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I've been using the new Siddur Nehalel BeShabbat for a number of weeks now and really enjoying it. I'm sure you're shocked. After all, just because I wrote a positive review about the siddur, doesn't mean that I have to keep using it. :-) The truth is, I didn't use it for a couple of Read More

Parashat Shemini – Puzzle

The outline of this week's parasha bothers me. Here's the basic structure of the parasha following the breaks in the Torah text: For the first time Aharon and his sons perform the priestly service. In a burst of enthusiasm Nadav and Avihu bring "strange fire" and are killed. The priests are commanded about drunkenness. Moshe Read More

Blessing the Trees

Today is Rosh Chodesh Nisan. Rosh Chodesh Nisan has a special place in Jewish history. We read at the end of Shemot (Judaica Press translation): Shemot 40:17 It came to pass in the first month, in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the Mishkan was set up. There are two Read More

Spring

Spring is definitely in the air. It's a good thing, too. Pesach is now less than a month away and Pesach must be celebrated in the spring. We read in this week's parasha (Judaica Press translation slightly edited): Shemot 34:18 The Festival of Matzot you shall keep; seven days you shall eat matzot which I Read More

To Turn In a Thief

Two prominent rabbis in Israel have recently made statements about tax evasion and turning in those who cheat. Here's the article from Arutz Sheva: Rabbi of HaShimshoni Community in Modi’in Haim Navon is of the opinion that it is permissible to report cases of excessive tax evasion to prevent theft of the public. “Minor tax Read More

Terumah – Puzzle

Last week's parasha recounted the ascent of Moshe to Har Sinai. This week begins the commandments for building the Mishkan and its service. God commands those people who are willing and able to participate in building the Mishkan. They were asked to donate about 14 objects for its construction and service. I say "about" since Read More

I received Siddur Nehalel beShabbat in the mail last Wednesday. A quick glance through the siddur told me that this is something special. I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the Nevarech Bencher. I've always found it difficult to use and the pictures distracting. Despite that I decided to take the plunge with Read More

Mishpatim – Puzzle

Since this week's parasha recounts the ascent of Moshe to Har Sinai, here's a word search puzzle on that theme. There are seven hidden words here. Each word is the name of a person or group who was there when Moshe ascended. What's the first name you spotted? Please share what you found in the Read More

Freiing Out – Book Review

Rabbi Binyamin Tanny is not a polished author. He says so himself. And he doesn't apologize for it. His writing is sharp and to the point. No one will ever doubt where he stands on the issues. His new book is titled Freiing Out - Why People Go Off the Derech & What We Can Read More

Learning How to Lead

I'm trying to understand what Moshe said to God just before the giving of the Torah. Look at these verses (Judaica Press translation): Shemot 19 21 The Lord said to Moses, "Go down, warn the people lest they break [their formation to go nearer] to the Lord, and many of them will fall. 22 And Read More