The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Torah states (Vayikra 21, 15): “And you shall count for yourselves, from the day following the Shabbat, from the day the waved Omer offering is brought, seven complete weeks shall they be.” Our Sages (Menachot 65b) have a tradition that the “day following the Shabbat” refers to the day following the first day of Pesach which is a holiday. (This is what is meant … Continue reading The Mitzvah of Counting the Omer

The Reasons Behind the Mitzvot

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 21b) states: “Rabbi Yitzchak said: Why were the reasons behind the Mitzvot not revealed? Because there were two Mitzvot whose reasons were revealed and one of the greatest of men, King Solomon, failed in them.” This refers to the following two Mitzvot: The Torah (Devarim 17) states regarding a king of Israel, ‘Only that he not have too many horses and that … Continue reading The Reasons Behind the Mitzvot

“What is this Service to You?”

The Pesach Haggadah states: “What does the wicked son say? ‘What is this service to you,’ this implies ‘to you’ and not ‘to himself’. Since he has excluded himself, he has thus denied the existence of Hashem. You should therefore likewise blunt his teeth (scold him) and reply to him, ‘Because of this did Hashem do this for me when I left Egypt.’” Maran Rabbeinu … Continue reading “What is this Service to You?”

Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments: The Inside Story By Naftali Silberberg The Ten Commandments were engraved on two tablets. The five commandments etched on the first tablet deal with man’s relationship with G‑d; the second tablet contains five commandments which concern man’s relationship with his fellow man. Of the 613 biblical commandments, G‑d selected these ten commandments for special attention. He directly communicated them to the Jews … Continue reading Ten Commandments

Forbidden Work of Trapping

Hashem has commanded us to rest on Shabbat. It is forbidden to perform any work on Shabbat, as the verse states, “The seventh day is Shabbat for Hashem, your G-d; you shall not perform any work.” One of the thirty-nine works forbidden on Shabbat is trapping.  There are kinds of animals which are usually trapped or caught, such as deer, wild geese, fish, and the … Continue reading Forbidden Work of Trapping

Nazirite Negative Commandments

Negative Commandment 205 A Nazirite Eating Grape Seeds “…from the seed to its skin he shall not eat “—Numbers 6:4. A nazirite may not eat grape seeds. Full text of this Mitzvah » Negative Commandment 206 A Nazirite Eating Grape Peels “…its skin he shall not eat “—Numbers 6:4. A nazirite may not eat grape peels. Full text of this Mitzvah » Negative Commandment 208 … Continue reading Nazirite Negative Commandments

The Nullification of Vows

Positive Commandment 95 The Nullification of Vows We are commanded to practice the Torah-mandated procedure in the event that a vow is to be annulled. (This commandment is somewhat based on the verse [Numbers 30:3] “he shall not profane his word,” from which the Sages deduce that the one who enacted the vow may not profane his own word, but others – such as a … Continue reading The Nullification of Vows