The Torah is in the Hands of the Jewish Nation

Our Sages teach us in the Gemara (Berachot 5a) that Hashem does not conduct himself like human beings, for when a human being sells an object to another, the seller is upset about the loss of the object he was forced to sell and the buyer is happy about the acquisition of his new purchase. On the other hand, when Hashem gave His Torah to … Continue reading The Torah is in the Hands of the Jewish Nation

Torah Portion #48 Shof’tim

Torah Portion #48 Shof’tim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) In this Torah Portion we read about justice for the people and laws for ruling the nations. The Judgest and officers are commanded that they must judge with righteous judgement. We also learn about the guidelines for a king concerning Torah. Other topics cover gifts for priests and Levites, a call to holy living, true and false prophets, cities … Continue reading Torah Portion #48 Shof’tim

Pirkei Avos

Is Torah a Burden? Part II Chapter 6, Mishna 2(b) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Rabbi Yehoshua ben (son of) Levi said, on every day a heavenly voice emanates from Mount Horeb, announcing: ‘Woe to them, the people, because of the affront to the Torah.’ For anyone who does not study is called ‘rebuked,’ as the verse says ‘As a golden ring in a swine’s snout, … Continue reading Pirkei Avos

Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 17

Killing Ourselves Chapter 5, Mishna 17 “There are four types among those who go to the study hall. [One who] goes but does not ‘do’ receives reward for the going. [One who] does but does not go receives reward for the doing. [One who] goes and does is pious. [One who] does not go and does not do is wicked.” This week’s mishna contrasts people … Continue reading Pirkei Avos – Chapter 5, Mishna 17

Simchat Torah

The Simchat Torah Evening Service A time to dance with the Torah. By Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs The Simchat Torah service is joyous by nature. Many congregations go beyond the basics that are described here. The dancing with the Torah (hakafot) can be quite extensive. Some liberal congregations have bands playing klezmer or other Jewish music during the dancing with the Torah. A number of … Continue reading Simchat Torah


Chapter 3: Mishna 6: Part 2 This idea (that one who is intimately connected to G-d escapes the limitations and control imposed upon him by physical systems) is embodied in the statement of Rabbi Yossi (Tr. Avodah Zarah 5a): “The Jewish people accepted the Torah [only] so that the Angel of Death, other nation[s], and other ‘tongues’ (cultures) should have no power over them, as … Continue reading Maharal

G-d Striking Back, Part I

Pirkei Avos G-d Striking Back, Part I Chapter 5, Mishna 11(a) By Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld “Pestilence comes to the world for death penalties mentioned in the Torah which are not in the hands of the courts [to administer] and for [the forbidden use of] Sabbatical year produce. The sword comes to the world for the delay of justice, the perversion of justice, and for those … Continue reading G-d Striking Back, Part I

Daf Insight

The Gemara (Chagigah 4b) states: R. Eleazar, when he came to the [following] verse, wept: And Samuel said to Saul: Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? Now if Samuel, the righteous, was afraid of the Judgment, how much more so should we be! How do we know this about Samuel? — For it is written: And the woman said unto Saul: I see … Continue reading Daf Insight

Maharal – Chapter 3: Mishna 6: Part 1

Chapter 3: Mishna 6: Part 1 Rabbi Nechunia ben HaKannah says: Anyone who subjects himself to (imposes upon himself)the burden of Torah has the burden of the government (bureaucracy) and the burden of livelihood removed from him. And anyone who releases himself from the burden of Torah has the burdens of government and of livelihood imposed upon him. This lesson also communicates (as did the … Continue reading Maharal – Chapter 3: Mishna 6: Part 1