Monthly Archive: August 2008

AishDas 0


I was recently interviewed by Steve Savitsky, the president of the OU, for his radio show “Around the Dining Room Table“. Here is their description of the show: Not excited about Jewish practice? Have...

Ben Chamishim le’Aitzah 0

Ben Chamishim le’Aitzah

… בן חמישים לעצה … – יהודה בן תימא, אבות ה:כא וּמִבֶּן֙ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה יָשׁ֖וּב מִצְּבָ֣א הָעֲבֹדָ֑ה וְלֹ֥א יַעֲבֹ֖ד עֽוֹד׃ – במדבר ח:כה שמייעץ את אחיו ומלמדם לשמור משמרתם – רש”י שם וְהִגִּישׁ֤וֹ אֲדֹנָיו֙...

Heroism 0


I was recently asked for help preparing material for a va’ad on heroism. Shirah Bell, one of the other recipients of the initial email offered this as a typical definition of heroism: The state...

Three Desires 0

Three Desires

In the last entry, I quoted part of Even Sheleimah, 2:1, by the Vilna Gaon. The full paragraph reads: The sum of all evil middos are ka’as[1] (anger), ta’avah (desire), and ga’avah[2] (egotism), which...

Hatred 0


Do not hate your brother in your heart; לֹֽא־תִשְׂנָ֥א אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ בִּלְבָבֶ֑ךָ; you should surely rebuke your neighbor, הוֹכֵ֤חַ תּוֹכִ֨יחַ֙ אֶת־עֲמִיתֶ֔ךָ and do not carry a sin because of him. וְלֹֽא־תִשָּׂ֥א עָלָ֖יו חֵֽטְא׃ – Vayiqra...

Gender Differences: Oaths 0

Gender Differences: Oaths

The Torah uses two different words for husband: ish, in particular when used with the feminine possessive “ishahh” (her man); and ba’al. Interestingly, in the beginning of parashas Matos, the section on annulling vows,...