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Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Chinuch: Education | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro

Mitzvot that impact other people and our relationships with them.

All of Torah is for naught if we don't improve our character.
23 Av 5770 listen Representing Hashem in the World (15:41)
By being honest, straight, and forgiving, we bring Hashem's Holiness into the world.
Sources: Rosh Elu Metziot 21; CM 263:3; CM 272:3; OC 156:1; MB 156:4
22 Av 5770 listen Forgiving with Others, Exacting with Ourselves (15:20)
Developing proper middot by treating ourselves with a stringency with which we would not assess others.
18 Av 5770 listen Being Forgiving with Money (13:30)
One of the secrets to a long life...
17 Av 5770 listen The Mitzvah of Compromise (2) (17:23)
Shalom as a form of compromise.
Sources: San. 7a
16 Av 5770 listen The Mitzvah of Compromise (14:42)
It is a mitzvah to bring shalom; is compromise a form of shalom?
Sources: San. 6b
15 Av 5770 listen Do That which is Good and Proper (14:55)
Going beyond the letter of the Law.
Sources: Deu. 4:18; Rashi, Ramban, ad. loc.
4 Adar 5770 listen Prophetic Tochacha (14:26)
There is no better tochacha than that of a prophet -- such as Mordechai's tochacha to Esther. Also: Taanit Esther when Purim is on Sunday.
Sources: Est. 4:13-14; OC 686:2; MB 686:2-3
3 Adar 5770 listen Tochacha from a Rabbi and Student (13:51)
A story of tochacha from the rabbis of the Mishna.
Sources: Rosh 2:8
2 Adar 5770 listen Giving Tochacha That Will be Heard (15:02)
Just as it is a mitzvah to give repeated tochacha when it will be heard, so too it is an aveira to give tochacha that will not be heard.
28 Shevat 5770 listen Giving Tochacha in Private (16:43)
When giving tochacha, we must speak in a way that will be heard.
Sources: MT Deot 6:7
27 Shevat 5770 listen Tochacha as Chesed (12:32)
Tochacha must come from a place of kindness and love.
Sources: MT Deot 6:6
25 Shevat 5770 listen The Challenges of Tochacha (16:12)
If only we could even understand what tochacha is...
Sources: Sifra Kedoshim 4:9; MT Deot 6:6
24 Shevat 5770 listen Accepting Responsibility (15:56)
As Jews, we are responsible for the entire world.
20 Shevat 5770 listen The Balance of Shame (14:33)
Once challenge of tochacha is our ability to hear it.
19 Shevat 5770 listen Examples of Tochacha: Adam and Cain (16:31)
A look at the first examples of tochacha in the history of the world.
18 Shevat 5770 listen Introduction to Tochacha (15:06)
We have a mitzvah to help others to improve themselves.
Sources: Lev. 19:17; Targum Yonatan, Peirush Yonatan ad. loc.
16 Av 5769 listen Kiddush Hashem in Business Transactions (15:31)
Every business transaction, even a simple purchase in a store, is an opportunity for kiddush Hashem.
Sources: Devarim Raba Parsha 3
15 Av 5769 listen Being Honest with Yourself (15:38)
To ensure your personal honesty and integrity, find a kosher accountant and a rebbe.
Sources: Mak. 24a
14 Av 5769 listen Lessons from Tisha B'Av: Creating a Culture of Honesty (16:52)
Issues we should each address to become the Holy Nation we can be...
10 Av 5769 listen Lessons from Tisha B'Av (17:32)
Reflections on Tisha B'Av: what should we learn from the fast?
7 Av 5769 listen War on Shabbos in Modern-Day Israel (16:30)
Halacha l'ma'aseh based on the Tzitz Eliezer.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
6 Av 5769 listen Defending a Jewish Area in Galus (15:00)
Outside of Eretz Yisrael, all Jewish communities are like border cities.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
3 Av 5769 listen Is Fighting a Defensive War on Shabbos a Mitzvah? (16:07)
Permission is given to fight defensively on Shabbos, but is it also a mitzvah? Who should fight?
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
2 Av 5769 listen National Castle Doctrine: Strong or Weak? (12:21)
Just as the Castle Doctrine can be strong or weak on an individual basis, so too on a national basis.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
1 Av 5769 listen War on Shabbos: Summary of Talmud Eruvin 45a (14:13)
The Tzitz Eliezer's summary of the Talmud's view on war on Shabbos.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a
29 Tamuz 5769 listen War on Shabbos: Defense of Person and Property (8:51)
If a Jewish city is beseiged, there are distinctions between border towns and inner towns and between personal defense and defenst of property.
Sources: Eruvin 45a
28 Tamuz 5769 listen War on Shabbos (16:07)
Introduction: can a Jewish army wage war on Shabbos? A question from 1948.
Sources: Tzitz Eliezer 3:9a; Eruvin 45a
25 Tamuz 5769 listen Loneliness During the Three Weeks (15:04)
During the Three Weeks, we don't simply mourn; rather, we long for Hashem and experience our deep loneliness
24 Tamuz 5769 listen Prepare, but Trust Only in Hashem (17:06)
While the halacha requires us to prepare for the worst, we must always remember that Hashem fights our battles for us.
23 Tamuz 5769 listen Biblical History of Jewish Arms, Gun Control, and Self-Defense (16:19)
A look back at Biblical examples of Jews who took up arms; a look at Biblical examples of what we would today call "Gun Control."
22 Tamuz 5769 listen Self-Defense, Gun Control, and Our Synagogues (18:43)
The sad reality of our times is that our synagogues are potential terrorist targets; we have an obligation to prepare to defend ourselves.
21 Tamuz 5769 listen Today's Poskim on Self-Defense (15:32)
Piskei Halacha from Rav Moshe and Chacham Ovadia.
Sources: Igros Moshe CM 2:54; Yechave Da'at 5:55
18 Tamuz 5769 listen The Strength of the Castle Doctrine (17:54)
The halacha goes out of its way to strengthen the Castle Doctrine and encourage an orderly society.
17 Tamuz 5769 listen Jewish Resistance and Nazi Gun Laws (12:55)
The 17th of Tamuz, Self-Defense, and "Never Again."
16 Tamuz 5769 listen Criminal Tresspass and the Castle Doctrine (17:44)
Does the Castle Doctrine apply to a tresspasser anywhere on your property? Or just in your house itself?
15 Tamuz 5769 listen The "Castle Doctrine" in Halacha (15:02)
Not only does halacha allow you to protect yourself and your home, it commands you to protect your neighbor and your neighbor's home as well.
10 Tamuz 5769 listen Halacha in a Time of Terrorism (46:15)
The unfortunate reality is that we live at a time when we need to prepare for the worst. Rav Dovid discusses the Torah view of firearms and more in this "lunch and learn" discussion.
10 Tamuz 5769 listen Presumed Innocent or Presumed Guilty? (15:00)
When a robber enters a home, can the homeowner assume that the robber is a threat and immediately shoot? Or does the homeowner need to first be threatened in some way?
Sources: San. 72a
9 Tamuz 5769 listen The Right to Defend Your Property (16:10)
Halacha provides an unqualified right to defend your property.
Sources: San. 72a
8 Tamuz 5769 listen Summary of Halachic Principles of Self-Defense (17:04)
A summary and review of the halachot involved in self-defense; a brief comparison of secular laws; and an introduction to protection of property.
Sources: Ex. 22:1
7 Tamuz 5769 listen The Mitzvah of Defending Ourselves and Others (16:06)
A look at the mitzvah of self-defense and a summary of related FBI statistics on firearms in self-defense.
Sources: MT Rotzeach 1:8,10,13; CM 425:4; Tzitz Eliezer 4:4
4 Tamuz 5769 listen Cruelty and Kindness (16:15)
When the Torah commands us to "Show no mercy!" it does not mean that we should be cruel.
Sources: Kohelet Rabba 7:16; Rav Tzadok M'Lublin Divrei Sofrim 28
3 Tamuz 5769 listen We Are Obligated to Protect Others from Harm (15:26)
From where does the Rambam derive the obligation to protect another from harm?
Sources: Deu. 25:11-12; Rashi, ad.loc.
1 Tamuz 5769 listen When is Deadly Force Justified? (14:10)
How do you know when to escalate a self-defense effort to the use of deadly force?
Sources: CM 421:1; MT Rotzeach 1:5,7; Deu. 25:11-12; Rashi, ad.loc.
30 Sivan 5769 listen Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense (14:43)
What is a "warning?" At what point can a defender escalate to deadly force?"
27 Sivan 5769 listen The Basic Halacha of Self-Defense (16:52)
Self-defense as presented by the Rambam.
26 Sivan 5769 listen The Right to Self-Defense (16:07)
In halacha, self-defense is a fundamental right.
25 Sivan 5769 listen Introduction to Self-Defense in Torah (15:12)
The right to defend yourself and others against attack.
Sources: Lev. 19:17; Rashi, ad.loc.; San. 73a
24 Sivan 5769 listen The Necessity of "Love Your Neighbor" (15:18)
By virtue of observing the mitzvah of "Love Your Neighbor," we learn fundamental lessons in how to behave properly throughout our lives.
Sources: Bava Me. 33a
23 Sivan 5769 listen The Limits of "Love Your Neighbor" (13:50)
Torah expects us to be people, not angels. Though we should strive to be angels, the Torah recognizes that we cannot achieve such heights and thus doesn't demand such from us.
Sources: Bava Me. 33a; Yad Ketana 85 Mada Aseh 3
19 Sivan 5769 listen Love Your Neighbor as a "Conditional Mitzvah" (14:50)
Rav Moshe's understanding of the application of Rabbi Akiva's statement that your life takes precedence over another's.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:145
17 Sivan 5769 listen Love Your Neighbor: Following in G-d's Ways (17:48)
We learn the actions of "Love Your Neighbor" from Hashem Himself.
Sources: Sifri Deu. 11:22; Rambam Mitzvat Aseh 8; Hegehot Rabbi Yerushum Fishel Perlow on Rav Saadia Gaon's Sefer HaMitzvot Aseh 25
16 Sivan 5769 listen The Actions of "Love Your Neighbor" (2) (16:12)
The Rambam's list of actions included under the general principle of "Love Your Neighbor."
Sources: SMaG Asin 9; MT Eivel 14:1; Sotah 14a
13 Sivan 5769 listen The Actions of "Love Your Neighbor" (17:33)
"Love" is too abstract to be a mitzvah; "love your neighbor" is in how we act.
Sources: Rambam Mitzvat Aseh 206; Sefer HaChinuch 243; MT Deot 6:3
11 Sivan 5769 listen At the Very Least, Don't Hurt Another (14:53)
"Hillel's great principle: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to another."
Sources: Shabb. 31a; Maharsha, ad.loc.
10 Sivan 5769 listen Love Your Neighbor, but You Come First (14:33)
Rabbi Akiva's great principle: the limits of loving and caring for others.
Sources: Bava Me. 62a; Ned. 80b; Ran, ad. loc.
9 Sivan 5769 listen "Love Your Neighbor": Introduction (15:19)
An introduction to the mitzvah, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Sources: Lev. 19:18; Rashi and Ramban, ad loc.
5 Kislev 5769 listen Honesty in Business (13:26)
Davening and Torah study must lead to proper action -- honesty in business among them.
Sources: OC 155:1-2; MB 155:8-11
4 Kislev 5769 listen Trusting Hashem to Provide Parnossa (12:51)
Sometimes keeping a set schedule for learning means giving up potential business profits. Or does it?
Sources: OC 155:1; MB 155:5-7
28 Cheshvan 5769 listen Making a Set Time for Torah (14:32)
Every day, we should have a set time for Torah study -- a time that we are so committed to that we make up for having missed it.
Sources: Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Yikba"; OC 155:1; MB 155:4
27 Cheshvan 5769 listen Learning Torah with a Group (14:19)
Learning Torah on your own is quite different from learning with a group.
Sources: Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Yikba"
26 Cheshvan 5769 listen Going from Prayer to Study (14:42)
After shacharit, the next stop is at the Beit Midrash for Torah learning.
Sources: OC 155:1; MB 155:1-3
8 Cheshvan 5769 listen Lessons Learned from Honoring Torah Scholars (12:25)
Rav Dovid discusses his personal experiences with honoring Torah scholars.
7 Cheshvan 5769 listen The Mystical Significance of Honoring a Torah Scholar (14:11)
Why do we associate honoring a Torah scholar with honoring elders rather than with honoring parents?
Sources: Lev. 19:32, Ricanati
6 Cheshvan 5769 listen Other forms of Honor (15:32)
There are a variety of things that we don't do out of respect...; how to correct your rabbi if he makes a mistake.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 257
5 Cheshvan 5769 listen Standing in Honor of the Rav (15:16)
At what point are we requited to arise before a rabbi? At what point can we sit? To what rabbi(s) does this apply?
Sources: Kidd. 33a; YD 244:9,24
2 Cheshvan 5769 listen Giving Honor by Standing; Using Names and Titles (14:37)
We honor our rabbis, elders, and parents by standing before them and by not calling them by name.
Sources: Avot 5:25; YD 244:7-8,12; Shach 6
1 Cheshvan 5769 listen Parameters of Honor: Torah Scholars and Elders (12:17)
What are the parameters of honoring Torah scholars and elders?
Sources: Pes. 22b; YD 244:1
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Shneur Zalman ben Shlomo on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
30 Tishrei 5769 listen Honoring Torah Scholars (13:08)
The Sefer HaChinuch sees Lev. 19:32 as applying only to Torah scholars. What is the connection between honoring Torah scholars and honoring our elders?
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 257
29 Tishrei 5769 listen Respecting Our Elders (14:52)
We are required to respect all elders, even non-Torah scholars, even non-Jews.
Sources: Kidd. 33a; MT Talmud Torah 6:1,9; Lev. 19:32, Ramban
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
28 Tishrei 5769 listen What does fear of Hashem have to do with honoring elders? (14:58)
Rashi and Ibn Ezra explain the connection between "Revere G-d; I am Hashem" and "Arise before the elderly and honor your elders."
Sources: Lev. 19:32, Rashi, Ibn Ezra
Dedicated in memory of Feigel bas Aharon HaKohen on the occasion of her yahrzeit and for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
25 Tishrei 5769 listen The Mitzvot Involved in V'Hadarta Pnei Zakein (16:12)
What is the difference between "respect your elders" and "stand in respect of an elder"? Is it one mitzvah or two?
24 Tishrei 5769 listen Introduction to V'Hadarta Pnei Zakein: Respect for Elders (13:01)
We have a mitzvah d'oraita to honor and respect our elders. Here's one situation where it applies.
8 Sivan 5768 listen Communal Obligation for Our Children (15:00)
All Jews are responsible for one another, so there are situations where every adult Jew has an obligation to educate every Jewish child. Two common cases: when a child does an issur for an adult; mitzvot ben adam l'chaveiro.
Sources: Ch"A 66:4-5
27 Adar I 5768 listen Maintaining Honesty and Integrity in Everything We Do (15:29)
Keeping our promises is not just about our interpersonal and business relationships; it is a spiritual necessity for the entire Jewish People and the entire world. We must always be of one voice in heart and speech.
Sources: Sha'arei Teshuva 3:183; Zeph. 3:13; Brachot 2:2
Dedicated in honor of Rabbi Hager, the rabbi of the Wall Street Synagogue, and in honor of Yoel ben Ephraim Mordechai.
26 Adar I 5768 listen Honesty in Business (14:45)
We must use a hin tzedek in all of our business dealings -- whether literally or figuratively.
Sources: CM 204:7; Shabb. 31a; Sha'arei Teshuva 3:182
24 Adar I 5768 listen Keeping Promises (17:02)
Part of emes entails being true and honest, and that means keeping our promises.
22 Adar I 5768 listen Hin and Hen Tzedek: Say Only What You Mean (13:06)
We may only possess accurate weights and measures. Based on the same verse, Chazal admonish us: say only what you mean.
21 Adar I 5768 listen The Difference between "Emes" and "Truth" (15:17)
Changing our words or deviating from the truth does not mean that we are deviating from emes. A proper understanding of emes at times includes deviations from what in English is called "truth."
Sources: Emet l'Ya'akov (Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt"l) Breishit 27:12
19 Adar I 5768 listen Deviating from Truth is Sometimes Permissible, but it is Always Dangerous (14:15)
Sometimes we can deviate from the truth, so long as we stick within appropriate halachic boundaries. But making a habit of such deviation is dangerous.
Sources: Yev. 63a; Yam Shel Shlomo (Maharshal) Yevamot 6:46; Gen. 27:19; Rashi, ad loc.
15 Adar I 5768 listen Different Categories of Untruth (13:08)
Rabbeinu Yonah differentiates among different types of untruth, distinguishing between that which is permitted and that which is forbidden. But even the permitted should be avoided, as it accustoms our tongues to falsehood.
Sources: Sha'arei Teshuva 3:181
13 Adar I 5768 listen Deviating from Truth (14:21)
There are times when we are allowed to deviate from the truth, but knowing how and when is generally extraordinarilly difficult to judge.
Sources: Ketubot 17b; Yev. 65b; Sha'arei Teshuva 3:181
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Geula Yehudis Malka Rivka bas Chaim Mordechai on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
9 Adar I 5768 listen Distance Yourself from Falsehood (16:08)
We have two mitzvot regarding truth and falsehood: "Do not lie" and "Distance yourself from falsehood. Why two mitzvot and what is the difference between them?
Sources: Exo. 23:6-8; Shevuos 30b; Yad Ketana Ch. 10 Deot 1:1

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Enjoy each of Rav Dovid's Daily Halacha Series:
Wake Up! | Kavanah | Zmanim | Tzitzit | Tefillin | Brachot
Pesukei d'Zimra | Kriat Shema | Amidah | Geshem and Tal | Mincha
Kaddish | Amen! | Shabbos | Kiddush | Shofar | Teshuva
Rosh HaShana | Ten Days | Yom Kippur | Sukkos | Pesach | Sefirat HaOmer
Shavuot | Chanukah | Purim | Rosh Chodesh | Tu B'Shvat
Fast Days | The Three Weeks | Tisha B'Av | The Four Parshiyot | Parshat HaShavua
The Kosher Kitchen | Issur v'Heter | Speaking to G-d | Spiritual Reality, Spiritual Freedom
The Jewish Calendar | A Practical Guide to Shabbos | Chinuch: Education | Rav Dovid's Shiurim
True or False? | Respect for Parents, Elders, and Torah Scholars | Ben Adam l'Chaveiro
Rav Dovid's daily halacha is given at the Wall Street Synagogue before shacharit.

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