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Kiddushin 55-62

May the learning of these words of Torah serve as a merit le’iluy nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Harav Yoel David Balk a”h.

Kiddushin 58

May a Father Change His Mind and Use the New Tefillin?

It is a common practice for a father to purchase a new set of tefillin for his son in honor of his son’s bar...

Pesach Is Over—What Now? The Omer Controversy

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Rav Joseph Soloveitchik, zt”l once delivered a marvelous shiur regarding the great controversy between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. In the 23rd chapter of Vayikra the laws of the holidays are recorded.

Following is a new section with the cryptic verse, “You shall count on the morrow after the Shabbos, (mi-mocharas ha-Shabbos) 50 days.” The phrase, “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” created a controversy between the Pharisees, chazal, who had an oral tradition of interpretation, and the Sadducees. The Sadducees maintained that to count on “the morrow after the Shabbos” meant to count literally from the day after the Shabbos following Pesach, therefore, Sunday. The...

Ha Lachma Anya: So That the Parents Will Ask ‘Why?’

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One of the potentially biggest themes in the Exodus from Egypt and the seder night is language. Psychologists and anthropologists have deemed language to be one of the biggest cultural influences, capable of keeping close neighbors separate and driving complete strangers together, all based on a few words. During the Jews’ subjugation by the Egyptians, our ancestors used language to their advantage, naming their children Hebrew names and keeping the Jewish culture strong in their households even centuries into their stay in the African empire. According to our rabbis of Blessed Memory (Chaza”l), this is one of the main factors that allowed them to merit the Exodus.

Within the...


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The Sages tell us, “There are three partners in man—the Holy One, blessed be He, the father, and the mother” (Kiddushin 30b). Couples who are able to conceive naturally with little or no struggle often experience this sentiment. They live and feel God’s hand blessing them with a new healthy child.

For couples who unfortunately struggle with infertility, there is a very different experience. On the face of things, it seems like they have a whole team of partners, not just the three listed in the Talmud. There’s the OB/GYN, the reproductive endocrinologist, the embryologist and the fertility clinic medical and laboratory staff. Then there’s also the involvement of Puah members...

Don’t Sweat the Small Things

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Calling Pesach the holiday of freedom seems to be very paradoxical. We clean our houses, cars and offices in such onerous and arduous fashion, that even the most meticulous cannot tolerate it. We do all of this so we can rid ourselves of every crumb of chametz in our midst. This is rather bizarre. Why is this how we prepare to celebrate the Holiday of Freedom? Is it truly necessary to act like slaves for weeks so we can experience true freedom when Pesach arrives? Perhaps, if we delve deeper, we can see that preparing for Pesach can be truly meaningful.

Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook writes in Orot Hakodesh that the removal of chametz symbolizes the eradication of all nefariousness from...

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