November 2023

  • Parsha Pearls: Shabbos Rosh Chodesh

    Who ever heard anything like this? Who ever saw anything like these things? Can a land go through labor in one day? Can a nation be born all at once? For Zion has gone into labor and born her children. (Haftarah, Yishaya 66:8) The Midrash at the very end of Shir Hashirim Rabbah says that…

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  • Parshas Pearls: Shabbos Shuvah

    For the ways of Hashem are straight, the righteous walk in them, and the sinners stumble in them. (Hoshea 14:10) Rabbi Yehuda Greenwald, rav of Satmar, wrote a letter in 1913 urging the rabbis of his time not to join the new organization Agudath Israel. Agudah had integrated into its membership and leadership many non-Orthodox…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Parshas Parah

    One who touches a dead human body will be unclean for seven days; he must purify himself with [the ashes of the red heifer] on the third day, and on the seventh day [at nightfall] he will become clean. (Bamidbar 19:11-12) The Mishnah in Parah 3:5 teaches that the first red heifer was burnt under…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Succos

    Why there is no nun in Ashrei Hashem caused this to come about, it is wondrous in our eyes. (Hallel, Tehillim 118:23) The Metzudos David explains that this chapter of Tehillim will be said by the Jewish people upon their redemption from exile. It begins, “Give thanks to Hashem for He is good,” and then…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Yom Kippur

    Why Hungarian Rabbis Didn’t Join Agudah The kohein gadol performed five immersions and ten hand-washings on Yom Kippur. (Yuma Chapter 3, Mishnah 3) In 1922, the Munkaczer Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Elazar Shapiro, known as the Minchas Elazar, traveled to Gur, Poland to meet with the Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter. The subject of their…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Rosh Hashanah

    No Redemption Without RepentanceAvraham – Not Iyov – Gave Honor to G-d When Rosh Hashanah fell on Shabbos, they would blow shofar in the Temple but not anywhere else. (Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 4:1) The Gemora explains that the Torah permits blowing shofar on Shabbos, but the Sages forbade it, lest someone come to carry a…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Tisha B’av

    Consulting the GedolimHashem Holds the KeysThe Latter-day BiryonimMiracles for the Wicked Hashem is righteous, but I rebelled against His mouth. (Eichah 1:18) The Gemora in Taanis 22b tells the story of how the righteous king Yoshiahu was killed in battle by the Egyptian soldiers. The king of Egypt was passing through Eretz Yisroel to fight…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Shavuos

    The Severity of an OathThe Danger of the Zionist LanguageLiving in the Holy Land During Exile Do not take the name of Hashem your G-d in vain, for Hashem will not acquit anyone who takes His name in vain. (Shemos 20:7) The Gemora in Shevuos (39a) says that before administering an oath, the beis din…

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  • Parsha Pearls: The Counting of the Omer

    The period of Sefiras Haomer is linked in our history with the story of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, whose yartzeit is on Lag Baomer. The Gemara (Shabbos 33b) relates that he spent thirteen years hiding in a cave with his son Rabbi Elazar, during which time they studied, prayed and lived off a miraculous carob…

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  • Parsha Pearls: Pesach

    Brisker Rav and Chazon Ish on the OathsWhen Excessive Prayer Becomes PermittedTwo Reasons Why We Eat Matza If the Holy One, blessed is He, had not taken our forefathers out of Egypt, we and our children and our children’s children would be slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt. (Hagadah) The Satmar Rav commented: We see here…

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