Various Categories of Atonement

The month of Elul, which we currently find ourselves in, is a time for repentance, forgiveness, and atonement, as we have already discussed. Let us now discuss various categories of sin, which are more severe than others, and how to completely erase these sins. The Four Categories of AtonementThe Baraita (Yoma, 86a) tells us that there are four categories of atonement, meaning that there are … Continue reading Various Categories of Atonement

The Sanctity of the Synagogue- the Coronavirus Pandemic

During the past few weeks when, thank G-d, many of us have slowly begun some sort of return to prayer in synagogues and houses of study, we must focus our energies on preserving the sanctity of these houses of worship and to draw the appropriate conclusions between the current pandemic and degradation of the sanctity of the synagogue. The Gemara (Megillah 28a) states, “One may … Continue reading The Sanctity of the Synagogue- the Coronavirus Pandemic

Parashat Kedoshim / פרשת קדשים

LET’S STUDY ONKELOS A Guide for Rabbis, Teachers and Torah Students to Study and Teach the Parashat Hashavua through the Eyes of its Most Important Translator By Stanley M. Wagner and Israel Drazin Based on the five volume, Onkelos on the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy), Understanding the Bible Text, by Israel Drazin and Stanley M. Wagner, published by Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem/New York, 2006-2010. STUDY GUIDE KEDOSHIM … Continue reading Parashat Kedoshim / פרשת קדשים

Prepare Yourselves Before G-d, of Israel

Question: Is there a reason why Yeshiva students customarily pray only while wearing a nice suit jacket and not just while in their shirtsleeves? Answer: Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 98, Section 4) writes: “Prayer is in the place of sacrifices; thus, one must be careful that one’s prayer resembles an offering through concentration and not letting any foreign thoughts intrude into one’s prayer just as … Continue reading Prepare Yourselves Before G-d, of Israel

Sending Mishloach Manot to a Diabetic

Question: If one sends sweets to one’s friend as Mishloach Manot and the recipient does not partake of these sweets since he is a diabetic and abstains from eating foods containing sugar, has the sender fulfilled his obligation of Mishloach Manot? Answer: Let us introduce this topic by saying that there is a disagreement among the Poskim regarding whether or not one can send uncooked … Continue reading Sending Mishloach Manot to a Diabetic


UNIVERSAL TORAH: TETZAVEH By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum Torah Reading: TETZAVEH Exodus 27:20-30:10 LIFE IN THE HOUSE In last week’s parshah of TERUMAH, the Torah taught us the form and shape of the House of G-d with all its vessels. In this week’s parshah of TETZAVEH, we receive instructions about the daily activities that are to take place in that House. The central core of the … Continue reading Parsah TETZAVEH


Jewish Mysticism, by J. Abelson; London: G. Bell and Sons [1913] The Babylonian Talmud in Selection, by Leo Auerbach; New York: Philosophical Library [1944] The Duties of the Heart, by Rabbi Bachye, tr. by Edwin Collins; London, John Murray (Wisdom of the East) [1909] The Wisdom of Israel, by Edwin Collins; London, John Murray (Wisdom of the East) [1910] The Talmud, … Continue reading Judaism

Elimination of Shevi’it Produce

In the beginning of the Shemitta year (the current year, 5775), we have explained the primary laws of Shevi’it. We have explained that there are several laws which apply to fruits and vegetables grown during the Shemitta year. Elimination of Shevi’it Produce, In Israel and Abroad Let us now discuss the laws of elimination of Shevi’it produce. We should point out that this law applies … Continue reading Elimination of Shevi’it Produce

Entering a Synagogue with a Weapon

Question: May a soldier or a citizen armed with a pistol or a rifle enter a synagogue with his weapon? Answer: The Mechilta (end of Parashat Yitro) states regarding the verse, “And when you shall build Me a stone altar, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for you will have waved your sword over it and desecrated it”: “Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: … Continue reading Entering a Synagogue with a Weapon

Behavior at the Western Wall

In the previous Halacha we have discussed the special reverence of the Kotel, the Western Wall, for Hashem’s divine presence never moves from this wall since the presence of Hashem is in the west. Hashem has sworn that the Kotel will never be destroyed, for it has been established by King David. For this reason, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one who enters the … Continue reading Behavior at the Western Wall

The Kotel-The Western Wall

  Question: Does the Kotel (Western Wall) have any special sanctity? Answer: Our Sages (Midrash Shemot Rabba, Parasha 2) taught: “Hashem’s divine presence has never moved from the western wall of the Holy Temple.” Our Sages added, “The verse states, ‘Behold, he stands behind our wall’-this refers to the western wall of the Bet Hamikdash which Hashem swore would never be destroyed.” The Midrash Eicha … Continue reading The Kotel-The Western Wall