot to separate (Bereshith 13:8-12). Rashi (13:7) explains Lot’s shepherds reasoned since G-D had promised the land to Avraham (12:7) and his heirs, which at the time meant Lot so it was appropriate to allow their flocks to pasture wherever they pleased even if the land was privately owned. Avraham’s shepherds respected the indigenous population and only allowed their flocks to graze on public… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on October 29, 2009 at 5:00am —
שבת טעם החיים לך לך תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Lech Lecho 5770
In this week’s parasha, we find an interesting pattern. The parsha commences with HaShem instructing Avraham to leave his homeland and travel to the Land of Canaan. Avraham was then forced to leave the Land because of a hunger and he descended to Egypt. Pharaoh took Sara and was then struck by a plague. Sensing that Avraham’s presence was detrimental to the Egyptian welfare,… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on October 29, 2009 at 4:26am —
"Hashem said to Avram, "Go for yourself from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you" (Bereishis, 12;1).
In this week's parsha Hashem tells Avraham to leave Charan and go to Canaan.
This was the first of 10 tests for Avraham Avinu, and according to the commentators, the hardest one of them all!
However, why was it so hard for Avraham to move? The Medresh relates that a lot… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on October 28, 2009 at 7:43am —
There is a new online video course that helps even total beginners read and understand the Tanakh in the original Hebrew -- immediately.
Please pass this along to the people you know that would benefit from it:
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Added by Moshe Burt on October 27, 2009 at 5:32pm —
Do We Really Believe In God?
By Rabbi Yaacov Haber
Believing in G-d is tricky business. We are believers. We do Mitzvos, we say the Shema every day, we keep Shabbos carefully, phrases such as “G-d willing” and “G-d forbid” are a regular part of our vocabulary.
Noach was a believer. He spent one hundred and twenty years building a boat because G-d told him that there was going to be a flood. He planted and cultivated special cedar trees so that he would have timber… Continue
Added by Yaacov Haber on October 23, 2009 at 5:01pm —
The Torah describes two events that fundamentally reshaped the human condition, the Flood and the Tower of Babel. The breakdown in society that lead to the flood that laid waste to the world G-D created. Rashi ZT’L ZY’A commenting on 6:13 points out there were rampant sexual perversion , idolatry and theft. Rabbi Joseph Dov Solavechik the Beit HaLevi ZT’L ZY’A emphasized the abandonment of moral restraint was so prevalent that animals and even plant life were influenced by human behavior.… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on October 23, 2009 at 4:52am —
שבת טעם החיים נח תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Noach 5770
Noach Reveals Too Much
In this week’s parsha the Torah records how Noach built a Teiva, an ark, that protected his family, himself, and numerous animals from the Great Flood that HaShem brought upon the world. Subsequent to the flood, Noach left the Teivah and it is said (Bereishis 9:20-21) vayachel Noach ish haadama vayita karem vayeisht min hayayin vayishkar vayisgal bisoch ahalo, Noach, the man of… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on October 23, 2009 at 2:29am —
In this week's parsha Hashem floods the whole world (except the land of Israel--Zevachim, 113b).
The Mishna (Pirkei Avos, 5;2) states: "There were ten generations from Adam to Noach, to show how great was His patience, for every one of those generations provoked Him continually until he brought upon them the waters of the Flood."
The Torah (6;13) tells us that Hashem flooded the world due to stealing. The commentators explain that the people… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on October 21, 2009 at 5:54pm —
The Gemora states that Rabbi Bana’ah used to mark out caves and it relates what happened when he went into the Cave of Machpeilah (where the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried).
The Rashbam explains that he did this in order to determine the precise dimensions of the crypts, and after marking its borders on the ground above, people, and especially Kohanim, would be able to avoid becoming tamei (through tumas ohel – forming a tent over a corpse).
Tosfos asks from the… Continue
Added by Avrohom Adler on October 20, 2009 at 9:46am —
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The Gemora cites a braisa: Rabbi Yosi said: When my father, Chalafta, went to Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri to study Torah, or, as others recorded: When Rabbi Yochanan ben Nuri went to study Torah by my father, Chalafta, he said to him: Suppose a man occupied a piece of land for one year as testified by two witnesses, for a second year as testified by two other witnesses, and for a third year as testified by still two other witnesses (totaling… Continue
Added by Avrohom Adler on October 16, 2009 at 3:29am —
As the cycle of Torah readings begins anew a preliminary question presents itself, what is the nature of Torah? Is the Torah a legal text? Or is there a broader purpose encompassing the whole of human endeavor and experience? Indeed, Rashi ZT’L ZY’A opens his commentary on Torah by posing essentially this question.
Beginning with what appears as a historical narrative scripture takes a long time till commandments are promulgated to the entire nation (Exodus 12 starting with the… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on October 16, 2009 at 1:28am —
שבת טעם החיים בראשית תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Bereishis 5770
It must have been something
This week’s parsha discusses the creation of the world, and most important, the creation of man. The Torah describes the birth of Adam and Chava’s two sons, Kayin and Hevel, and the ensuing battle between them. Their struggle still reverberates amongst their descendants today. People are forever staking out their territory and determining their dominance over their… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on October 15, 2009 at 7:37am —
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The Poskim deal with when do we say the law of the land is binding. Rav Moshe Feinstien was asked about a bankruptcy case. One of the creditors had taken the money he was owed. This was against the law, for the company was protected under bankruptcy laws. On the other hand, according, to Torah law, he was entitled to the money.
Rav Moshe brings two opinions found… Continue
Added by Avrohom Adler on October 14, 2009 at 3:26am —
“In the beginning, Hashem created the heavens and the earth” (Bereishis, 1;1).
The first Rashi in the torah explains that the torah began with the creation of the world to show the other nations that the land of Israel belongs to the jews (since Hashem created the world, everything belongs to Him, and He gave it to us). Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk comments that the torah mentions the land of Israel in every single parsha!
How great… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on October 13, 2009 at 9:15pm —
The end of Succoth, Hoshna Rabbah and Shemini Atzereth/ Simchat Torah are not merely the concluding days of Succoth. Instead these two (three outside of Eretz Yisrael) really are the culmination of Fifty one days of introspection, repentance and rejoicing that began nearly two months ago on the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. The Ta’amei Minhagim U’Mikorei HaDinim (paragraph 811) quoting the Bene Yissachar ZT’L ZY’A that Hoshina (please [G-D] save us) should be let the 51 days of prayer be a… Continue
Added by Bernard S. Antin on October 8, 2009 at 7:16am —
שבת טעם החיים
שמיני עצרת-שמחת תורה-וזאת הברכה תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah-Vizos HaBracha 5770
Sukkos and the World to Come
Sukkos is coming to an end, but just as we bid farewell to the Sukkah, we welcome in the festival known as Shemini Atzeres. What is the significance of Shemini Atzeres and who does this special day connect to Sukkos? The Gemara (Sukkah 55b; see Rashi Bamidbar 29:35 and 36) states that Shemini Atzeres… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on October 8, 2009 at 12:10am —
In this week’s parsha we read the death of Moshe Rabbeinu.
The Torah (34;10) relates his greatness: “Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moshe.”
The Midrash (Devarim Rabbah, 11;3) relates the following story in order to show Moshe's greatness: Adam said to Moshe: "I am greater than you because I was created solely by Hashem, whereas you were born from your parents." Moshe responded: "You lost your greatness when you… Continue
Added by Jason Behar on October 6, 2009 at 8:30pm —
By Rabbi Yaacov Haber
In Talmudic times the Sukos dancing at the Simchas Beis Hashoeva was reserved for the leaders of the generation. This was a Simcha the likes of which no other simcha can be compared. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel would dance in the middle. The Talmud reports that he would stand on his thumbs for long periods of time with his feet in the air - and the crowd would cheer him on. “What a Rabbi!”
Interestingly this great simcha took place… Continue
Added by Yaacov Haber on October 2, 2009 at 5:17pm —
שבת טעם החיים סוכות תש"ע
Shabbos: Ta’am HaChaim Sukkos 5770
Sukkos and the World to Come
It is fascinating that following Yom Kippur, we celebrate the festival of Sukkos. The Vilna Gaon maintains that the Jewish People in the wilderness receive atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf on Yom Kippur, and the building of the Mishkan commenced on Sukkos. Thus, the Clouds of Glory, which had departed because of the sin, retuned on Sukkos. In commemoration of… Continue
Added by Rabbi Binyomin Adler on October 2, 2009 at 1:11am —
By Rabbi Yaacov Haber
I remember as a child growing up in ‘anywhere USA’ meeting two shluchim of Torah U’mesorah. They had come to our town to talk to parents about sending their children to a Yeshivah. They were Yeshivah bochurim that had taken from their vacation time, packed their suitcases with cans of tuna fish and sardines and spent their nights on Greyhound busses to get from city to city. They had genuine warmth that was inspiring and their… Continue
Added by Yaacov Haber on October 1, 2009 at 6:40pm —