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Daily Halacha

Rav Dovid gives a daily halacha at the Wall Street Synagogue in Lower Manhattan.
This series includes all of Rav Dovid's Daily Halacha classes.
1 Tevet 5771 listen Various Questions on Chanukah (11:48)
Does a wife away from home light if her husband lights at home? Can a child light on behalf of a parent? What does a family do when dad comes home after everyone is sleeping?
30 Kislev 5771 listen Husbands, Wives, and the Love of the Chanukah Miracle (14:55)
A husband is away in a place where other Jews are lighting. Is he yotzei by his wife's lighting? Also: why did chazal make a bracha on seeing Chanukah candles, unlike any other mitzvah?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; Tosfot Sukkah 46a d.h. "HaRoeh"
29 Kislev 5771 listen Husband and Wife Lighting as One (15:59)
Do husband and wife automatically fulfill each others' Chanukah obligations, or must they explicitly intend to do so?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
25 Kislev 5771 listen Making a Blessing on Chanukah Candles when Away from Home (15:41)
If your wife is lighting at home, you are away, and there are other Jews who have lit Chanukah candles that you can see, are you allowed to light with a bracha?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
24 Kislev 5771 listen Lighting Away from Home (21:07)
When a husband is away from home, is is obligation fulfilled by his wife's lighting, or does he need to light his own candles?
Sources: OC 676:3; MB 676:5-6; OC 677:3; MB 677:14; OC 671:2; MB 671:9; Igros Moshe OC 5:43a
22 Kislev 5771 listen Is there a mitzvah to see Chanukah candles? (15:35)
Does a traveller need to light his own candles?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; OC 677:3
17 Kislev 5771 listen Does a traveller light his own Chanukah candles? (17:24)
A traveller whose wife is lighting Chanukah candles for him at home still has mitzvot to do by lighting. What mitzvot and why?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:43a; Shabbat 23a
16 Kislev 5771 listen The Earliest Time to Light on Motzei Shabbos (15:35)
On Motzei Shabbos, the proper time to light is immediately after havdalah.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62; Ran Shabbos 9a d.h. "Mitzvatah mi'she-tishka"
15 Kislev 5771 listen The Earliest Time to Light on Erev Shabbos (13:02)
Understanding Rav Moshe's chiddush in the time for Chanukah candles on Erev Shabbos.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62; Ran Shabbos 9a d.h. "Mitzvatah mi'she-tishka"
11 Kislev 5771 listen Erev Shabbos: Chanukah Candles Immediately Prior to Shabbos Candles (15:01)
Rav Moshe's chiddush: on Shabbos Chanukah: light Chanukah candles immediately prior to Shabbos candles.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
10 Kislev 5771 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles Early on Fridays (15:50)
On Erev Shabbos, the time for lighting Chanukah candles is fixed by the onset of Shabbos, not by nightfall.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
9 Kislev 5771 listen Shkiya and Chanukah Candles (15:09)
"Sunset" is the time for lighting Chanukah candles. But when is sunset?
Sources: OC 679:1; OC 672:1; MB 672:1, Beur Halacha d.h. "Im sof skiyata"; Igros Moshe OC 4:62
8 Kislev 5771 listen A Second Minyan for Latecomers (14:21)
Holding a second minyan in the same shul as the first.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:17-21
4 Kislev 5771 listen Does the Shaliach Tzibbur interrupt for the sake of latecomers? (13:48)
Also: holding a second minyan in the same shul.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:14-16
3 Kislev 5771 listen Catching the Tail of a Minyan (15:16)
When you arrive at shul, the minyan is departing. Can you catch a kedusha?
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:13; Beur Halacha d.h. Yashlim Tefilato
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Meir Tzvi ben Dov Ber on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
2 Kislev 5771 listen Who is Pores al Shema? (16:22)
Also: Barchu of Kriyat HaTorah; finishing the amidah.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:10-12; Beur Halacha d.h. Yashlim Kol HaTefila
1 Kislev 5771 listen Making Up a Missed Kaddish or Barchu at Maariv (12:53)
Are we "pores al shema" at Maariv?
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:8-10
27 Cheshvan 5771 listen Are we Pores al Shema today? (15:09)
Pores al Shema as explained by the Mishna Brura.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:5-7
26 Cheshvan 5771 listen Can ten who have already davened form a new minyan? (16:41)
The Mishna Brura, based on the Radbaz, decides against the Ran as accepted by the Shulcham Aruch.
Sources: OC 59:1; MB 59:1
25 Cheshvan 5771 listen Arriving in Shul after Davening (15:00)
Making up for missing kaddish, kedusha, and barchu.
Sources: BY OC 59; OC 59:1; MB 59:2-4
24 Cheshvan 5771 listen Pores al Shema according to the Beis Yosef (16:04)
The Beis Yosef combines the understanding of the various Rishonom into a coherent whole.
Sources: BY OC 59
20 Cheshvan 5771 listen Public Prayer and Devarim She-b'Kedusha (14:33)
The Rambam differentiates between public prayer and devarim she-b'kedusha.
19 Cheshvan 5771 listen Silence in G-d's Presence (15:06)
When the minyan reaches critical sections, those who are unable to answer stand in silence.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
18 Cheshvan 5771 listen Answering Amen without a Minyan (15:54)
Rabbeinu Yona explains our Mishna according to the Rambam.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
17 Cheshvan 5771 listen Kriyat Shema, the Highest Holiness (13:10)
Also: the kedusha of u'Va l'Tzion Goel.
Sources: Rabbeinu Yona, commentary on the Rif, Brachot 13a-b
14 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan According to the Rosh (2) (14:59)
All come together for the benefit of the one.
Sources: Rosh Megilla 3:7
13 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan According to the Rosh (1) (15:23)
According to the Rosh, it is Rabbeinu Tam who reads Masechet Sofrim as explaining, rather than disagreeing with, the Mishnah's requirement for a minyan of 10.
Sources: Rosh Megilla 3:7
12 Cheshvan 5771 listen Making a Minyan for One (15:13)
Being in a minyan means redefining yourself as one piece in a community.
Sources: Tur OC 39
7 Cheshvan 5771 listen If Only We Could Daven All Day (14:41)
Just why can we repeat parts of davening for someone who missed minyan?
Sources: Masechet Sofrim 10:6
6 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan, Community, and the First Brocha of Shema (14:35)
What makes the first brocha before shema so special?
Sources: Sefer HaYashar 23; Ran Megilla 13b; Abudraham Birchot Kriyat Shema
5 Cheshvan 5771 listen Minyan: Individual and Community (15:16)
How is it that those who have already davened can complete a minyan for one who hasn't?
Sources: Meg. 29b
4 Cheshvan 5771 listen Arriving after Minyan (15:35)
Latecomers to shul can say kaddish and barchu after minyan.
Sources: Meg. 29b
3 Cheshvan 5771 listen Introduction to Minyan (15:40)
How do we know that a minyan consists of ten Jews?
Sources: Meg. 29b
30 Tishrei 5771 listen Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a Leap Year (2) (11:54)
Special additions to Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a leap year.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 423:5; Elya Rabba OC 423:5; MB OC 423
29 Tishrei 5771 listen Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a Leap Year (1) (15:49)
Special additions to Musaf Rosh Chodesh in a leap year.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 423:5
28 Tishrei 5771 listen Gozez: Dealing with Hangnails (15:35)
Hangnails, scabs, and trimming nails for the mikveh.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 21:4-6
27 Tishrei 5771 listen Aspects of Shearing (14:25)
Plucking feathers, trimming nails.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 21:2-4
26 Tishrei 5771 listen Gozez: Introduction to Shearing (10:10)
The shearing of wool is the first step toward making cloth.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 21:1
13 Tishrei 5771 listen When is the latest time you can daven mincha? (15:53)
Is it permissible to daven mincha after sunset?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:14
12 Tishrei 5771 listen Davening both Mincha and Ma'ariv between Plag HaMincha and Shkiya (2) (14:12)
If you normally daven Ma'ariv before shkiya, can you daven mincha at that time in a case of great need?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:13
28 Elul 5770 listen Selichos at an Et Ratzon (11:38)
Rav Moshe discusses the timing of the selichos service.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:105
22 Elul 5770 listen Davening both Mincha and Ma'ariv between Plag HaMincha and Shkiya (11:56)
Sometimes it's inevitable that you need to daven both mincha and ma'ariv during the same halachic peiod of the afternoon.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:12
6 Elul 5770 listen Mincha, Maariv, and Hypocrisy (16:08)
Mincha is a time of favor before Hashem. Why?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:7-11
3 Elul 5770 listen The Halachic Flexibility of Mincha (15:26)
Mincha time is an unusual machloket in that there is neither a lenient nor a restrictive ruling.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:5-6
2 Elul 5770 listen Mincha, Sunset, and Nightfall (9:14)
For mincha purposes, is it nighttime at sunset or nightfall?
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:3-4
1 Elul 5770 listen The Latest Time for Mincha (11:26)
The latest time for Mincha depends on when nightfall comes.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:2-3
30 Av 5770 listen The Time for Mincha (12:22)
The time for Mincha is determined by the afternoon offerings at the Temple.
Sources: OC 233:1; MB 233:1
29 Av 5770 listen Introduction to Mincha (13:26)
The afternoon prayer.
Sources: ; OC 233:1; MB 233:1
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.
10 Av 5770 listen Halachic Noon (14:34)
The time of halachic noon has consequences on the 10th of Av.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
8 Av 5770 listen Destruction, Mourning, and Redemption (12:24)
By mourning on Tisha b'Av, we create the foundation of Redemption.
Sources: OC 544:25; OC 557:1; MB 557:3
4 Av 5770 listen Out of Destruction, the Redemption is Born (14:16)
The source of our Redemption was established before the destruction of Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Tosefta Taanit 3:9; Bereishis Rabbasi Vayetze 131; Mak. 24a
3 Av 5770 listen The Destruction of Beitar (14:50)
The massacre of the residents of Beitar is the 4th of the five tragedies listed by the Mishna as occuring on the 9th of Av.
1 Av 5770 listen The Destruction of the Second Temple: Sinat Chinam (13:02)
Hatred among Jews is a constant cause of our destruction.
Sources: Taanit 29a; Yoma 9b; HaEmek Davar, Introduction to Breishis; Josephus, Antiquities 20:8
26 Tamuz 5770 listen Conceptualizing the Magnitude of Our Sins and the Magnitude of Our Destruction (16:39)
We cannot understand either the depth of what we did wrong or the depth of the destruction of our Holy Temple.
Sources: Isa. 31:16; Metzudat David, Isa. 31:16; Gittin 57b; Lev Eliyahu I:63
25 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spilling of Innocent Blood (15:42)
The second cause of the destruction of the first Beis HaMikdash.
24 Tamuz 5770 listen The Mourning of Tisha B'Av (14:45)
Understanding the depth of mourning on Tisha B'Av.
Sources: Introduction to Eicha Rabba; 2 Kings 25:5-7, 21; Yoma 9b
19 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spiritual Roots of Tisha B'Av (13:51)
The origin of Tisha B'Av goes back to the sin of the spies...
Sources: Yerushalmi Yoma 1:1; Mishna Taanis 4:6; Midrash Tanchuma Shelach 21
18 Tamuz 5770 listen The Spiritual Roots of the 17th of Tamuz (14:46)
The spiritual origin of the 17th of Tamuz pre-date the golden calf by some 1500 years.
Sources: Seder Olam Rabba 4; Gen. 8:4-13
17 Tamuz 5770 listen The 17th of Tamuz (7:32)
More details of the 17th of Tamuz.
Sources: Taanit 29a
13 Tamuz 5770 listen The Breaching of the City Walls (15:06)
Also: the cessation of the daily offering; the burning of the Torah.
Sources: Taanit 28b
12 Tamuz 5770 listen The Smashing of the Tablets (16:11)
How do we know that the tablets were smashed on the 17th of Tamuz?
10 Tamuz 5770 listen The Mitzvah to Fast (14:47)
What is the Torah source for declaring a public fast day?
9 Tamuz 5770 listen What time does a fast day end? (13:28)
Rav Moshe defines the end time for rabbinic fasts based on the various opinions on when nightfall comes.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
6 Tamuz 5770 listen What time does shabbos end? (16:51)
Based on the gaonim, Rav Moshe allows certain leniencies on motzei shabbos as well.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
4 Tamuz 5770 listen Applying Rabbeinu Tam (16:44)
Based on Rabbeinu Tam, Rav Moshe allows certain leniencies for emergency situations.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
3 Tamuz 5770 listen Why are Malachos d'Rabbanan allowed during Ben HaShmashos? (15:47)
Rav Moshe explains the reason behind leniencies -- or lack of stringencies -- ben hashmashos.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
27 Sivan 5770 listen Malacho d'Rabbanan Ben HaShmashos (14:57)
D'Rabbanan is permitted during twilight under certain circumstances.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:13-14
26 Sivan 5770 listen Malachos During Ben HaShmashos (17:07)
What activities are prohibited and what permitted during twilight?
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:11-12,14,17
25 Sivan 5770 listen What time does Shabbos end? (2) (16:21)
The proper end time for shabbos according to Rav Moshe -- conclusion. Introduction to Ben HaShmashot.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62; Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:11
22 Sivan 5770 listen What time does Shabbos end? (16:18)
The proper end time for shabbos according to Rav Moshe.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
20 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by the Aruch HaShulchan (14:37)
The Aruch HaShulchan puts it all together and concludes that we should start shabbos 18 minutes before sunset.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:7-8
19 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by Sefer HaYeraim (15:53)
Rabbi Eliezer of Mitz concludes that Ben HaShmashos begins some 18 minutes before sunset.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:6
15 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos: Understanding Rabbeinu Tam (16:17)
So how is it that Rabbeinu Tam concludes that sunset is so late!?
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:5
14 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by the Rambam (17:21)
The Aruch HaShulchan questions the Rambam's approach to Ben HaShmashos and learns much from his answers.
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:4
13 Sivan 5770 listen Just when (or what) is "shkiya"? (14:20)
Is shkiya what we commonly call "sunset"... or is it something else?
Sources: Aruch HaShulchan OC 261:1-3
12 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by the Mishna Brura (15:45)
The Mishna Brura provides a summary overview of the determination of the onset of shabbos.
Sources: MB 261:23
11 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by the Gra (15:51)
By the Vilna Gaon (and others), sunset is not the onset of nightfall; that begins about 58 minutes later with ben hashmashos.
Sources: OC 261:2; MB 261:23
8 Sivan 5770 listen Ben HaShmashos by Rabbeinu Tam (17:32)
The latest possible time for sunset is that of Rabbeinu Tam. When is it and why?
Sources: OC 261:2; MB 261:19-21
5 Sivan 5770 listen Introduction to "Ben HaShmashos" (15:43)
Understanding "Ben HaShmashos" is essential for understanding when shabbos starts.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
4 Sivan 5770 listen When does Shabbos start? (17:24)
This introduction to the question of when shabbos starts begins with a philosophy of halacha itself.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:62
29 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: A Pot within a Pot (11:43)
Warming a baby bottle on shabbos; beating eggs and vigorous mixing.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:8-9, 20:21
28 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana by Night; Hatmana by Day (16:39)
The halachot of hatmana vary depending on whether the food is to be kept warm for the night meal or the day meal.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:5-7, 20:22
27 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Crockpots and Hot Water (16:51)
Actual hatmana involves heat and insulation.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:5
26 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana Gufa: Insulating on Erev Shabbos (16:14)
Food cannot be left on erev shabbos wrapped up with something that will continue to add heat.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:5
24 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Amira l'Akum (16:57)
Food cooked by a non-Jew for a Jew; water heated for a Jew by a non-Jew.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:17-18
23 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Food Warmed by a Non-Jew (17:57)
...and can you ask a non-Jew to warm food? What if he already did it?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:15-16
21 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Removing the Pot from the Stove (16:24)
Psik reisha; work done by a non-Jew on shabbos; a "shabbos oven."
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:4
20 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Shogeg and Meizid (16:34)
If one violates the gezeira of hatmana, is the food permitted or forbidden?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:3
19 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Food on an Open Flame (13:07)
Three different categories of foods can be left on an open flame going into Shabbos.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:3
16 Iyar 5770 listen Hatmana: Lest We Stoke the Coals (10:52)
One of the main halachic aspects of leaving food to be warm on shabbos is the concern that we will stoke the coals.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:2-3
15 Iyar 5770 listen Introduction to Hatmana (17:34)
Malachos that can be started prior to shabbos.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 2:1
14 Iyar 5770 listen Physical Expressions of Kedusha (16:16)
Rising on our toes and other expressions of kedusha.
Sources: OC 125:2; MB 125:8-9
13 Iyar 5770 listen Spiritual Expressions of Kedusha (16:37)
We express our imitation of the spiritual world in reciting kedusha via our thoughts, words, and actions.
Sources: OC 125:2; MB 125:4-7; Sha'arei Teshuva 125:1
12 Iyar 5770 listen Responding to the Kedusha with the Minyan (16:23)
It is important to respond to kedusha concurrently with the community.
Sources: OC 125:1; MB 125:2-4
9 Iyar 5770 listen Introduction to Kedusha (16:01)
Does the community introduce kedusha, or only the shatz? Also: Custom and halacha.
Sources: OC 125:1; MB 125:1-2
8 Iyar 5770 listen Keter, N'Kadesh, Na'aritzcha (15:16)
Even in the amidah, there are different "forms" of kedusha.
Sources: OC 109:3; MB 109:16-17
7 Iyar 5770 listen "Various Kedushas" (8:49)
Keduaha d'Sidra, Kedushas Yotzer, and "the" kedusha.
Sources: OC 109:3; MB 109:15
6 Iyar 5770 listen Word for Word with the Shatz: Shacharit vs. Mincha (17:12)
Whether to daven word for word with the shatz or to wait depends on a number of factors -- among them, differences between shacharit and mincha.
Sources: OC 109:2; MB 109:14; Beur Halacha d.h. "Aval L'Chatchila"
5 Iyar 5770 listen Davening Word for Word with the Shatz (16:53)
Saying kedushah with the shatz.
Sources: OC 109:2; MB 109:11-13
1 Iyar 5770 listen Saying Modim with the Community (16:02)
Also: maintaining good kavanah in the amidah.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:7-10
30 Nissan 5770 listen What if you already heard Kaddish, Kedushah, etc.? (15:28)
Also: Barchu, HaKel HaKadosh, and Shomea Tefilla.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:5
29 Nissan 5770 listen Timing Your Tefilla with the Shatz (15:55)
When deciding to begin your own amidah or wait for kedusha or some such, you need to estimate how much time you have based on the shatz.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:6-7
28 Nissan 5770 listen Responding to the Chazan vs. Starting to Daven (15:49)
Priorities in davening with the community vs. answering "Amen" to the communal prayers.
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:3-4
25 Nissan 5770 listen The Hierarchy of Prayer Responses (18:48)
Yehei Shmei; kedusha; amen...
Sources: Beur Halacha 109 d.h. "L'kdusha o l'kadish
24 Nissan 5770 listen Arriving at Shul Just Before the Amidah (16:34)
I come into shul and find the community about to start the amidah... what do I do?
Sources: OC 109:1; MB 109:1-3
23 Nissan 5770 listen Speaking to G-d: Paying Attention to What We Say (15:00)
We should speak to G-d as we want Him to speak to us.
Sources: OC 5; MB 5:1-3
11 Nissan 5770 listen Drinking Wine at the Seder (16:08)
When drinking wine for the four cups, how much wine do I drink?
Sources: OC 271:11; MB 271:68
10 Nissan 5770 listen Biblical Measurements and Conversion Factors (17:39)
Se'ah, log, kov, revi'it, fingers, cubits, mikvehs, and more.
Sources: Chatam Sofer OC 1:127; Yoma 108b
8 Nissan 5770 listen Fingers, Cubits, Eggs, and Revi'it (17:56)
The measure of a revi'it according to Rav Moshe
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:126
7 Nissan 5770 listen Just how much wine in a revi'it? (16:10)
On Pesach, each cup is a revi'it of wine. How much wine is that?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:126
4 Nissan 5770 listen Chometz Acquired by a Non-Jew at the Behest of a Jew (16:51)
What if a non-Jew acquires chometz in order to give or sell it to me after Pesach?
Sources: OC 448:4; MB 448:22-24
3 Nissan 5770 listen Accidental Acquisition of Chometz During Pesach (15:06)
A non-Jew drops off chometz at a Jew's house during Pesach...
Sources: Har Tzvi OC 2:43
1 Nissan 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Destroying Another Jew's Chometz (12:51)
If another Jew's chometz is still in my possession, I must destroy it just as I destroy my own.
Sources: OC 443:2-3; MB 443:13-15
29 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Chometz as Collateral (9:29)
The 5th hour is approaching and I am holding chometz as collateral for a loan. What do I do?
Sources: MB 443:12
26 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Another Jew's Chometz (17:00)
The 5th hour is coming, and you have another Jew's chometz in your home. What do you do?
Sources: OC 443:2; MB 443:11-12
25 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Halachic Hours (15:30)
How we calculate halachic hours has implications for the times of various chometz prohibitions.
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:8-10
24 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Benefitting from Chometz (14:42)
What is the din of chometz sold during the sixth hour? After the sixth hour?
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:6-7
23 Adar 5770 listen Erev Pesach: Various Chometz Prohibitions (17:17)
The prohibitions of chometz increase in severity as we progress through the 14th of Nissan.
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:2-5
22 Adar 5770 listen Chometz and the 14th of Nissan (16:19)
On the 14th of Nissan -- Erev Pesach -- we must eliminate all chometz. But when? D'oraita or d'rabbanan?
Sources: OC 443:1; MB 443:1
16 Adar 5770 listen Children, Mice, and Chometz (18:22)
Both children and mice might bring chometz into a previously checked room -- but the halacha differs depending on the facts.
Sources: OC 438:1; MB 438:3-7
15 Adar 5770 listen Bringing Chometz into a Previously Checked Room (13:51)
What happens if chometz is brought into a room that you've already checked and cleared of chometz?
Sources: OC 438:1; MB 438:1-2
11 Adar 5770 listen Aspects of Al HaNissim; Purim on Saturday Night (13:13)
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 682:1; OC 693:1; MB 693:1
10 Adar 5770 listen What if you forget Al HaNissim? (13:39)
What to do if you forget al hanissim in either the amidah or in birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 682:1; MB 682:1-5
9 Adar 5770 listen Birkat HaMazon on "Motzei Purim" (15:06)
If your Seudat Purim stretches into nighttime, do you still say al hanissim?
Sources: MB 188:33; Baer Heitev 188:8
8 Adar 5770 listen Birkat HaMazon on Motzei Shabbos when Sunday is Purim (16:30)
When Sunday is Rosh Chodesh, we say both retzei and ya'aleh v'yavo in birkat hamazon as shabbos ends. What about when Sunday is Purim?
Sources: OC 187:4; OC 188:10; MB 188:33
5 Adar 5770 listen A Bris on Taanit Esther when Purim is on Sunday (10:06)
If Taanit Esther is pushed back from shabbos to Thursday, does a bris override the fast?
Sources: OC 686:2; MB 686:7
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.
17 Shevat 5770 listen Bishul: Washing Dishes and Warming (16:23)
When washing dishes, one must be careful not to cook.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:19-20
7 Shevat 5770 listen Bishul: Warming and Insulating (18:48)
Warming food; returning food to or placing food into an insulated place.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:14
6 Shevat 5770 listen Bishul: Returning or Warming Food Near the Oven (8:29)
Returning food or warming food near the oven may or may not require a blech, depending on the exact circumstances.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:13
5 Shevat 5770 listen Bishul: Blech (15:00)
Using a blech on top or inside of an oven.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:12
4 Shevat 5770 listen Bishul: One Pot on Top of Another (17:58)
Making a blech on shabbos; placing one pot on top of another.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:11
29 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Warming Water (10:51)
Can water be placed near the stove to warm up?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:11
26 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Roasting after Cooking (17:58)
While there is no "cooking after cooking," there is "roasting after cooking," "cooking after baking," etc.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:10
21 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Mixing and Serving (15:30)
Can you mix a pot on shabbos? What about serving from the pot?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:9
19 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Tea, Ladles, Dissolving, and Melting (2) (16:59)
Is dissolving or melting considered to be "cooking"?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:7
18 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul Tea, Ladles, Melting, and Dissolving (16:22)
Applications of kli sheini: making tea; using a ladle. Introduction to melting and dissolving.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:7
13 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Cooking in Hot Soup (14:57)
Soaking cooked foods in hot water; pouring hot water on cooked foods.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:6
12 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: A Secondary Vessel (2) (15:50)
Secondary vessels and solid items.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:4-5
11 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: A Secondary Vessel (1) (15:12)
Cooking in a secondary vessel.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:4
7 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Pouring from a Primary Vessel (2) (14:41)
The details of pouring from a primary vessel.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:3
5 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Cooking in a Primary Vessel; Pouring from a Primary Vessel (1) (15:05)
Pouring from a cooking vessel isn't quite cooking, but...
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:3
4 Tevet 5770 listen Bishul: Cooking from Secondary Heat Sources (14:38)
Cooking on shabbos with toldot ha-or -- secondary heat sources -- is a d'oraita prohibition.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:2
30 Kislev 5770 listen When there are two Shabbatot During Chanukah (6:44)
The haftarah for the second shabbos, the maftir, and more.
Sources: OC 684:1-3
29 Kislev 5770 listen Where should a student in a dorm light Chanukah candles? (13:39)
Living in a dorm means that you don't have your own space -- so where do you light to best fulfill the mitzvah of ner Chanukah?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:70c
28 Kislev 5770 listen Understanding Al HaNissim (13:29)
Insights into the Al HaNissim prayer for Chanukah.
24 Kislev 5770 listen She-Asah Nissim for the Time of Chanukah (16:27)
Various topics in aspects of the Chanukah blessings.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
23 Kislev 5770 listen Perhaps we should make a Shehechiyanu for the day of Chanukah itself? (14:45)
Reasons to make a shehechiyanu.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
21 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: Shehechiyanu (14:52)
Do we make a shehechiyanu bracha on the day of Chanukah itself or just on the mitzvah of lighting the candles?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 5:20b
20 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: The Money Saved by Lighting with Forbidden Oil (14:04)
If forbidden oil is used to light the Chanukah candles, we save money in that we need not buy oil. Is this considered to be benefiting from the forbidden oil?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:191
17 Kislev 5770 listen Chanukah: "Recooking" Milk and Meat in Chanukah Oil (14:43)
Is there "recooking" in burning a cooked milk and meat mixture?
Sources: Pitchei Teshuva YD 87:4; Pri Megadim Ashel Avraham OC 673:1
16 Kislev 5770 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles with Forbidden Oil (2) (13:30)
Is the light from burning forbidden oil permitted for use or forbidden?
Sources: Baer Heitev 673:1; MB 687:2; Pitchei Teshuva YD 87:4
15 Kislev 5770 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles with Forbidden Oil (12:53)
What fuels (and wicks) can be used to light the Chanukah candles?
Sources: OC 673:1; Baer Heitev 673:1; YD 87:1
14 Kislev 5770 listen Bishul: Recooking (14:17)
If a food is already fully cooked, does placing it on the heat constitute cooking? Or in other words, is there a malacha involved in "recooking"? (Bishul Achar Bishul)
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:8
13 Kislev 5770 listen Bishul: Introduction to Cooking (12:41)
The source and principle of the malacha of .
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 20:1
7 Kislev 5770 listen Can a Torah Jew celebrate Thanksgiving? (14:41)
Is American Thanksgiving appropriate or inappropriate for a Torah Jew?
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 4:11(d)
6 Kislev 5770 listen Tallis and Tefillin after Yishtabach (3); Yishtabach: Conclusion (17:08)
Summary and conclusion of yishtabach and related halachot.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:13-14
3 Kislev 5770 listen Tallis and Tefillin after Yishtabach (2) (14:57)
Putting on tallis and tefillin after yishtabach (cont.).
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:12-13
2 Kislev 5770 listen More on Kaddish; Tefillin after Yishtabach (1) (13:56)
Speaking of Kaddish, the Mishna Brura discusses when we can say Kaddish in general. Also: putting on tallis and tefillin after yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:10-11
1 Kislev 5770 listen Mitzvot and Kaddish after Yishtabach (15:40)
Between yishtabach and kaddish, it is permitted to interrupt for the sake of a mitzvah or for the needs of the community.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:6-9
30 Cheshvan 5770 listen Tefillin on Rosh Chodesh (13:07)
When are tefillin removed for Rosh Chodesh Musaf?
Sources: OC 423:3-4; MB 423:5,7,10
29 Cheshvan 5770 listen Interrupting between Yishtabach and Yotzer Or (16:49)
Talking between yishtabach and yotzer or impedes successful prayer.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:4-5
25 Cheshvan 5770 listen The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach (2) (16:58)
Insights into the understanding of yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:3
24 Cheshvan 5770 listen The Closing Blessing of Yishtabach (16:38)
Answering "Amen" to yishtabach.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:2-3
23 Cheshvan 5770 listen Introduction to Yishtabach (14:14)
Sources: OC 54:1; MB 54:1
22 Cheshvan 5770 listen Stepping in to Daven (17:28)
We both literally and figuratively step into an appropriate place to daven.
Sources: OC 93:2-4; MB 93:4-8; OC 92:10; MB 92:31
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Sarah bat Shalom on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
19 Cheshvan 5770 listen Preparing to Daven (16:47)
Before prayer, we must prepare ourselves psychologically for the awesome task at hand.
Sources: OC 93:1; MB 93:1-2; OC 90:20; MB 90:61:62
18 Cheshvan 5770 listen Kavanah: Birkat HaMazon Can be Said in Any Language (15:59)
Ideas in kavanah; introduction to kavanah for birkat hamazon.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
17 Cheshvan 5770 listen Focus and Interruptions During Prayer (15:54)
Don't assume that the rabbi is doing what you think he is doing...
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
16 Cheshvan 5770 listen Individual vs. Communal Mistakes (18:19)
There is a difference between an individual who mistakenly thinks something forbidden is permissible and a community who does so.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
15 Cheshvan 5770 listen Prayer or Abomination? (15:15)
There are appropriate places to add personal prayers; deviating from the set tefillah for one's own purposes, says Rav Moshe, is an abomination.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
12 Cheshvan 5770 listen Demonstrating Kavanah in Our Actions (15:20)
In interrupting our davening, we thereby demonstrate that we do not want to daven according to Chazal's tefilla.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
9 Cheshvan 5770 listen Speaking out Kavanah (15:21)
Can you state your kavanah aloud during prayers to help gain focus?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 3:8
8 Cheshvan 5770 listen Blended Whiskey Revisited: 1961 (14:57)
Rav Moshe revisted the question of American blended whiskey in 1961.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 3:15
5 Cheshvan 5770 listen Ain L'Dayan ele Mah She-Ainav Ro'ot (15:42)
How do we best learn to apply halacha?
4 Cheshvan 5770 listen Blended Whiskey and the Stringencies of a Baal Nefesh (17:22)
After telling us why blended whiskey is permissible, Rav Moshe explains why he is strict with himself.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
3 Cheshvan 5770 listen Glycerin (17:19)
Another potential issue with blended whiskeys is the addition of glycerin.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
2 Cheshvan 5770 listen Ain Mevatlin Issur l'Chatchila (16:41)
One cannot intentionally add a non-kosher food to a kosher food in order to annul the non-kosher food in a larger quantity.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
1 Cheshvan 5770 listen Can forbidden wine be annulled in a mixture? (14:17)
The annulment of wine as one part in six.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Shneur Zalman ben Shlomo on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
28 Tishrei 5770 listen Kashrus Issues with Blended Whiskey (17:10)
A more detailed look at the kashrus issues with blended whiskey.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
27 Tishrei 5770 listen Blended Whiskey: Introduction (13:57)
An introduction to the kashrus issues involved in blended whiskey.
Sources: Igros Moshe YD 1:62
26 Tishrei 5770 listen Can a seeing eye dog be brought into synagogue? (3) (15:09)
Part 3: The dancing dog... Also: a brief discussion of the philosophy of psak halacha.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:45
25 Tishrei 5770 listen Can a seeing eye dog be brought into synagogue? (2) (14:06)
Part 2: the halachic parameters that may permit bringing a seeing eye dog into shul.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:45
24 Tishrei 5770 listen Can a seeing eye dog be brought into synagogue? (1) (15:03)
It is inappropriate to bring a pet into shul. What about a seeing eye dog?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:45
14 Tishrei 5770 listen Shaving and Hair Cuts on Chol HaMoed (15:51)
It is a mitzvah to shave and groom prior to a holiday and thus we are prohibited from doing so on Chol HaMoed.
Sources: OC 631:1-2; MB 630:1-4; Shaar HaTziun 631:1; Beur Halacha d.h. "Ein Megalchim"
13 Tishrei 5770 listen What is Chol HaMoed all about? (12:20)
Chol HaMoed is neither weekday nor holiday. So what is it?
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:2
12 Tishrei 5770 listen Malachah on Chol HaMoed: D'Oraita or D'Rabbanan? (14:51)
Is malachah on Chol HaMoed prohibitted by the Written or Oral Torah?
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:1
11 Tishrei 5770 listen Introduction to Chol HaMoed (13:28)
Chol HaMoed has its own particular restrictions on malachah -- it is neither a weekday nor festival.
Sources: OC 630:1; MB 630:1
7 Tishrei 5770 listen Customs of Yom Kippur (18:16)
On Yom Kippur, we set a beautiful table and dress like angels.
Sources: OC 610:4; MB 610:7-18; Baer Heitev 610:1,3
5 Tishrei 5770 listen Lighting Candles for Yom Kippur (10:37)
The mitzvah of lighting candles for Yom Kippur.
Sources: OC 610:1-3; MB 610:1-8
4 Tishrei 5770 listen Treating Sickness on a Public Fast Day (8:44)
What do you do if you need to take medicine on a public fast day?
Sources: OC 328:2,9, 618:1
3 Tishrei 5770 listen Surviving Selichos (2:26)
Some thoughts about overcoming the challenging difficulties of our daily selichos during the ten days.
28 Elul 5769 listen The Shofar of the Resurrection (7:09)
The shofar that will restore the dead to life.
Sources: The Prayers of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai
27 Elul 5769 listen Sound the Great Shofar! (10:18)
The shofar that will herald the coming of Messiah.
Sources: The Prayers of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai
26 Elul 5769 listen Celebrating the Day of Judgement (9:51)
If Rosh HaShannah is a day of judgement, how is it that we are festive and joyous when facing such an awesome event?
Sources: Tur OC 581
25 Elul 5769 listen Pleading Before the King of Kings (5:26)
Selichos are all about pleading our case before Hashem.
Sources: Tur OC 581
22 Elul 5769 listen The Historical Events of Elul (15:14)
Why is the month of Elul a time of selichos and shofar?
Sources: Tur OC 581
21 Elul 5769 listen Instilling Love of Hashem in Your Heart (16:17)
Ultimately, teshuva is about loving Hashem. How do we achieve such love?
20 Elul 5769 listen Learning Torah and Bringing Others Closer to Hashem (15:32)
We can learn Torah with awesome fear or with love. What difference does it make?
19 Elul 5769 listen Serving Hashem with Love (15:57)
What does it mean to serve Hashem with love?
15 Elul 5769 listen Serving Hashem with Awe (12:38)
What does it mean to serve Hashem with awe?
14 Elul 5769 listen The Essense of Messianic Times (14:24)
According to Maimonides, the Messianic Time is not the World to Come. So what is it? Why do we long for it so?
13 Elul 5769 listen The Rewards of Mitzvah Observance in This World (15:15)
Hashem gives us goodness and calamity in this world, but that is neither a spiritual reward nor punishment.
12 Elul 5769 listen The World to Come and the Days of the Messiah (15:40)
The Rambam's understanding of "This World", "The Next World", "The World to Come", "The Days of the Messiah", and the time of the ressurection of the dead.
11 Elul 5769 listen The Pleasures of This World; The Pleasures of the Next World (16:17)
There is no "currency" in This World that could be used to value the pleasure of the Next World.
1 Elul 5769 listen Metaphors for the Next World (9:40)
Chazal speak of the Next World in many different metaphors: the Mountain of G-d, a feast, His Holy Place...
30 Av 5769 listen What does the soul bring to the Next World? (14:18)
After death, the soul carries its acquisitions of This World into the Next World. What does the soul actually acquire, and how?
29 Av 5769 listen The Truth of the Next World; The Metaphor of This World (15:09)
We talk about experiences like "sitting before Hashem" in the next world; what does that mean!?
27 Av 5769 listen What is Olam HaBa? (12:44)
In the eighth chapter of Hilchot Teshuva, the Rambam introduces us to Olam HaBa, the reward for the righteous, and the suffering of the wicked.
24 Av 5769 listen Bamboo Mats for Schach (16:56)
Whether or not bamboo mats can be used as schach is already discussed in the Mishnah.
Sources: Sukkah 1:11
23 Av 5769 listen The Sukkah Roof: Kosher Schach (15:08)
The general principles involved in the halachot governing schach.
Sources: Sukkah 1:4
22 Av 5769 listen Coverings on the Sukkah (12:09)
One who sits under a covering that is either over or under the s'chach does not fulfill the mitzvah of sukkah.
Sources: Sukkah 1:3
21 Av 5769 listen The Location of the Sukkah (16:11)
A sukkah is not kosher unless it is under the open sky.
Sources: Sukkah 1:2
17 Av 5769 listen The Size Limitations on a Sukkah (12:54)
The minimum and maximum height of a sukkah, and the minimum area.
Sources: Sukkah 1:1
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?
8 Av 5769 listen Tisha B'Av that Falls on Thursday (17:16)
A review of mourning customs on Tisha B'Av, and the special leniencies of lifting mourning to prepare for Shabbos when Tisha B'Av falls on Thursday.
Sources: OC 558:1; MB 558:1-3
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 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 Sivan 5769 listen VaY'chulu on Yom Tov Erev Shabbos (17:05)
Do we say VaY'chulu on Yom Tov Erev Shabbos? When and why?
Sources: OC 268:1,7,9,11; MB 268:1,18-19,23
4 Sivan 5769 listen Shavuot: Offering the Bikkurim (14:12)
The first fruits were brought to and offered at the Temple with much joy and celebration.
3 Sivan 5769 listen Shavuot: The Bringing of Bikkurim (2) (16:20)
First fruits were brought to Jerusalem in a joyous procession.
Sources: Bikurim 1:1-4
28 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: The Bringing of Bikkurim (17:09)
In addition to the two Shavuot loaves, the bringing of first fruits commenced on Shavuot.
Sources: Ex. 23:19; Num. 18:13; Deu. 26:1-11; Sefer HaChinuch 606
27 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: Shtei HaLechem and Related Korbanot (17:16)
From the breads of Shavuot, we learn important lessons about how we should view the role of work and income in our lives.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 307
26 Iyar 5769 listen Shavuot: Shtei HaLechem (15:09)
An introduction to the "new meal offering" brought on Shavuot.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 307
25 Iyar 5769 listen Losh: Halacha l'Ma'aseh (17:24)
Practical applications of kneading on shabbos: baby foods and bottles, tuna and egg salad, sandboxes, guacamole, cholent, and more.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 19:5-6
21 Iyar 5769 listen Losh: Mixing Instant Cereal (16:53)
All kinds of mixing falls under the malacha of losh.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 19:3-4
L'ilui nishmat Zissel Devorah bas Avraham Abish on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
17 Iyar 5769 listen Losh: Mixing Mustard and Horseradish (15:04)
Kneading includes mixing a thick paste.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 19:2
14 Iyar 5769 listen The Parameters of Kneading (15:52)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: when is one chayav for kneading?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 19:1
13 Iyar 5769 listen Introduction to Kneading (Losh) (14:57)
The Av Malacha and principles of losh (kneading).
Sources: Shabb. 18a
12 Iyar 5769 listen What is a medical emergency? (2) (14:51)
Situations that may involve danger to life or that don't yet involve danger to life are also considered medical emergencies for shabbos purposes.
Sources: Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchosa 32:11:10-15, 32:12-17
11 Iyar 5769 listen What is a medical emergency? (1) (16:49)
The halachic definition of a "medical emergency" are broader than we might expect.
Sources: Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchosa 32:11:1-9
10 Iyar 5769 listen Medical Emergencies: Respected Rabbis Should be First to Violate Shabbos (17:44)
When an emergency exists, the most learned scholars should be first in line to tend to it -- in order to emphasize the importance of pikuach nefesh over shabbos and the value of life.
Sources: OC 328:11; MB 328:34-35
7 Iyar 5769 listen Alacrity in Responding to a Medical Emergency (15:44)
When it comes to life-threatening illness, we act quickly until all doubt is resolved.
Sources: OC 328:10,15; MB 328:25-28,40-42; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Yeish Schar Harbeh"
6 Iyar 5769 listen Differentiating Emergencies from Non-Emergencies (11:12)
Treatment before and after determining the nature of the emergency.
Sources: OC 328:4; MB 328:15-16
5 Iyar 5769 listen Emergency and Non-Emergency Treatment (15:21)
In emergencies, we don't hesitate to break shabbos; non-emergency treatment, however, is in a different category.
Sources: OC 328:4; MB 328:13-14
30 Nissan 5769 listen Foolish Piety in a Medical Emergency (14:38)
In a medical emergency, only a fool stops to ask questions about violating shabbos.
Sources: OC 328:2; MB 328:6
29 Nissan 5769 listen Medical Situations on Shabbos - Introduction (12:18)
An introduction to handling medical conditions and health issues on Shabbos.
Sources: OC 328:2; MB 328:4-5
28 Nissan 5769 listen Haircuts for Rosh Chodesh Iyar Shabbos (3:12)
A special situation: when Rosh Chodesh Iyar falls on Shabbos, some poskim allow a haircut in honor of the combined Rosh Chodesh Shabbat.
Sources: OC 493:2; MB 493:5
27 Nissan 5769 listen Rosh Chodesh that Falls on Shabbos (14:10)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos, we have a special haftarah and a special musaf.
Sources: OC 425:1,3; MB 425:1-2,14-15
26 Nissan 5769 listen The Offering of the Omer (10:54)
A look at the omer as brought at the Beis HaMikdash.
Sources: Menachot 10
23 Nissan 5769 listen The Preparation of the Omer Offering (15:42)
A look at the omer offering as brought at the Beis HaMikdash.
Sources: Menachot 10
13 Nissan 5769 listen The Nusach for Birkas HaChama (15:45)
When we say Birkas HaChama, we include passages to accompany the blessing itself.
12 Nissan 5769 listen Birkas HaChama: Halachic Summary (12:46)
Times, cloudy days, women and children, and other issues.
9 Nissan 5769 listen Birkat HaChama: Summary Overview (13:33)
Review and summary of the blessing for the sun.
6 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Countertops, Tables, Cabinets, and Refridgerators (15:30)
Finishing up the kitchen. Also: kashering temperatures from the OU.
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
5 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Stovetops, Sinks, and Countertops (16:54)
Applying libun and hagala to surfaces in the kitchen.
2 Nissan 5769 listen Kashering Ovens by Libun (14:32)
Also: how to kasher other items by libun.
1 Nissan 5769 listen Rosh Chodesh Nissan; Afikomen; Kashering by Libun (14:23)
Topics for Rosh Chodesh Nissan: standing for hallel on Rosh Chodesh; sitting for hallel at the seder; eating the Afikomen; introduction to libun.
Sources: OC 422:7; MB 422:28
29 Adar 5769 listen Kashering (2) -- Hagala (cont.) (17:17)
Issues in hagala: materials, large utensils, and handles.
28 Adar 5769 listen Kashering (1) -- Hagala (15:08)
How to kasher a pot.
27 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach from a Supermarket Chain (14:36)
Buying chometz from a large chain is different from buying from a sole proprietor.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
24 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach from a Non-religious Jew (15:47)
Issues of chometz she-avar alav ha-Pesach with a sole proprietor.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
23 Adar 5769 listen Buying Chometz after Pesach (1) (5:02)
An introduction to issues of chometz she-avar alav ha-Pesach.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:96
22 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (6) (14:58)
Who is believed that they have checked for chometz? Halacha l'ma'aseh for a Pesach rental or hotel.
Sources: OC 437:4; MB 437:15-19
21 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (5) (17:05)
You rented an apartment that you assume was checked for chometz. If you find out that it wasn't, are you entitled to a discount from the landlord?
Sources: OC 437:3; MB 437:11-14
20 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (4) (14:53)
If the tenant takes possession after the time for checking for chometz, can he assume that the apartment has been checked?
Sources: OC 437:1-2; MB 437:5-10
17 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (3) (16:01)
Methods of kinyan (acquiring an apartment); the difference between a sale and a rental.
Sources: OC 437:1; MB 437:2-4
16 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (2) (13:51)
Renting an apartment for Pesach: the Talmud and Tosefot.
15 Adar 5769 listen A Pesach Apartment Rental (1) (16:14)
If you rent an apartment for Pesach, who is responsible for checking for chometz?
Sources: Pes. 4a; OC 437:1; MB 437:1-2
13 Adar 5769 listen Blotting out Haman's Name (2) (8:22)
It's best not to verbally blot out Haman's name.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 1:192
10 Adar 5769 listen Blotting out Haman's Name (1) (17:37)
Even when we blot out Haman's name during megilla reading, we still have to hear the megilla.
Sources: OC 690:17; MB 690:59-60; Shar HaTziun 690:57; Baer Heitev 690:14; Igros Moshe OC 1:192
9 Adar 5769 listen Interruptions in the Reading of the Megilla (2) (12:37)
An overview of the halachot of interruptions in kriat shema helps us better understand the halachot of interruptions in the reading of the megilla.
Sources: OC 65:1, 690:17; MB 65:1
7 Adar 5769 listen Parshat Zachor (15:45)
The reading of Parshat Zachor.
Sources: OC 685:2,7; MB 685:6-8,14-16
2 Adar 5769 listen Interruptions in the Reading of the Megilla (1) (15:24)
If you pause during or interrupt the reading of the Megilla, do you need to start over? NOTE: there are mistakes in this shiur that will be corrected in part 2!
Sources: Mishna Megilla 2:1-2; OC 690:5; MB 690:17-19
30 Shevat 5769 listen Reading from a Non-Kosher Megilla (11:44)
If you have a pasul Megillat Ester, make sure not to read aloud with the ba'al koreh
Sources: OC 690:4; MB 690:13-16
29 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla Over a Microphone (2) (13:57)
Rav Moshe's psak on microphone use with regard to megilla.
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:126
26 Shevat 5769 listen The Mitzvah of Mechatzit HaShekel (18:34)
Shabbat Shekalim is in honor of the mechatzit hashekel. What is that mitzvah about?
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Sefer HaChinuch 108
25 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla Over a Microphone (1) (15:45)
If you hear the megilla read over a microphone, have you fulfilled your obligation?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:108
24 Shevat 5769 listen Reading Megilla from an Incomplete Scroll (14:16)
If the megilla is missing letters, words, or entire verses, can it be used?
Sources: OC 690:3; MB 690:6-12
23 Shevat 5769 listen Reading the Megilla in Public (15:03)
Introduction to the halachot surrounding the public megilla reading.
Sources: OC 690:1-3; MB 690:1-5
19 Shevat 5769 listen Sadness on Purim: Fasting and Eulogies (11:21)
Fasting on Purim is forbidden, and mourning only be observed in private.
Sources: OC 686:1, 695:2, 696:3; MB 695:6, 696:8-9
18 Shevat 5769 listen Drinking at the Purim Seudah (14:48)
Be careful not to drink too much at the Purim meal.
Sources: Meg. 7b; OC 695:1-2; MB 698:4
17 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon in an Inapropriate Place (15:23)
If you said birkat hamazon and then realized there was filth nearby, do you need to go back and say birkat hamazon again?
Sources: OC 185:5; MB 185:5,7
16 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon after a Little Wine (14:42)
It's normal to drink wine as part of the meal. Can you say birkat hamazon if you are a little tipsy?
Sources: OC 185:4-5; MB 185:4,6,8
12 Shevat 5769 listen Speaking the Words of Birkat HaMazon (15:17)
Like the amidah and the shema, we speak the words of birkat hamazon loud enough to hear them.
Sources: OC 185:2-3; MB 185:2-3
11 Shevat 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaMazon in Hebrew and Other Languages (13:06)
The importance of understanding birkat hamazon and the importance of kavanah.
Sources: OC 185:1; MB 185:1
9 Shevat 5769 listen Spiritual Preparation for a Mitzvah (6:46)
Never dive into a mitzvah without preparing yourself properly first
Sources: Ch"A 68:25
8 Shevat 5769 listen Precursers to a Mitzvah (11:32)
When performing a mitzvah, make sure to include all aspects of the mitzvah -- especially "prerequisites" to the mitzvah itself.
Sources: Ch"A 68:24
5 Shevat 5769 listen Knowing Where You Are in the Shema (13:05)
What to do if you lose your place during kriyat shema.
Sources: OC 64:4; MB 64:9-12
4 Shevat 5769 listen Confusing the Paragraphs of Kriyat Shema (15:12)
Where do you go back to if you get confused between the paragraphs?
Sources: OC 64:2-3; MB 64:6-8
3 Shevat 5769 listen Errors in Reading the Shema (13:18)
If you miss a verse or word when reciting the shema, go back and repeat. Also: the various mitzvot fulfilled by the recitation of shema.
Sources: OC 64:1; MB 64:4-5
2 Shevat 5769 listen Reciting Shema Out of Order (15:08)
What if you recite the paragraphs of shema out of order?
Sources: OC 64:1; MB 64:1-3
1 Shevat 5769 listen Various Halachot of Hallel (7:32)
20 Tevet 5769 listen When is sickness a danger? Also: Danger that Isn't One of "The Four" (21:27)
Do all illnesses require birkat hagomel?
Sources: OC 219:8-9; MB 219:24-32; Yechave Da'at 4:14
19 Tevet 5769 listen Birkat HaGomel: Travel by Plane, Ship, and Car (15:05)
Modern travel: is birkat hagomel required? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: Yechave Da'at 2:26; Igros Moshe OC 2:59
18 Tevet 5769 listen What is "Danger?" (15:58)
What if you crossed the desert but experienced no danger? NOTE: The first 10 seconds of this audio are very poor quality.
Sources: OC 219:7; MB 219:3,21-23,31; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yordei Yam"
17 Tevet 5769 listen Fulfilling Your Obligation with Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel (16:56)
If two people have an obligation to say birkat hagomel, one can say it for both of them.
Sources: OC 219:5-6; MB 219:18-19,8
16 Tevet 5769 listen Saying Birkat HaGomel for Someone Else (16:18)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: do we say birkat hagomel for others today?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:16-17; Yechave Da'at 2:25
13 Tevet 5769 listen How can someone else say Birkat HaGomel for you? (16:17)
How is it that someone else can say a bracha for which they are not obligated, and how can doing so fulfill your obligation!?
Sources: OC 219:4; MB 219:12-15
12 Tevet 5769 listen Answering "Amen" to Someone Else's Birkat HaGomel (11:23)
Oddly enough, if someone else makes a bracha over your miracle and you answer "Amen", you have fulfilled your obligation.
Sources: Brachot 54b; OC 219:4; MB 219:10-11
11 Tevet 5769 listen Minyan, Standing, and Answering Birkat HaGomel (13:52)
Is a minyan required for birkat hagomel? Can it be said seated? What if you say the brachah and no one answers?
Sources: OC 219:2-3; MB 219:5-9
10 Tevet 5769 listen Selichos for the 10th of Tevet (9:35)
Selichos for Asara b'Tevet focus on three tragedies that occured during the month.
Sources: II Kings 25
9 Tevet 5769 listen The Loss of Yerushalayim (15:11)
A brief history of the events that brought about the first downfall of Yerushalayim. What caused the Jewish people to lose the Holy City, and what can we learn from those events about what is taking place in Eretz Yisroel today?
Sources: 2 Kings 16-24
In memory of Tamar Rivkah bas Sheur Zalman on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
6 Tevet 5769 listen When has danger passed? (21:41)
At what point do we say that one travelling by sea is no longer in danger?
Sources: OC 219:1-2; MB 219:1-4; BY OC 219; Gen. 18:23; Onkoles, ad loc.
4 Tevet 5769 listen Giving Thanks According to the Rambam (16:46)
Understanding the Talmud -- the Rambam's explanation of the Gamara provides insights into and has implications regarding the halacha of birkat hagomel.
3 Tevet 5769 listen Four Experiences Require a Todah (16:14)
There are four situations that require a Jew to bring a Todah offering.
2 Tevet 5769 listen Learning from Chanukah Candles to Torah Reading (14:11)
We can put aside wax Chanukah candles to light olive oil instead. Can we put aside one sefer Torah to read from another?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 2:37
29 Kislev 5769 listen Where should we light the Chanukah candles in our times? (20:00)
Most of us don't light outside today. Where should we light?
Sources: Igros Moshe OC 4:125; Shar HaTziun 671:42
27 Kislev 5769 listen Why is Chanukah Eight Days? (9:24)
If one day's supply of oil burned for eight days, then there were only seven miraculous days -- the first day's supply was what was found. So why eight days of Chanukah instead of seven?
Sources: BY OC 470:1
25 Kislev 5769 listen Chanukah: Purity and Impurity (10:27)
What does it mean when we say in the Chanukah: story that "there was only one jug of 'pure' oil?
Sources: BY OC 470:1
21 Kislev 5769 listen Mixtures and Compounds, Spices, and Medicines (14:43)
Does a medicine require a bracha?
Sources: OC 203:5-7; MB 203:6-7,10-13
20 Kislev 5769 listen Ginger and Roots (14:50)
What is the bracha for roots from a tree?
Sources: OC 203:6, 202:18; MB 203:8-9, 202:82
19 Kislev 5769 listen Radishes and Root Vegetables (4:23)
Root vegetables are either pri ha-adama or she-hakol.
Sources: OC 203:8; MB 203:14
18 Kislev 5769 listen Wild Berry Trees (7:14)
Crab apples and crab pears; wild berries on trees and bushes; lousy fruits.
Sources: OC 203:4; MB 203:5
15 Kislev 5769 listen Ascending in Holiness (21:54)
What do we do with worn out items that have inherent kedushah (holiness) or that have been used for a mitzvah?
Sources: Ch"A 68:21
14 Kislev 5769 listen Trees and Plants (2) (14:43)
More on the difference between a tree and a plant.
Sources: OC 203:2; MB 203:2,5
13 Kislev 5769 listen Trees and Plants (1) (14:54)
A first look at the difference between a tree and a plant.
Sources: OC 208:2-3,5; MB 203:1,4,6-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "Eilonei Srak"
12 Kislev 5769 listen Brachot for Fruits that Grow in the Ground (15:28)
Introduction to the bracha borei pri ha-adamah.
Sources: OC 208:1-2; MB 203:1
11 Kislev 5769 listen Understanding "Rebbi Chananya ben Akashya" (9:44)
Every day after learning, we recite the mishnah "Rebbi Chananya ben Akashya." What does it mean?
8 Kislev 5769 listen Mincha: The Importance of Minyan Attendance (16:55)
A minyan is so important to prayer that we should willingly give up a profit to daven with a minyan.
Sources: OC 90:9; MB 90:29
7 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (2) (16:45)
Understanding Shmuel's calendar.
Sources: BY OC 117:1
6 Kislev 5769 listen When is Tekufat Tishrei? (1) (14:57)
Why do we start praying for rain based on a secular date?
Sources: Taanit 9a; BY OC 117:1
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
1 Kislev 5769 listen Mistakes During Hallel (6:36)
If you skip a pasuk or perek during Hallel, do you need to go back and correct your mistake? If so, how?
Sources: OC 422:6; MB 422:26-27
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
23 Cheshvan 5769 listen Brachos Over Wonders of the World (17:19)
Brachos upon seeing wondrous mountains, rivers, oceans, and deserts.
Sources: OC 238:1; MB 238:1-4
22 Cheshvan 5769 listen Hearing Thunder when You Can't Make the Brachah (15:16)
If you are in a place (like a bathroom) where you can't make the brachah on thunder (or anything else), do you lose the brachah, or is there an option to make it later?
Sources: OC 237:3; MB 237:9-12
21 Cheshvan 5769 listen A "Dead Mitzvah" (12:47)
If you find a mitzvah that no one is observing, pursue that mitzvah with alacrity.
Sources: Ch"A 68:21
20 Cheshvan 5769 listen Brachos on Lightning and Thunder (15:32)
During a thunder storm, how many times can you make a brachah?
Sources: Brachot 9:2; OC 237:1-2; MB 237:5-8
19 Cheshvan 5769 listen Comets, Meteors, Thunder, Lightening, and Storm Winds (14:48)
Awesome (in the literal sense) natural events inspire brachos.
Sources: Brachot 9:2; OC 237:1; MB 237:1-4
16 Cheshvan 5769 listen The Blessing Over a Rainbow (14:31)
The sight of a rainbow reminds us of Hashem's covenant with Noah and as such merits a special blessing.
Sources: OC 239:1; MB 239:1-5; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaRoeh..."
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
15 Cheshvan 5769 listen Birkat HaChama: Understanding the Calendar (16:19)
If our Hebrew calendar is based on Rav Adda's calculations, why is birkat ha-chama based on Mar Shmuel's calculations? Also, why don't we say shehechiyanu when we say birkat ha-chama?
Sources: Misat Binyamin 101
14 Cheshvan 5769 listen Birkat HaChama: What if it's a cloudy day? (15:55)
Can birkat ha-chama be made if you can't see the sun?
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 239:3
13 Cheshvan 5769 listen Birkat HaChama: Halacha l'Ma'aseh (15:28)
The ideal time to make birkat hachama is just after netz ha-chama; in practical terms, this means just after shacharit.
Sources: OC 239:2; MB 239:6-10
12 Cheshvan 5769 listen Birkat HaChama According to the Rambam (11:57)
Understanding the blessing over the sun according to the Rambam; also: the constellations and astrological signs.
9 Cheshvan 5769 listen What blessing is only said on a Wednesday? (12:34)
What blessing is said only once every 28 years?
Sources: Brachot 59a
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.
18 Tishrei 5769 listen The Splendor of Hakhel (2) (14:39)
The mitzvah of hakhel: the gathering of all of the Jewish people every seven years to listen to the king read the Torah.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 612
17 Tishrei 5769 listen The Splendor of Hakhel (1) (16:05)
The mitzvah of hakhel: the gathering of all of the Jewish people every seven years to listen to the king read the Torah.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 612
14 Tishrei 5769 listen Non-Jews and Schach; Mezuzah for a Sukkah (16:27)
If you forget to put your schach on, can a non-Jew put it on for you on Yom Tov? Also: does your sukkah need a mezuzah?
Sources: MB 626:20-21
11 Tishrei 5769 listen Trees and Roofs Overhanging the Sukkah (16:25)
A solid roof over the sukkah renders the sukkah pasul, but what about a roof that opens? Is there a way to deal with a tree?
Sources: OC 626:1-3; MB 626:1-2,18-19
9 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for Erev Yom Kippur (10:30)
On Erev Yom Kippur, selichot are brief, and other sections of shacharit are skipped as well.
8 Tishrei 5769 listen Selichot for the 4th of the 10 Days of Teshuva (14:11)
A detailed look at the structure and content of the selichot for the 4th of the 10 days of teshuva.
4 Tishrei 5769 listen The Structure of Selichot (5:50)
Understanding the structure of selichot enhances our appreciation thereof.
26 Elul 5768 listen The Secret of Selichot (10:09)
The heart of the selichot service is the recitation of the 13 attributes, as given to Moshe on Mt. Sinai.
25 Elul 5768 listen The Humility Inherent in a Ba'al Teshuva (10:02)
Though a true ba'al teshuva has great merits, nonetheless a ba'al teshuva has an inherent humility as an outgrowth of the teshuva process.
24 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva and the Ultimate Redemption (12:24)
Teshuva draws us closer to Hashem and brings us closer to geula.
23 Elul 5768 listen The Reward for the Struggles of Teshuva (11:36)
Much of teshuva is about the struggle to overcome the yetzer hara -- a struggle that has its own rewards.
22 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva Isn't Just for Misdeeds (8:41)
The Rambam emphasizes a whole new realm of teshuva: correcting improper thoughts and middot.
19 Elul 5768 listen The Splendor of the King (6:56)
The principle of performing mitzvot with a large group or community.
Sources: Ch"A 68:11
18 Elul 5768 listen Which takes precedence -- a mitzvah aseh or lo ta'aseh? (17:12)
There are times when an aveirah -- a misdeed -- accompanies a mitzvah. What do we do in such a case?
Sources: Ch"A 68:22
17 Elul 5768 listen The Purity of a Mitzvah (19:33)
Mitzvah HaBa'ah b'Aveira; spending significant amounts of money for the sake of a mitzvah aseh or of avoiding a lo ta'aseh.
Sources: Ch"A 68:10,16,19
16 Elul 5768 listen Davening for the Ability to Do Teshuva (18:16)
Sometimes we need Hashem's help to do teshuva.
15 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva and Free Will (2): Actions for which there is no Teshuva (15:16)
There are some actions so heinous that the consequence thereof is that we lose our ability to return to Hashem in teshuva.
12 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva and Free Will (1) (14:42)
Our ability to draw closer to Hashem through teshuva is dependent on our free will. Just as free will allows us to do aveirot, so too it allows us to correct our aveirot with teshuva.
11 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva for a Baal Teshuva (4): Complete Teshuva; Teshuva m'Yirah; Teshuva m'Ahava (15:08)
When is a baal teshuva's return complete? Also: teshuva out of fear; teshuva out of love.
10 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva for a Baal Teshuva (3): Making a Tikkun (15:17)
We cannot bring a korban chatat, so what are we to do to make restitution with Hashem?
Sources: Sotah 3a
9 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva for a Baal Teshuva (2): Korban Chatat (15:41)
Normally, one who accidentally commits an aveira like violating shabbos brings a korban chatat (special sacrifice) as a kapara (to make restitution). Does this obligation apply to today's baal teshuva?
8 Elul 5768 listen Teshuva for a Baal Teshuva (Part 1) (15:20)
A child has no culpability for wrongdoings as he doesn't yet know better. What about an adult who doesn't (or didn't) know better?
Sources: Shabb. 67b
5 Elul 5768 listen Chinuch for Yom Kippur; Chinuch for Teshuva (17:19)
What are a child's obligations with regard to Yom Kippur and the Teshuva process? Does an adult need to do teshuva for the indiscretions of his or her youth? What about a ba'al teshuva?
Sources: OC 343:1 (Rama); MB 343:6; Ch"A 66; Yoma 8:4
4 Elul 5768 listen When to do Teshuva (13:42)
The process of teshuva is incumbent upon all of us at all times.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 364
3 Elul 5768 listen The Meaning of "Vidui" (15:23)
A "Vidui" is not a confession. Just what is it, and what is its role in teshuva? Also: the first two steps toward teshuva.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 364
2 Elul 5768 listen The Mitzvah of Teshuva According to the Sefer HaChinuch, Part 1 (15:27)
The obligation of teshuva stems from our obligation to speak our hearts to Hashem.
Sources: Sefer HaChinuch 364
28 Av 5768 listen Interruptions in Hallel (15:05)
The halachot of permissible and forbidden interruptions in Hallel are parallel to those of Shema and Pesukei d'Zimra.
Sources: OC 422:4-5; MB 422:21-25; Brachot 2:1
27 Av 5768 listen Reciting Hallel with the Community (14:33)
It is preferable to recite Hallel with the community; when doing so, certain verses are repeated.
Sources: OC 422:2-3; MB 422:14-20
26 Av 5768 listen The Brachot for Hallel (14:51)
The blessings recited over Hallel; half- vs. full Hallel; reciting Hallel alone vs. with a minyan.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-16
24 Av 5768 listen Performing Mitzvot with Joy, Love, and Awe (13:00)
Part of proper kavanah includes enjoyment of the mitzvah as well as awareness of both love for and awe of Hashem.
Sources: Ch"A 68:13,17,18
21 Av 5768 listen Meraked (2): Sifters vs. Shakers (15:28)
Salt shakers, sugar shakers, drain filters, tea bags, and coffee presses.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 18:3
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
20 Av 5768 listen Meraked: Sifting on Shabbos (15:50)
Principles, parameters, and examples of the malacha of tochen on shabbos.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 18:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
19 Av 5768 listen Proper Placement of Tefillin: Straps, Review, and Summary (16:04)
Proper orientation of tefillin straps; review and summary of halachot in the proper wearing of tefillin.
Sources: OC 37:11; MB 37:37
18 Av 5768 listen Proper Placement of Tefillin shel Rosh (15:19)
Exactly where on the head should the Tefillin shel Rosh be placed?
Sources: OC 37:9-10; MB 37:33
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
17 Av 5768 listen Proper Placement of Tefillin shel Yad (15:58)
Exactly where on the arm should the Tefillin shel Yad be placed?
Sources: OC 37:1-4,7-8; MB 37:4
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
14 Av 5768 listen Tochen: Conclusion and Summary (15:06)
Final issues and examples in tochen; summary of all tochen principles.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 17:5-7
13 Av 5768 listen Principles of Tochen: Items Grown from the Ground; Ain tochen achar tochen (15:26)
Tochen only applies to items that grow from the ground. But what exactly grows from the ground?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 17:4; Brachot 6:3
12 Av 5768 listen Principles of Tochen: Utensils Used for Grinding (16:22)
The impact of a grinder or grater with regard to tochen as a malacha.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 17:3
11 Av 5768 listen Tochen: Cutting and Chopping (15:42)
One of the most common applications of tochen is the cutting or chopping of vegetables for salad.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 17:2
10 Av 5768 listen Introduction to Tochen / Grinding (15:09)
The principles and parameters of the malacha of tochen on shabbos; permitted ways of grinding.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 17:1
7 Av 5768 listen Tisha B'Av's Inner Meaning (13:17)
The significance of Tisha b'Av goes beyond fasting and even beyond mourning. What are we to learn from Tisha b'Av?
Sources: Ch"A 133:1;135:16
6 Av 5768 listen Performing Mitzvot with Kavanah (13:46)
Having kavanah -- intentionality, intellectual focus, emotional presence, and spiritual concentration -- is essential for proper mitzvah observance.
Sources: Ch"A 68:9,25
5 Av 5768 listen Tisha b'Av that Falls on Sunday: Overview and Summary (15:23)
Summary and overview of all the special aspects of Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Ch"A 135:23
4 Av 5768 listen Havdala on Motzei Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av (15:22)
On motzei shabbos erev Tisha b'Av, we cannot drink wine. How do we make havdala?
Sources: OC 556; MB 556:1-5
3 Av 5768 listen Maariv on Motzei Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av (14:57)
Sources: OC 559:1-2; MB 559:1-9
29 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av: Shalshudos and Maariv (16:05)
On Shabbos, the third meal usual extends past sunset into the night; on Erev Tisha b'Av, we begin fasting at sunset. So what do we do when Erev Tisha b'Av falls on Shabbos?
Sources: OC 552:10;553:2; MB 552:23-24;553:6-7
28 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Erev Tisha b'Av: Meat, Wine, Learning Torah, and Tz"Tz (14:51)
Sources: OC 551:9;553:2,12; MB 553:8-10,12
27 Tamuz 5768 listen Laundry, Haircuts, and Washing for the Shabbos before Tisha b'Av (15:34)
In general, we don't launder or wear clean clothes, take haircuts, or wash during the nine days. What about lichvod shabbat?
Sources: OC 551:3,16; MB 551:32,95-97
26 Tamuz 5768 listen Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av (13:20)
On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, do we read the haftarah for Rosh Chodesh or for the Tlat d'Puranuta? Also: the brachot for the haftorah and musaf on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.
Sources: OC 425:1-3; MB 425:8,15; OC 284:2; MB 284:4; OC 428:8
25 Tamuz 5768 listen Preserves, Jelly, and Jam: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret (2) (19:19)
The importance of a fruit being recognizable; summary of the laws of brachot for fruit.
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:42
22 Tamuz 5768 listen Adding Extraneous Details to a Mitzvah (19:51)
The principle of bal tosif -- adding on to mitzvot and claiming the additions are Torah requirements.
Sources: Ch"A 68:23
21 Tamuz 5768 listen Crushed, Mashed, and Jellied Fruit: Tzurat HaPri Nikeret (16:02)
Does a fruit keep its bracha if the fruit is in a form that is no longer recognizable as the fruit?
Sources: OC 202:7; MB 202:40-44
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Moshe Chaim ben Rivka.
20 Tamuz 5768 listen Picking Overripe and Underripe Fruits (17:40)
Some fruits are meant to be picked before they are fully grown; others are meant to be picked after they are overripe.
Sources: OC 202:5,9; MB 202:35-37,48-50
19 Tamuz 5768 listen Performing Mitzvot with All the Details (11:44)
Understanding and completing a mitzvah in its entirety.
Sources: Ch"A 68:7-8,12
18 Tamuz 5768 listen Ikkar HaPri: The Main Part of the Fruit (15:27)
Brachot for orange peels, grape leaves, capers, caper leaves, and more -- what is the main part of the fruit or tree?
Sources: OC 202:6; MB 202:38-39
15 Tamuz 5768 listen Brachot for Various Spices (16:14)
What is the bracha for a spice that comes from a tree? Is it a "fruit extract" like juice? Does it matter if it comes from the fruit or some other part of the tree like the root?
Sources: OC 202:16-18; MB 202:77-83
14 Tamuz 5768 listen The Bracha for Sugar (10:52)
Sugar, like fruit, is a product from a tree (or at least a plant). What is its correct bracha?
Sources: OC 202:15; MB 202:73-76; Beur Halacha d.h. "Al HaSukar"
14 Tamuz 5768 listen Overview of the Three Weeks (5:01)
Overview and summary of the history and halachot of the Three Weeks
13 Tamuz 5768 listen Brachot for Juices (2) (16:02)
At what point is juice the "normal" way of eating a fruit? What about stewing or seeping? Plumbs, figs, and oranges; kanata a'da'ta d'hechi.
Sources: OC 202:10; MB 202:52
12 Tamuz 5768 listen Brachot for Juices (1) (15:54)
Juice that seeps or is squeezed from fruit or that comes from crushing or cooking fruit -- what is its bracha?
Sources: OC 202:8,10; MB 202:45-47,51,53
11 Tamuz 5768 listen Ikkar, Tefel, and Kavanah: Brachot on Mixtures of Juices (16:36)
Figuring out the correct bracha on a mixture is complex and includes the intricacies of ikkar v'tefel, kavanah, ta'am, ikkar hapri, and more.
Sources: OC 202:4; MB 202:29-34
8 Tamuz 5768 listen What's the bracha for olive oil? (14:31)
Concepts in brachot related to juices and medicines; also, more on ikkar v'tefel.
Sources: OC 202:4; MB 202:26-28
7 Tamuz 5768 listen Fulfilling Mitzvot with Enthusiasm (9:00)
One who is zealous to be close to Hashem performs mitzvot with enthusiasm and alacrity.
Sources: Ch"A 68:6,14-15
6 Tamuz 5768 listen Brachot on Fruit Seeds (16:18)
Is a seed part of the fruit and hence subject to the same brachah, or is it a different food? Is the seed tafel to the fruit? Why is the tree grown?
Sources: OC 202:3; MB 202:23-25
5 Tamuz 5768 listen Balak -- Prayer that Works (3:11)
Hashem answers all our prayers, granting us whatever we need -- if we focus on the right needs.
4 Tamuz 5768 listen Honey-Roasted or Fried Immature Nuts (15:45)
What is the brachah for an immature, inedible nut that becomes edible when cooked? Concept: natay a'da'ta.
Sources: OC 202:14; MB 202:69-72
30 Sivan 5768 listen Honey-Roasted, Fried, and Raw Nuts (19:30)
What is the brachah for a nut? Concepts: ikkar and tefel; griuta and maalyuta; tzurato nikeret.
Sources: OC 202:13; MB 202:66-68
29 Sivan 5768 listen Cooked and Fresh Fruits (2) (11:28)
What is the brachah for a fresh fruit that is better when cooked? A cooked fruit that tastes better when fresh?
Sources: OC 202:12; MB 202:63-65
28 Sivan 5768 listen Cooked and Fresh Fruits (1) (16:10)
What is the brachah for a fruit that is eaten either cooked or fresh?
Sources: OC 202:2,12; MB 202:20-22,61-62
27 Sivan 5768 listen Brachot on Unripe Fruits (15:28)
What is the brachah for fruit that is sour, bitter because it is unripe? What if it is so bitter that it is inedible?
Sources: OC 202:2; MB 202:17-19
24 Sivan 5768 listen Brachot on Immature Fruit (15:46)
At what point during a fruit's maturation process does it become the "main" fruit that receives the brachah borei pri ha-etz?
Sources: OC 202:2; MB 202:11-15
23 Sivan 5768 listen Raisin Wine (2) (16:36)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: there are four requirements that, if met, make raisin wine pri ha-gefen by all opinions.
Sources: OC 202:11; MB 202:56-60
22 Sivan 5768 listen The Beauty of a Mitzvah (13:30)
Each mitzvah has its own inner beauty, and we should seek to express that beauty in our observance of the mitzvah by performing it in a pleasing manner.
Sources: Ch"A 68:5
21 Sivan 5768 listen Raisin Wine (1) (15:31)
Is the brachah for raisin wine borei pri hagafen or shehakol?
Sources: OC 202:11; MB 202:54-55
20 Sivan 5768 listen When is wine no longer wine? (14:51)
At some point in mixing wine with other liquids, its brachah changes from borei pri ha-gefen. Just when does that happen?
Sources: OC 202:1; MB 202:7-10
17 Sivan 5768 listen What is wine for the purposes of brachot? (15:14)
Does wine still get a special brachah if it is concentrated? Mevushal? Pasteurized? Mixed with other flavors?
Sources: OC 202:1; MB 202:3-6
16 Sivan 5768 listen Becoming a Chasid for Brachos; The Importance of Wine and Fruit (11:58)
Why does wine get a special bracha? Why does fruit from a tree get a different bracha from other plants?
Sources: Shaarei Teshuva 202:19; OC 202:1; MB 202:1-2
15 Sivan 5768 listen Parameters for Brachot on Fruit (14:03)
The general rules for brachot on fruit -- when the brachah is pri ha'etz, pri ha'adamah, and shehakol. Also: what to do if you don't know what brachah to make -- the answer will likely surprise you!
Sources: OC 202:18; MB 202:83-86
14 Sivan 5768 listen Why do we make brachos prior to eating? (14:03)
Eating without saying a bracha prior to eating is like stealing from Hashem.
Sources: Brachot 35a
13 Sivan 5768 listen Chinuch and Birkat HaMazon (15:23)
Chinuch for Birkat HaMazon is unique in that a child can fulfill his father's obligation.
Sources: OC 186:1-2; MB 186:1-7
10 Sivan 5768 listen Chinuch is all about Relationships (14:47)
Chinuch is all about relationships -- relationships with ourselves, with our children, spouses, friends, and with Hashem.
Sources: Ch"A 66:12
9 Sivan 5768 listen Parameters of Chinuch for Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh (15:37)
Summary of various topics, including: handing a child an issur; handing a child an issur by way of a non-Jew; issurei d'rabbanan for a sick child; and circumstances where it is forbidden to eat (such as prior to kiddush and fast days.
Sources: Ch"A 66:6-10
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
3 Sivan 5768 listen Havdala following Yom Tov (15:13)
We make havdala following Yom Tov, but we don't include the candle or spices. Why?
Sources: OC 491:1; MB 491:1-2; OC 298:1; MB 298:1
2 Sivan 5768 listen One Engaged in a Mitzvah is Exempt from Other Mitzvot (17:01)
If you are engaged in performing a mitzvah, you have no obligation to interrupt to perform other mitzvot, even if their time will pass, even if they are "more important."
Sources: Ch"A 68:4
1 Sivan 5768 listen Teshuva and Tikkun: Staying Awake all Night on Shavuos (10:26)
Staying awak all night on Shavuos may compensate for our oversleeping when the Torah was given. Also: handling the morning blessings for those who haven't slept.
Sources: OC 494:1; MB 494:1
29 Iyar 5768 listen Each Mitzvah is Performed on Its Own (7:07)
We do not "bundle" mitzvot together and perform multiple mitzvot at once.
Sources: Ch"A 68:3
28 Iyar 5768 listen Yom Yerushalayim 5768 -- 61 Years of Jewish Jerusalem (12:07)
On the 61st anniversary of the establishment of modern Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem, what should we be thinking with regard to the Holy City?
Sources: Taanit 29a
25 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch for Mitzvot Lo Ta'aseh (14:22)
The Chayei Adam views chinuch for mitzvot lo ta'aseh as an obligation of every Jew -- and Rav Dovid adds, this mitzvah of chinuch is not just for children.
Sources: Ch"A 66:3
Dedicated as a zechut for Tzipporah Feiga bas Chana Breina that she should have the privilege of raising children in a life of Torah.
24 Iyar 5768 listen The Age of Chinuch; the Age of Understanding (15:16)
Chinuch for mitzvot lo ta'aseh begins as soon as the child understands "no." We protect our children from physical dangers; should we not be equally careful of spiritual dangers?
Sources: OC 343:1; MB 343:3,7-8
23 Iyar 5768 listen Allowing a Child to Violate an Issur (15:41)
A child picks up a forbidden food or begins to perform a forbidden act. Need we stop the child? Reprimand him or her? What if it isn't your child?
Sources: OC 343:1; MB 343:1-3
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Chaya Sarah Dinah bas Alta Bas Sheva
22 Iyar 5768 listen Giving a Child an Issur (15:22)
Under no (ordinary) circumstances can you hand a child a forbidden food or an opportunity to violate a Torah prohibition.
Sources: OC 343:1; MB 343:4-6
L'ilui nishmat Zissel Devorah bas Avraham Abish on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
20 Iyar 5768 listen Treating Mitzvot with Respect (16:04)
We must always regard mitzvot respectfully, never putting ourselves above a mitzvah.
Sources: Ch"A 68:2
18 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch: Giving a Child Forbidden Food (14:48)
In some situations, we need not prevent a child from eating something when he shouldn't.
Sources: OC 269:1; MB 269:1-3
17 Iyar 5768 listen Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar (9:45)
The opportunity to perform a mitzvah in the most ideal fashion later is a legitimate reason to delay its immediate observance.
Sources: Ch"A 68:1
15 Iyar 5768 listen Today's Mitzvah or Tomorrow's Mitzvah? (12:38)
When choosing between two mitzvot, both timing and mitzvah "importance" count.
Sources: Ch"A 68:1
14 Iyar 5768 listen Taking Care of Mitzvot (15:33)
The first principle of mitzvah observance is to never pass up the opportunity to do a mitzvah.
Sources: Ch"A 68:1
11 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch for Mitzvot Aseh: Summary (17:18)
Educate a child according to his way; even when he ages, he will not depart from it.
Sources: Ch"A 66:1-2
10 Iyar 5768 listen Age Limits on Chinuch (15:36)
We don't teach children before they are ready.
Sources: MB 37:8; OC 106:1; MB 106:5; Ch"A 66:2
9 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch at Various Ages; Chinuch for Various Mitzvot (15:08)
Chinuch for different mitzvot varies with the age and understanding of the child.
Sources: OC 17:3; MB 17:10; OC 37:3; MB 37:12
8 Iyar 5768 listen Chinuch for Mitzvot Aseh (14:37)
Introduction to chinuch: a look at Kiddush Lavana and Kriat Shema.
Sources: MB 426:1; OC 70:2; MB 70:6-9; Sha'ar HaTziun 70:7
7 Iyar 5768 listen Kiddush Lavana: The Marriage of G-d and Israel (13:24)
Kiddush Lavana customs are all about the joy of the relationship between Hashem and His people, and the joy associated with Kiddush Lavana reflects this relationship.
Sources: OC 426:2,4; MB 426:14-16,21
4 Iyar 5768 listen The Joy of Kiddush Lavana (15:32)
Kiddush Lavana is a time of joy, and many of its halachot and customs reflect this. So can a mourner say Kiddush Lavana? We are supposed to enjoy the light of the moon as part of the reason for the blessing, but do we look at the moon while reciting Kiddush Lavana?
Sources: OC 426:2; MB 426:11-14
3 Iyar 5768 listen Kiddush Lavana and Fast Days (17:18)
Kiddush Lavana is ideally said on Motzei Shabbos or Motzei Yom Tov. What about after a fast day? This shiur discusses Yom Kippur, Tisha B'Av, Asara B'Tevet, Ta'anit Ester, and other Taaniot.
Sources: OC 426:2; MB 426:7-11; Beur Halacha d.h. "v'Lo kodem Yom HaKippurim"
2 Iyar 5768 listen Monthly Dates for Kiddush Levana (14:41)
What are the earliest and latest dates in the monthly lunar cycle when Kiddush Levana can be recited? Why?
Sources: OC 426:3-4; MB 426:17-20
1 Iyar 5768 listen Reciting Kiddush Lavana on Motzei Shabbos (15:02)
The ideal time for Kiddush Lavana is Motzei Shabbos -- within reason. Also: a brief summary of the works of Rav Yosef Caro, plus a bit of angeology.
Sources: OC 426:2-3; MB 426:4-6,18
L'ilui nishmat Moshe ben Hirsh on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
30 Nissan 5768 listen Halachic Requirements for Reciting Kiddush Levana (14:09)
Who is obligated to recite Kiddush Levana? Do you have to see the moon to say it? When is it said?
Sources: OC 426:1; MB 426:1-3
28 Nissan 5768 listen The Moon, the Jewish Calendar, and Free Will (16:45)
Introduction to Kiddush Levana -- the mitzvah of sanctifying the new moon.
Sources: OC 428:2; MB 428:3; OC 426:1; MB 426:1
26 Nissan 5768 listen Wonders of the Jewish Calendar (9:16)
The "Ot-Bosh" of Pesach is one of the many wonders of the Jewish Calendar.
Sources: OC 428:3; MB 428:5
6 Nissan 5768 listen Eating Eggs at the Seder (15:48)
Why do we eat eggs at the seder? Why is there an egg on the seder plate?
Sources: Pesachim 10:3; OC 476:2; MB 476:11-12; OC 473:4; MB 473:22-23
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
5 Nissan 5768 listen B'dieved, Havdala Can be Made on any of the Four Cups (14:04)
If you forget to make up for havdala in the second bracha, you have additional opportunities through the meal, the seder, and beyond. Also: washing hands for kiddush.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:5-9
4 Nissan 5768 listen What if you forget Havdala in the Kiddush on Erev Pesach Motzei Shabbos? (15:43)
If you forget to make Havdala in Kiddush, how do you make up for your ommission?
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:4
3 Nissan 5768 listen Havdala and Shehechiyanu in Kiddush on Erev Pesach (15:16)
The Kiddush of Pesach on Motzei Shabbos is special in that it includes both Shehechiyanu and Havdala.
Sources: OC 473:1; MB 473:1,3
Dedicated as a zechut l'ilui nishmat Shaul ben Chana z"l for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
2 Nissan 5768 listen Hallel in the Seder; Kiddush and Hallel in Maariv on Pesach (11:58)
In the middle of the Pesach Seder, we recite Hallel; in the middle of Hallel, we interrupt to eat. How can we interrupt Hallel in the middle? Also: There are two special changes in Maariv for Pesach: many communities recite Hallel, and there is no Kiddush in shul.
Sources: OC 487:3-4; Pesachim 10:1; MB 487:10,16
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda and Tamar bat Sigalit.
28 Adar II 5768 listen Maariv on Pesach (16:36)
The special evening prayers for Erev Pesach.
Sources: OC 487:1; Brachot 4:5; MB 487:1-9
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
27 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Forgotten Chometz (14:07)
On a weekday Erev Pesach, if you forgot to discard some chometz, you burn it up as soon as you remember. What do you do on shabbos?
Sources: OC 444:7-8; MB 444:33-37
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
26 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Remaining Chometz (15:12)
It's shabbos Erev Pesach, I swept up my chometz crumbs, but after halachic 10:00 AM I found more chometz! Now what do I do!?
Sources: OC 444:5,7; MB 444:21,29
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda and Aliza Sali bas Tsippora.
25 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Cleaning up Chometz (13:34)
Chometz crumbs must be swept away after the morning shabbos meal. What if there is actual food -- challah -- left over?
Sources: OC 444:4; MB 444:15-20
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda, Aliza Sali bas Tsippora, and Zev Velvel ben Shirley.
24 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Cleaning up Chometz Dishes (15:06)
When Erev Pesach is on shabbos, how do we wash up dishes from the chometz meals?
Sources: OC 444:3; MB 444:11-14; Sha'ar HaTziun 444:4
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Breina bas Frieda.
21 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Biur and Bitul Chometz (15:14)
In most years, we burn and nullify our chometz on the day before Pesach. When Erev Pesach is on shabbos, when and how do we burn and nullify chometz?
Sources: OC 444:2,6; MB 444:9-10, 22
20 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Shalosh Seudos (16:38)
We usually have Shalosh Seudos after Mincha on shabbos with bread. When Erev Pesach is on shabbos, how do we have challah at three shabbos meals?
Sources: OC 444:1; MB 444:5-8
19 Adar II 5768 listen Erev Pesach on Shabbos: Bedikat Chometz (15:27)
When Erev Pesach is on shabbos, we certainly cannot check for chometz by the light of a candle on Friday night. What do we do? And do we make a bracha?
Sources: OC 444:1; MB 444:1-4
18 Adar II 5768 listen Tzom Bechorot (The Fast of the Firstborn) (16:12)
Erev Pesach is the Fast of the Firstborn. When it falls on shabbos, when do the firstborn fast, if at all?
Sources: OC 470:1-3; MB 470:5-7,11
17 Adar II 5768 listen Introduction: Shabbos Erev Pesach (14:08)
If Erev Pesach falls on shabbos, it leads to many, many halachic questions. This shiur introduces the topic with a story from the Talmud of one such occurence.
Sources: Pes. 66a
12 Adar II 5768 listen Who was Ahashveirosh? (14:58)
Who was Ahashveirosh who made a 180-day party? Why is it important that he sat on his throne in Shushan, his capitol city; isn't that what all kings do?
Sources: Est. 1:1; Targum, ad loc.
11 Adar II 5768 listen Introduction to the Megilla (14:00)
An introduction to the first few verses of the Megilla as an example of the rabbinic exegetic process.
Sources: Est. 1:1; Rashi, Ebn Ezra, Rishon LeTzion, Targum, ad loc.
10 Adar II 5768 listen Going Away for Purim (13:45)
If you must be away for Purim such that you won't have an opportunity to hear the megilla at the right time, what should you do?
Sources: OC 688:7-8; MB 688:19-23
9 Adar II 5768 listen Purim Meshulash: "Three-Day Purim" (15:43)
When Shushan Purim falls on Shabbos, Jews in walled cities celebrate Purim for three days!
Sources: OC 688:6; MB 688:14-18
6 Adar II 5768 listen Ben Ir SheHalach L'Krach (13:51)
A dweller of a walled city who goes to a village for Purim or vice versa... when does he read the Megilla? Also: Two Biblical walled cities of questionable status.
Sources: II Sam. 20:14; Judges 16:2; OC 688:5; MB 688:12-13
5 Adar II 5768 listen When You are Unsure when to Read... (16:13)
Halachot for situations when you are unsure whether to observer Purim on the 14th or 15th of Adar, including questionably walled cities, and an introduction to people who travel to or from walled cities for Purim.
Sources: OC 688:4-5; MB 688:9-12; Beur Halacha d.h. "Ben ir she'halach l'krach"
4 Adar II 5768 listen Modern Jerusalem and Other Cities (14:08)
The status of various cities -- modern Jerusalem, Shushan, Jaffa, Tiberias, Hebron, and more.
Sources: OC 688:2-3; MB 688:5-8
3 Adar II 5768 listen Purim and Shushan Purim (14:32)
Most of us celebrate Purim on the fourteenth of Adar, but certain cities, like Shushan, celebrate on the fifteenth.
Sources: Est. 9:17-23; OC 688:1; MB 688:1,3-4
2 Adar II 5768 listen Leap Year (Part 2) (9:36)
The halachic implications of the added month in a leap year: Bar Mitzvah, bechor, rentals, mourning, korbanot, and more.
Sources: OC 55:9; Erchin 31b; Bava Me. 102a; YD 391:2; Shach YD 57:43
28 Adar I 5768 listen Leap Year (Part 1) (15:12)
During a leap year, just how long is a "year," and what are the halachic implications of the added month?
Sources: Bava Me. 102a; Lev. 25:30; Deu. 15:20; Erchin 31b; Tosefta Parah 1; Ned. 63a; Shach YD 227:15
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
14 Adar I 5768 listen What do you do if your Tefillin fall off? (14:41)
If Tefillin come off or out of place, do you make a new bracha before putting them back?
Sources: OC 25:12; MB 25:44-46; OC 8:14; MB 8:38
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
8 Adar I 5768 listen Review: Shema through Aleinu (15:10)
A review, summary and overview of halachot of shacharit, from Shema through Aleinu.
7 Adar I 5768 listen Review: Wakeup through Shema (15:32)
A review, summary and overview of halachot of morning conduct, from waking up through the recitation of Shema.
6 Adar I 5768 listen Dating Documents During a Leap Year (9:15)
How do we record the date in halachic documents during the two months of Adar in a leap year? What about the two days of Rosh Chodesh? Also: a general overview of the Jewish Calendar.
Sources: OC 427:1; MB 427:1-3
6 Adar I 5768 listen Kaddish: Reasons and Rules (6:11)
Why is kaddish recited by mourners? The Midrash of Rabbi Akiva / Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and the merit of kaddish. Also: important halachot when multiple people recite kaddish together.
Sources: Eliyahu Zuta Parsha 17; Pitchei Teshuva YD 376:6
5 Adar I 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh: Leap Year, Part 2 (9:30)
In a leap year, are there any customs associated with Purim Katan, the 14th and 15th of Adar I?
Sources: OC 697:1; MB 697:3-5; Shaarei Teshuva 697:2
30 Shevat 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh: Leap Year, Part 1 (9:24)
In a leap year, are events observed in Adar 1 or Adar 2?
Sources: OC 697:1; MB 697:1-3 Shaar HaTziun 697:2
29 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (12): Broken Matzos (4:45)
Choosing whole matzos from among broken matzos is a problem of borrer that presents itself every Pesach.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:14
29 Shevat 5768 listen Torah Reading on Rosh Chodesh (9:30)
The order of the Torah reading, the reason for four aliyot, and the division of the aliyot on Rosh Chodesh.
Sources: OC 423:1-2; MB 423:1-3
28 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (11): Waiter, there's a fly in my soup! (16:49)
Dealing with common situations of borrer that occur during a meal: removing waste from food and peeling.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:12-13,15
24 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (10): Curdling Milk (12:53)
According to the Chayei Adam, separating the parts of milk -- curds, whey, cream -- is all considered borrer.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:11
23 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (9): Straining Eggs (16:50)
In yesterday's shiur (Borrer 8), we struggled to understand the confusing case of separating egg yolk and white by way of a mustard strainer. In today's shiur, Rav Dovid shares his chidushim that make sense of this difficult case.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:10; Shabbat 20:2; Rav Ovadia M'Bartenura, ad loc.; Shabbos 139b-140a; Rashi, ad loc.; OC 319:15; MB 319:58; Shaar HaTziun 319:47,49
22 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (8): Strainers and Filters (15:31)
Strainers and filters can be used on shabbos in some circumstances but not others. This is an area where there is a very fine line between mutar l'chatchila and chayav chatas, and most of us often don't understand the differences.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:10
21 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (7): Separating a Liquid from Sediment (12:07)
Is there a permitted way to pour off a liquid from unwanted sediment or to remove fat from gravy on shabbos? How do you avoid borrer in such cases?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:9
11 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer (6): Filtering Liquids with a Strainer (14:37)
Even though it is a utensil made for separating, under some circumstances an actual strainer may be used on Shabbos.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:8
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Aharon ben Meir on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
10 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer / Sorting (5): Filtering Drinkable Liquids (10:45)
Some liquids may be strained with a handkerchief without violating borrer, but straining others is an issur d'oraita.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:7
9 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer / Sorting (4): Separating Two Foods (15:30)
Borrer also applies when separating between two foods when one is desirable and one is not.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:5
8 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer / Selecting (3): Separating Bad Fruits (14:50)
Applying the rules of borrer to a common shabbos situation: separating good fruit from bad, or wilted lettuce from crispy.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:4,6
Given as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Tamar bat Sigalit.
3 Shevat 5768 listen Borrer / Selecting (2): Conditions of Borrer (12:55)
For borrer to be permissible, three conditions must be met: the separation must be done by hand, by taking good from bad, and for immediate use. The Chayei Adam adds another condition: taking the lesser quantity from the greater.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 16:1
2 Shevat 5768 listen Zoreh / Winnowing; Borrer / Selecting: Introduction (15:39)
The malacha of zoreh (winnowing) has very few practical implications today. Borrer (selecting or sorting) is among the most difficult malachot to apply because it is so subtle.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 15; Shabb. 74a
1 Shevat 5768 listen Blessings for Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (13:30)
Halachic details regarding the proper blessing for the recitation of half-hallel, including when to make and not make a bracha on hallel.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-16
Given as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Tamar bat Sigalit.
29 Tevet 5768 listen Accidental Inclusion of Shabbos or Rosh Chodesh in a Weekday Amidah (14:57)
What if you accidentally include ya'aleh v'yavo in a weekday amidah?
Sources: OC 108:12; MB 108:37-38
26 Tevet 5768 listen Making Up for a Forgotten Ya'aleh v'Yavo (12:57)
If ya'aleh v'yavo is forgotten on Rosh Chodesh at mincha, can you make up for it in the following ma'ariv?
Sources: OC 108:11; MB 108:34-36
25 Tevet 5768 listen Making Up for Mistakes in the Amidah (10:21)
We previously learned that you can make up for a missed shabbos amidah in the subsequent weekday amidah. But what if you mistakenly davened a weekday amidah on shabbos -- can you correct that error in a subsequent weekday amidah?
Sources: OC 108:11; MB 108:32-33
22 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin Summary and Recap (16:55)
A review of all the halachot we have learned with ragard to making up for missed prayers, and a recap of the examples found in the Shulchan Aruch.
In memory of Tzippora bat Meir on the occastion of her yahrzeit.
19 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for Shabbos on a Weekday (16:49)
If you miss mincha on shabbos, can you make up for it with a second ma'ariv after shabbos?
Sources: OC 108:9-10; MB 108:27-30
18 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Weekday on Shabbos (14:12)
If you miss mincha on erev shabbos, can you make up for it with a second ma'ariv shabbos amidah? Also: Clarification on who is a meizid and instructions for tashlumin for chozrim b'teshuva.
Sources: OC 108:9; MB 108:25-27
In memory of Aharon ben Leib HaCohen on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
17 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for Musaf and Meizid (15:33)
There are special halachot regarding a missed musaf and tashlumin. Also, one who intentionally skips a tefilla cannot make up for it.
Sources: OC 108:6-8; MB 108:20-24
15 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin in the Following Tefilla (14:34)
Can you daven a make-up prayer for more than one missed tefilla? What if you forget your tashlumin? Can you daven a tashlumin at musaf?
Sources: OC 108:4-5; MB 108:16-19
12 Tevet 5768 listen Times for Tefilla and Tashlumin (15:48)
The proper time for a make-up amidah is during the following prayer. But what time is the following prayer? And is this l'chatchila or b'dieved?
Sources: OC 108:3; MB 108:15
11 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Mincha or Ma'ariv (14:05)
The halachot of making up for a missed mincha or ma'ariv.
Sources: OC 108:2; MB 108:10-14
9 Tevet 5768 listen What if you forget aneinu on a fast day? (14:55)
One who forgets aneinu on a fast day does not go back to insert it. But the halacha is quite different for an individual as compared to the shaliach tzibbur.
Sources: OC 119:4; MB 119:16-19
In memory of Tamar Rivkah bas Sheur Zalman on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
8 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Shacharit, Part 2 (15:04)
We make up for a missed shacharit by davening mincha twice, but what is the best way to go about that?
Sources: OC 108:1; MB 108:4-9
5 Tevet 5768 listen Tashlumin for a Missed Shacharit (13:24)
One who accidentally misses shacharit makes up for the lost prayer by davening mincha twice.
Sources: OC 108:1; MB 108:1-3
4 Tevet 5768 listen Davening Two Amidahs in a Row (13:02)
Sometimes we daven the amidah twice in a row, such as davening shacharit followed immediately by musaf if you aren't in shul on shabbos. This shiur introduces some of the parameters for such a situation, such as how long to pause in between.
Sources: OC 105:1; MB 105:1-4
3 Tevet 5768 listen Zot Chanukah (8:51)
On the eigth day of Chanukah, we read "Zot Chanukah", the dedication of the mishkan, including the lighting of the menorah. There is more to this then the obvious similarity of the events.
Sources: OC 684:1; Num. 7:22-8:4; Rashi, Num. 8:1; Yalkut Shimoni B'ha'alotcha 247:719
In memory of Moshe ben Chaim on the occasion of his 36th yahrzeit.
1 Tevet 5768 listen The Aliyot for Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (6:33)
On Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, we read from two sifrei Torah. But how do we divide up the aliyot between Rosh Chodesh and Chanukah? Also: what if we accidentally take out only one sefer Torah or begin reading from the wrong sefer Torah?
Sources: OC 684:3; MB 684:12-18; Beur Halacha d.h. "v'Im Ta'ah; v'Im Tzarich"
25 Kislev 5768 listen Oils and Wicks for Chanukah Candles (14:25)
Oils and wicks that are prohibited for shabbos candles are permissible for Chanukah candles. What is the difference between Chanukah and shabbos that we treat the halacha of their candles differently?
Sources: OC 673:1; MB 673:1
19 Kislev 5768 listen Chanukah and the Sale of Yosef (13:16)
While we don't know exactly when Yosef was sold into slavery, there are hints that he was sold on Chanukah.
Sources: Gen. 37:24-26; Shabb. 22a; Sofrim 18:3; Ps. 30; Mal. 3:14
18 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 10): Sponges and Absorbed Liquids (15:49)
If squeezing liquid from a cloth is a form of dosh, sponges cannot be used on shabbos. How do we wash dishes? Clean a counter of table? Also: straining.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:13,15-16
17 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 9): Melting Solids; Cleaning up Spills (15:53)
Applications of dosh related to melting include cracking ice, melting butter, and dissolving sugar. Also: cleaning up spills.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:11-12
16 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 8): Squeezing Honey from Honeycomb (9:54)
Beehives are categorized as something that "grows from the ground," which makes honeycomb subject to dosh. This shiur details the halachot involved. As usual, we extract principles that are applicable elsewhere in dosh.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:10
11 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 7): Juice that Seeps from Grapes on Shabbos (13:42)
The juice that seeps from grapes on shabbos is rabbinically prohibited. However, you can soak the grapes in existing wine and enjoy the new wine that comes out. NOTE: This lecture mentions a chasid who drank Southern Comfort. That story goes back to the 1980s; Southern Comfort is not considered kosher today due to wine-based additives.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:14
10 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 6): Nursing (13:24)
Nursing is obviously permissible on Shabbos in spite of the dosh issues it presents. How are those issues handled when they come up? Also: the reason why cows are considered as growing from the ground; general parameters of pikuach nefesh as illustrated by several actual cases.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:9
Dedicated as a zechut for Tzipporah Feiga bas Chana Breina that she should have the privilege of raising children in a life of Torah.
9 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 5): Milking a Cow (13:50)
Cows and other animals are considered as growing from the ground, and this means that milking a cow is considered to be removing food (milk) from its natural container (cow). What are the parameters of dosh in this context?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:8
5 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 4): Squeezing Out Liquids Absorbed in Foods (12:24)
Liquids absorbed in food, like oil in a fried food, have a different status from liquids naturally in food or even brine in pickles.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:6-7
Dedicated to Yechiel Isser ben Tuvia on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
4 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 3): Squeezing Lemons and Pickles (15:40)
Is there a permitted way to squeeze lemon onto fish or into tea? To make lemonade? Can I squeeze the excess brine from my pickles?
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:4-5
3 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing (Part 2): Squeezing Fruits for Juice (13:13)
The first toldah of dosh is squeezing fruits for juice. How is this dosh? It is the process of removing the desired part (the juice) from its natural container (the fruit).
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:2-3
2 Kislev 5768 listen Dosh / Threshing -- Introduction (10:57)
The av malacha, principles, and several examples of dosh (threshing).
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 14:1
28 Cheshvan 5768 listen Birkat HaMazon on Motzei Shabbos / Erev Rosh Chodesh (15:10)
Birkat HaMazon on shabbos when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday (part 2). Do we include r'tzei for shabbos, Ya'aleh v'Yavo for Rosh Chodesh, or both?
Sources: OC 188:10; MB 188:33-34
27 Cheshvan 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Sunday (Part 1) (8:33)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday, there is a special haftara reading. Also: Birkat HaMazon on shabbos when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday (part 1).
Sources: OC 425:2; MB 425:9; OC 188:10; MB 188:32
26 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening before MiSheYakir (16:27)
What should you do if you need to daven early in the morning, prior to MiSheYakir (the earliest time for shema), which is much before netz (the earliest time for the amidah).
Sources: OC 89:8; MB 89:38-42; Beur Halacha d.h. "Bsha'at HaDchak"
Dedicated to Ariella Rivka bas Avroham, may her neshoma have an aliya.
25 Cheshvan 5768 listen Activities before Dawn; Activities before Davening (11:27)
It is a bit surprising to learn that it is permissible to take a haircut or a bath prior to dawn, even within the half hour approaching the time to daven. Why is this?
Sources: OC 89:7; MB 89:36-37; OC 232:2
24 Cheshvan 5768 listen Learning before Davening; Learning before Dawn (12:56)
Being careful about davening shacharit at the right time is of such high priority that one shouldn't even learn Torah prior to davening. But what about learning at night, or waking up before dawn?
Sources: OC 89:6; MB 89:30-35
21 Cheshvan 5768 listen Eating before Amud HaShachar (14:18)
We have learned that we cannot eat prior to davening Shacharit, but what about eating prior to dawn?
Sources: OC 89:5; MB 89:27-29
20 Cheshvan 5768 listen Eating or Drinking to Improve Kavanah in Davening (13:15)
Though in general we do not eat or drink anything prior to Shacharit, there are many leniencies that allow one to do so.
Sources: OC 89:3-4; MB 89:22-26
19 Cheshvan 5768 listen Tending to Your Needs, Eating, or Drinking before Davening (16:08)
Just as we don't go to greet friends, so too we don't tend to our own business or even eat or drink prior to davening.
Sources: OC 89:3; MB 89:17-22
18 Cheshvan 5768 listen Going to See Others before Going to See Hashem (13:33)
An midrashic overview of the priority of greeting Hashem before greeting others; the halachot of going to a friend's home prior to going to shul and of responding to someone else's greeting.
Sources: OC 89:2; MB 89:12-16
17 Cheshvan 5768 listen Greeting Others before Greeting Hashem (14:18)
Upon awakening in the morning, our priority is to daven. As such, there is a prohibition on stopping to see a friend before davening.
Sources: OC 89:2; MB 89:8-12
15 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening too Late (After the Fourth Hour of the Day) (13:24)
The shacharit amidah must be completed by the fourth hour of the day. What if that time has passed and you haven't yet said the amidah?
Sources: OC 89:1; MB 89:5-7
13 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening the Amidah too Early (Before MiSheYakir) (12:03)
The earliest time for the amidah is netz hachama ("third dawn"). What if you can't wait until then and need to daven early?
Sources: OC 89:1; MB 89:2-4
12 Cheshvan 5768 listen What is the earliest time for Amidah? (14:20)
The amidah follows different times from the shema. What are these times, and why are they different? What if you need to daven early? Also: a review and overview of the times for shema; what to do if you need to put on tallis and tefillin prior to misheyakir.
Sources: Brachot 24a; OC 89:1; MB 89:1
11 Cheshvan 5768 listen What if you miss the time for Shema? (16:59)
If you are unable to complete shema on time, or even if you purposely miss the required time, you can still say shema later in the day.
Sources: OC 58:6; MB 58:24-29
10 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Difference Between Night and Day (12:12)
If you forget to daven ma'ariv, you can daven until dawn, but this impairs the permission to daven shacharis early. Also: The yahrzeit of Methushelah.
Sources: OC 58:5; MB 58:20-23
7 Cheshvan 5768 listen Davening before Netz (15:11)
Sometimes you have no choice but to daven before netz or to start davening before misheyakir. What should you do? Also: an actual example of how Rav Dovid handled such a situation.
Sources: OC 58:4; MB 58:18-19; Beur Halacha d.h. "MiSheAlah Amud HaShahar"
6 Cheshvan 5768 listen Reading Shema before MiSheYakir (14:36)
What should you do if you have no choice but to read shema prior to the earliest permissible time?
Sources: OC 58:3; MB 58:13-17
5 Cheshvan 5768 listen What if you have to daven before dawn? (15:09)
Includes: review and overview of the four morning halachic times: the three "dawns" and the end of the time for kriat shema. Situations where you have to daven before the appropriate time.
Sources: OC 58:2-3; MB 58:10-12
4 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Ideal Time for Shema (14:58)
The perfect time to recite the shema is just before the sun peeps over the horizon. This time is so ideal that one can daven at this time at the expense of davening with a minyan.
Sources: OC 58:1; MB 58:6-9; Beur Halacha d.h. "Mitzvah min HaMuvchar"
3 Cheshvan 5768 listen The Latest Time for Shema (14:46)
The entire Shema must be recited in full before three halachic daylight hours have passed.
Sources: OC 58:1; MB 58:3-5
In memory of Leah bas Yechezkel on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
30 Tishrei 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos (Part 2) (6:57)
Why was the Haftara for Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos chosen?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:6-8; Isa. 66:23
29 Tishrei 5768 listen Rosh Chodesh on Shabbos (Part 1) (9:03)
When Rosh Chodesh falls on Shabbos we add Ya'aleh v'Yavo, read a special Rosh Chodesh Maftir, and recite a special haftara.
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1-5
Dedicated in memory of Shnuer Zalman ben Shlomo on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
28 Tishrei 5768 listen The Earliest Time for Shema: Vatikin (15:05)
The proper time for the recitation of the morning Shema is unfortunately a time when few of us can awaken ourselves to pray on a regular basis.
Sources: Brachot 9b; OC 58:1; MB 58:1-2
Dedicated in memory of Feigel bas Aharon HaKohen on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
27 Tishrei 5768 listen The Earliest Time for Shema (15:57)
The earliest time that one can recite the morning Shema is the time when we can recognize each other.
Sources: Brachot 9b
26 Tishrei 5768 listen Mashiv HaRuach: Summary of Halachot (9:57)
What do you do if you forget to insert mashiv haruach? What if you aren't sure what you said? Also: washing hands before dawn.
21 Tishrei 5768 listen Sukkot Decorations on Shmini Atzeret (14:54)
The Sukkot decorations stay on the sukkah walls until after Shmini Atzeret. Why? Also: the prayer for leaving the sukkah for the last time; preparing on Yom Tov for shabbos.
Sources: OC 667:1; MB 667:1-6
19 Tishrei 5768 listen Smelling the Hadas or Etrog during Sukkos (15:18)
It is forbidden to smell the hadas but permitted to smell the etrog. What is the difference between them, and what is the prohibition about?
18 Tishrei 5768 listen What is the significance of the Etrog? (15:21)
Why do we wave an Etrog on Sukkos? How do we know that the "pre etz hadar" is an Etrog?
Sources: Sukkah 35a; Lev. 23:40; Onkoles, Ramban, ad loc.; Gen. 3:6; Onkoles, ad loc.; Gen. 2:9; Onkoles, ad loc.
13 Tishrei 5768 listen Between Yom Kippur and Sukkos (11:51)
After Yom Kippur, we rush to do several mitzvot, among them building the sukkah. We also leave out tachnun as the days until Sukkos have a quasi Yom Tov status. What is the connection between these themes?
Sources: OC 624:5; MB 624:18-19; OC 625:1; MB 625:2; I Kings 7-8
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Moshe ben Ester Ruchel.
12 Tishrei 5768 listen Introduction to Sukkos (9:48)
Why do we dwell in a Sukkah?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1
7 Tishrei 5768 listen Shortening or Skipping Prayers on Erev Yom Kippur (7:57)
We eliminate several prayers on Erev Yom Kippur, including LaMinatzeach, Mizmor L'Todah, and Tachnun -- though each is eliminated for a different reason. Slichot are shortened and Avinu Malkeinu is skipped.
Sources: OC 604:2; MB 604:3-5
6 Tishrei 5768 listen Eating on Erev Yom Kippur (15:39)
Most of us eat on the day before Yom Kippur to prepare ourselves for the upcoming fast. But it is actually a mitzvah to eat on Erev Yom Kippur. Why is that?
Sources: OC 604:1; MB 604:1-2
5 Tishrei 5768 listen Changes in Our Tefillot During the 10 Days (10:05)
An overview and summary of the changes to the Amidah and Kaddish during the Ten Days, including the halachot of what to do if a change is forgotten or omitted.
29 Elul 5767 listen Introduction to Eruv Tavshilin (18:43)
What is an Eruv Tavshilin? When, why, and how do we make an Eruv Tavshilin? Isn't this just a "legal loophole" -- if cooking is forbidden, how does the Eruv help, and if it is permitted, what is the point of the Eruv?
28 Elul 5767 listen Doing Teshuva During the Ten Days (8:03)
It may be surprising to learn, but we should be much more concerned about that which we don't know or aren't sure we did wrong than we should be concerned over the things we know we need to improve.
Sources: OC 603:1; MB 603:3-4
27 Elul 5767 listen Reciting Psalm 130 During the Ten Days (2:22)
Among the changes in our prayers during the Ten Days is the insertion of Psalm 130 -- Mima'amakim Kraticha Hashem -- to instill in us a sense of awe and an inspiration to teshuva. But how can we insert a Psalm between yishtabach and chetzi kaddish -- where interruptions are forbidden?
Sources: Baer Heitev 603:1; Ps. 130
24 Elul 5767 listen Pas Yisrael During Aseret Yomei Teshuva (15:36)
Also: The Rama encourages us to do teshuva and recommends that we read the Iggeret HaTeshuva of Rabbeinu Yonah each day.
Sources: OC 603:1; MB 603:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Yeshua Yaakov ben Froma.
23 Elul 5767 listen Customs for Erev Rosh HaShanah (7:28)
Haircuts, clean clothes, mikveh, trips to the cemetery, and tzedakah.
Sources: OC 581:4; MB 581:25-27
23 Elul 5767 listen Yet Another Reason for Selichot (2:29)
The Ba'al HaTurim brings down remez and sod to tell us why we recite selichot prior to Rosh HaShanah.
Sources: Deu. 30:6; Ba'al HaTurim ad.loc.; Ps. 27:13
22 Elul 5767 listen Selichot without a Minyan; Preparing the Rosh HaShanah Prayers (13:48)
Selichot should be recited even without a minyan, though the 13 attributes are omitted. All of the Rosh HaShanah prayers -- including selichot -- should be prepared in advance so that they can be recited comfortably in shul. The goal is to focus on davening, not on trying to read the tefilla.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:4; OC 100:1; MB 100:3
21 Elul 5767 listen The Ten Days of Selichot (12:58)
Why do selichot always start on Saturday night? Why are selichot said so early in the morning, and without tallis and tefillin? Why does the chazan where a tallis?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:5-7
17 Elul 5767 listen Free Will and its Implications for Teshuva (15:34)
Resolving the second contradiction of Free Will: if Hashem knows what we will choose before we choose, how is our choice "free," and how can we say that our choices impact the world? And if Hashem doesn't know, how can we say that Hashem is All-Knowing? Finally, what does Free Will have to do with teshuva that the Rambam chose to put this chapter here rather than in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah?
15 Elul 5767 listen Free Will as an Axiom of Existence (11:51)
For the Rambam, Free Will is axiomatic. If we accept this axiom, how do we resolve the conflicts it implies -- namely, if an All-Knowing G-d knows what we will choose before we choose, how is it that our choice is free? And how could it be that an All-Powerful G-d whose Will determines the course of all history in the universe is not in control of our actions?
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Yeshua Yaakov ben Froma.
14 Elul 5767 listen Understanding Free Will (12:41)
Free Will is one of the axioms on which all of teshuva rests. There are no external forces that determine our actions; rather, our choices are up to us. And those same choices ultimately determine who we are and what we become.
13 Elul 5767 listen Teshuva and Free Will: Becoming a Tzadik (10:11)
Free will -- or more particularly, the will to change -- is a critical component of teshuva. How important is it? According to the Rambam, we each have the ability to be as righteous as Moshe Rabbeinu -- if only we will it.
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivkah ben Devora Pessel.
10 Elul 5767 listen Vicous Cycles and Self-Defeating Behaviors (13:56)
There are five behavioral character traits that are so harmful that the Rambam need not even explain them. They contaminate the neshoma, and even worse, they are self-perpetuating.
9 Elul 5767 listen "Minor" Actions with Major Consequences (13:40)
There are five actions which appear inconsequencial to us but which are in fact aveirot as serious as any other. It is difficult to do proper teshuva for such actions because we don't recognize them as aveirot, and even if we do, we fail to acknowledge the severity of the transgression.
8 Elul 5767 listen Anonymous Sins with Unknown Implications (21:06)
The Rambam tells of five aveirot committed against others for which we cannot repent, as we don't know against whom we have sinned.
7 Elul 5767 listen Affiliation with Torah Scholars and a Torah Community (13:33)
The Rambam lists five aveirot that "lock the path of Teshuva", and from them we derive five actions that expedite teshuva.
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleima for Yeshua Yaakov ben Froma.
6 Elul 5767 listen Causing Others to Sin; Inspiring Others to Mitzvot (13:32)
Introduction to the fourth chapter of Hilchot Teshuva, a list of twenty-four aveirot that deter or prevent a person from completing proper teshuva. From this chapter, we learn not only of activities for which teshuva is nearly impossible, but also of activities that facilitate and expedite the teshuva process. This first shiur deals with the first four such activities, both as aveirot and mitzvot. The common thread: our impact on others -- for better and for worse -- has tremendous implications.
1 Elul 5767 listen Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (Part 2) (9:27)
Halacha l'ma'aseh: the brachot for hallel on Rosh Chodesh; reciting hallel as an individual vs. with the community; arriving late to shul while the community is reciting hallel.
Sources: OC 422:2; MB 422:14-18
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Perel Yetta bas Yehudah Leib on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
30 Av 5767 listen Reciting Hallel on Rosh Chodesh (8:36)
Why do we recite Hallel on Rosh Chodesh, and what are the halachot and dinim regarding the brachos?
Sources: OC 422:2; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Korin"; MB 422:12-13
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Yeshua Ya'akov ben Froma.
29 Av 5767 listen Yom Kippur Katan (9:56)
Some people fast every Erev Rosh Chodesh for Yom Kippur Katan. What's it all about?
Sources: OC 417:1; MB 417:4
26 Av 5767 listen Elul, the Season of Teshuva, and L'David Ori (14:07)
Why do we recite L'David Ori during the entire month of Elul? And why is the season of teshuva so long?
Sources: Siddur HaGra
25 Av 5767 listen Rosh Chodesh Elul (11:08)
Customs of Elul: selichot, shofar, and Hashem Ori.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:1-3
23 Av 5767 listen M'amer: Part 2 -- Other Forms of Gathering (12:42)
Salt, dirt, stones, pebbles, Cheerios necklaces, eggs, and seaweed.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 13:2-3
22 Av 5767 listen M'amer / Gathering: Part 1 (11:55)
The principle and Av Melacha of m'amer along with some basic examples.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 13:1
8 Av 5767 listen Haircuts for Mourners; Laundry for Children (11:05)
There are leniencies in the restrictions regarding haircuts during the three weeks for mourners just coming out of shloshim and for children's clothing. Also: avoiding the evil forces that lurk about during the three weeks.
Sources: OC 551:14-15,18; MB 551:81-87
5 Av 5767 listen Kiddush Levana is Recited after Tisha Av; Restrictions on Meat and Wine (15:14)
Kiddush Levana is a time of joy, so it is delayed until after Tisha B'Av. Meat and wine are not eaten during the Nine Days, but what about at a seudat mitzvah?
Sources: OC 551:8,10; MB 551:54-55,63-78
2 Av 5767 listen Summary of Halachot of the 9 Days; Details on Laundering and New Clothes (16:12)
An overview of all the halachot appertaining to the Nine Days from Rosh Chodesh Av until Tisha B'Av, plus the details on laundering, new clothes, and freshly-pressed clothes.
Sources: OC 551:6; MB 551:44-45
1 Av 5767 listen Tragedies of the Month of Av (7:39)
Many tragedies befell the Jewish people in the month of Av, from the sin of the spies to the death of Aharon HaCohen.
Sources: OC 580:1-2; MB 580:3
27 Tamuz 5767 listen Kotzer: Part 5 -- Gezeirot to Distance Us from Harvesting (13:56)
Chazal imposed a number of gezeirot to distance us from harvesting. Also: Understanding the reason(s) for gezeirot and more on Rav Dovid's favorite halacha.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 12:7-10
24 Tamuz 5767 listen Kotzer: Part 4 -- Trees, Stumps, and Grasses (13:31)
The details of the various gezeiros chazal made regarding trees, stumps, and grasses. Also: Rav Dovid's absolute favorite halacha!
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 12:6
23 Tamuz 5767 listen Kotzer: Part 3 -- Vegetables and Spices Stored in Dirt; Introduction to Trees (14:20)
The halachos surrounding removing vegetables from dirt. Also: Using a tree; smelling fuits and flowers.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 12:3-5
Dedicated l'ilui nishmat Chaim ben Micha'el on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
20 Tamuz 5767 listen Kotzer / Harvesting: Part 2 -- Potted Plants and Flowers (16:23)
All potted plants are muktzeh, but cut flowers are not. Kotzer and zoreah are often the inverse of each other.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 12:2
19 Tamuz 5767 listen Zorea: Part 4 -- Potted Plants; Introduction to Kotzer / Harvesting (14:25)
Why are potted plants are muktzeh on shabbos? Also: Introduction to the malacha of kotzer and its relationship with zoreah.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 11:4; 12:1
17 Tamuz 5767 listen Haftarah Readings During the Three Weeks (1:15)
The tlata d'puranuta -- three calamaties.
16 Tamuz 5767 listen Zorea: Part 3 -- Pruning; Re-Planting a Potted Plant (12:02)
Third and fourth aspects of planting: pruning to promote new growth; re-planting an existing plant in the ground.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 11:4-5
13 Tamuz 5767 listen Zorea / Planting: Part 2 -- Seeding (14:50)
A second aspect of planting: placing seeds or stalks into water or on the ground. Also: dealing with cut flowers on shabbos; watermelon seeds; soaking grains and beans.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 11:2-3
12 Tamuz 5767 listen Zorea / Planting: Part 1 -- Watering (14:24)
The principle and av malacha of planting, including a discussion of psik reisha and its application.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 11:1
11 Tamuz 5767 listen Choresh / Plowing (17:29)
The malacha of plowing includes: plowing; digging; fertilizer; mulch; dragging a heavy bench or chair; sweeping; playing marbles or soccer; pushing a carriage; sprinkling sand or salt on ice.
Sources: Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 10:1-3
10 Tamuz 5767 listen The "Forty Minus One" Malachos and Tzitzit (13:42)
Why do chazal enumerate the malachos as "forty minus one" rather than thirty-nine? The full list of thirty-nine malachos and an illuminating explanation of their division into categories that indicates a relationship between the malachos and tzitzit.
Sources: Num. 15:32-41; Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 9:1
9 Tamuz 5767 listen Introduction to the 39 Malachos (15:47)
Where does the concept of the thirty-nine forbidden forms of work come from? How do we know there are thirty-nine, and how do we know what they are?
Sources: Ex. 20:7-10; Ex. 31:12-17; Rashi Ex. 31:13; Shabb. 49b; Ch"A Hil. Shabbos 9:1
3 Tamuz 5767 listen Two People Doing a Malacha Together (15:34)
When two people do a malacha together, the given act may be chayav, patur, or mutar -- it depends on the exact circumstances. The details of "shnayim she-asu".
2 Tamuz 5767 listen Intentionality (Part 3): Mitasek; Also: Shiurim for Malacha (13:21)
Complete lack of intentionality. Also: every malacha has a minimal shiur (measure) to be chayav.
28 Sivan 5767 listen Intentionality (Part 2): Lo Tzricha L'Gufa and Hitkaven L'Malacha Acheret (13:10)
Doing a malacha for a different purpose; intending to do one malacha but doing another instead.
27 Sivan 5767 listen Intentionality (Part 1): Lo Mitkaven and Psik Reisha (15:38)
Introduction to malechet machshevet and intentionality with regard to shabbos malacha.
26 Sivan 5767 listen Introduction to Shabbos Malachos: Chayav, Patur, and Mutar (13:57)
An introduction to the general principles of "work" on shabbos.
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Yeshua Yaakov on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
25 Sivan 5767 listen Reciting the Morning Brachot Out of Order; Other Morning Blessings (14:55)
If the morning brachot are recited out of order, how should one correct the error, if at all. Also -- some mistaken brachot that were once recited.
Sources: OC 46:5-7; MB 46:20-23
22 Sivan 5767 listen More Morning Blessings; What if the particular bracha doesn't apply to you? (21:00)
Three more morning brachot; differences in the order of brachot among Sephardim and Ashkenazim. Also: what if the reason for reciting one of the blessings doesn't apply to you?
Sources: OC 46:4,8; MB 46:15-19,24-26; Baer Heitev 46:8
21 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 3): The Order of the Blessings (15:48)
Why are the blessings we recite today in a different order from those in the Shulchan Aruch? And when is the proper time for the bracha al netilat yadayim?
Sources: OC 46:1-2; MB 46:10-13
20 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 2) (14:48)
The blessings over dressing, stretching, opening your eyes, walking, wearing shoes, and more.
Sources: OC 46:1; MB 46:5-9
19 Sivan 5767 listen Morning Blessings (Part 1): Elohai Neshoma and Daybreak (19:18)
The brachot Elohai Neshoma and asher natan l'sechvi vina are recited each morning. What if you didn't sleep? What if you didn't hear a rooster crow?
Sources: OC 46:1,8; MB 46:1-4
18 Sivan 5767 listen Introduction: 100 Brachos per Day (15:47)
Why do we have so many different brachot? An introduction to the history of brachot.
Sources: OC 46:3; MB 46:Introduction,14; Men. 43b
15 Sivan 5767 listen The Prohibition on Reciting Pasukim Prior to Birkat HaTorah (15:28)
Not only is there a requirement to recite Birkat HaTorah prior to learning, there is a reciprocal prohibition agasint reciting pasukim prior to reciting Birkat HaTorah -- even if the pasukim are said as tefilla.
Sources: OC 46:9; MB 46:29-32
14 Sivan 5767 listen Birkot HaTorah -- The Gemara and Tosefot (16:42)
This shiur goes through the Gemara and Tosefot in detail as an illustration of how the pilpul of the Rishonim results in all of the different halacha l'ma'aseh categories in Birkot HaTorah -- the l'chatchila and b'dieved halacha, kavanah, the requirement to learn after the bracha or after ahava raba, etc.
Sources: Brachot 11b; Tos. Br. 11b d.h. SheKvar Niftar
13 Sivan 5767 listen Learning after Birkat HaTorah; Women's Obligation for Birkat HaTorah (16:32)
It is best to learn immediately after reciting Birkat HaTorah. Also: all agree that women too are obligated to recite Birkat HaTorah, though their obligation may or may not be the same as men's obligation.
Sources: OC 47:9,14; MB 47:19-21; Beur Halacha d.h. "Nashim"
12 Sivan 5767 listen Fulfilling the Obligation for Birkat HaTorah via Ahava Raba (15:58)
How is it that Ahava Raba fulfills the obligation to recite a bracha over Torah learning?
Sources: OC 47:7-8; MB 47:13-18
8 Sivan 5767 listen Daytime Sleep and Other Interruptions in Learning (13:32)
Most brachot are only valid so long as one keeps focused on the action over which one made the brachah. So what happens if you take your mind off your learning?
Sources: OC 47:10-11; MB 47:22-25
5 Sivan 5767 listen Staying Awake All Night; Awakening before Dawn (15:56)
If you are awake all night, does one say Birkot HaTorah the following morning? What if you slept a little? What if you wake up to learn in the middle of the night -- are brachot required prior to learning? Halachah l'ma'aseh for Shavuot.
Sources: OC 47:12-13; MB 47:28-33
4 Sivan 5767 listen Thinking Thoughts of Torah (11:57)
Is a brachah required prior to thinking thoughts of Torah? If so, how can we do a mitzvah -- any mitzvah -- without first making Birkot HaTorah?
Sources: OC 47:4; MB 47:5-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaKotev"
1 Sivan 5767 listen Does writing words of Torah require a blessing? (7:51)
When writing or copying words of Torah or pasukim one is not learning Torah. Does writing require a blessing?
Sources: OC 47:3; MB 47:4
28 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Birkot HaTorah (15:30)
We are obligated to make birkot HaTorah with joy over the gift that Hashem has entrusted to us. Failure to do so brings serious consequences
Sources: OC 47:1; MB 47:1-2
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Sara Chanah bat Rachel Devorah.
27 Iyar 5767 listen The Requirement for Birkot HaTorah (15:25)
Birkot HaTorah are required prior to any Torah learning -- including both the Written and Oral Torah, Midrash, Halacha, and even Musar.
Sources: Brachot 11b; Tos. Br. 11b d.h. SheKvar Niftar; OC 47:2; MB 47:3
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
26 Iyar 5767 listen Birkot HaTorah - Introduction (14:53)
An overview of the blessings made over learning Torah. How many blessings are there?
Sources: OC 47:5-6; MB 47:8-12
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivkah ben Devora Pessel.
23 Iyar 5767 listen Saying Brachot Later in the Day (15:19)
In the unfortunate case that we arrive late for shul and skip sections of the morning brachot or Pesukei D'Zimra, we make up for the skipped portions by reciting them after davening.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:9-10
22 Iyar 5767 listen What if you are so late that you have no time for even the minimal Pesukei D'Zimra? (14:56)
You come into shul and find that the chazan is up to barchu. Should you try to catch up?
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:6-8
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chaim Bear ben Perel Yitta.
21 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late for Shul: Summary (18:20)
A summary of the rules of precedence for one who arrives late for shul. Additional rules for Shabbos; the importance of Nishmas. Also, rules for Ba'alei Teshuva who are unable to keep pace with the community.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:5
Dedicated in memory of Zissel Devora bas Avraham Abish on the occastion of her yahrzeit.
20 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of the Halleluya Psalms (13:45)
What makes the Halleluya Psalms (145-150) such an important part of Pesukei D'Zimra?
Sources: MT Hilchot Tefilla 7:12; Shabb. 118b; Sfas Emes, Shabbos 118b
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
19 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Ashrei (13:50)
What makes Ashrei (Psalm 145) so important that the minimal Pesukei D'Zimra consists of Baruch She-Amar, Ashrei, and Yishtabach?
Sources: MT Hilchot Tefilla 7:12; Brachot 4b; Pnei Yehoshua Brachos 4b
16 Iyar 5767 listen Priorities in Pesukei D'Zimra (14:21)
If you arrive late for shul and need to skip parts of Pesukei D'Zimra, you have to know which parts to skip. This shiur puts it all together -- what are the priorities of the different elements of Pesukei D'Zimra and why?
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:4
15 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late for Shul: Brachot Prior to Davening (12:39)
When arriving late, there are three brachot that one must make sure to say prior to beginning Pesukei D'Zimra.
Sources: MB 52:2
13 Iyar 5767 listen The Importance of Arriving On Time for Shul (11:37)
The very fact that Chazal allow us to skip parts of Pesukei D'Zimra in order to daven with the tzibbur tells us how important it is to recite the silent amidah with the tzibbur. But in spite of that, some hold that we should only recite the prayers in order. Arriving on time for shul allows you to both recite the prayers in order and daven with the tzibbur -- the best choice by far.
Sources: OC 52; MB 52:1,3
12 Iyar 5767 listen Friday Haircuts when Lag B'Omer is on Sunday (9:14)
If Lag B'Omer falls on Sunday, there are some leniencies available for Ashkenazim with regard to haircuts on Erev Shabbos.
Sources: OC 493:1-2; MB 493:5-6,8-9
In memory of Mendel Meyer ben Motel on the occasion of his Yahrzeit and for a refuah shleimah for Chaim Bear ben Perel Yitta.
12 Iyar 5767 listen Arriving Late to Shul - Introduction (4:08)
L'chatchila, one should always be on time for shul. But on the occasion that one arrives late, it is important to know the proper halachos of "catching up" in davening so that one can properly recite the amidah with the community.
Sources: OC 52
9 Iyar 5767 listen Adding Prayers for the Sick (12:33)
In the eighth brocha of the amidah, we have the opportunity to insert personal prayers on behalf of those we know who are sick. This shiur covers the language and structure of this brocha.
Sources: OC 116; MB 116:1-4; Jer. 17:14
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
8 Iyar 5767 listen The Order of the Middle Blessings of the Amidah (14:53)
The middle blessings of the amidah -- the requests that we make in the prayer -- are organized for us as an ascent to spiritual greatness. Understanding the structure of the amidah is one way to improve our kavanah.
Sources: OC 115; MB 115:1
Dedicated as a zechut for a refuah shleimah for Chedva Tzippora bas Sarah.
6 Iyar 5767 listen Establishing a Chazaka on Tal or Geshem (14:30)
The same principle with regard to doubt -- that it takes thirty days to establish a new habit -- can also be used to resolve doubts by establishing a new habit with regard to saying tal or geshem.
Sources: OC 114:9; MB 114:40-44
5 Iyar 5767 listen Tal and Geshem: What if you aren't sure what you said? (15:51)
We get so used to the words of the amidah and have such poor focus on our tefillah that sometimes, perhaps even often, we don't know whether we said tal or geshem. What is the halacha in such a case?
Sources: OC 114:8; MB 114:35-38
2 Iyar 5767 listen The Fasts of BaHa"B (22:34)
The fasts of BaHa"B are held twice a year following both Pesach and Sukkos. This shiur explores the reasons behind the fasts and brings out the relevant halachot of BaHa"B.
Sources: OC 492:1; Tur 492; BY 492; MB 492:1-6
1 Iyar 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 2) (12:10)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 48:1; MB 48:1-5
In memory of Moshe ben Hirsh on the occasion of his Yahrzeit and in memory of Minna bas Avraham on the occasion of her Yahrzeit.
30 Nissan 5767 listen Adding the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to Morning Korbanot (Part 1) (12:16)
On Rosh Chodesh, Ashkenazic Jews add the Musaf Rosh Chodesh to the reading of the morning korbanot. Why? Are shabbos and Yom Tov the same or different? How and why?
Sources: OC 421:1; OC 48:1; MB 421:1; MB 48:6; Shaarei Teshuva 48:*
29 Nissan 5767 listen What if you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't? (15:29)
If you add Morid HaGeshem when you shouldn't you need to correct the error. But how do you correct it? That depends on several variables -- whether you added geshem on purpose or by accident and when you realize your mistake.
Sources: OC 114:4,7-8; MB 114:19-24
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Saritte bat Aliza Sali
28 Nissan 5767 listen Summary of the Halachot of Sefirat HaOmer (14:13)
Overview and summary of the various halachot regarding Sefirat HaOmer.
25 Nissan 5767 listen What if you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal"? (13:43)
If you accidentally add or forget "Morid HaTal", you generally need not correct the error. Why not? What if you request tal by accident in barech aleinu?
Sources: OC 114:3-4; MB 114:10,12-15,17-19
24 Nissan 5767 listen What if you ask for rain in the wrong season? (12:01)
After musaf of the first day of Pesach, we stop davening for rain in the amidah. What if you ask for rain by accident?
Sources: OC 117:2-3; MB 117:14; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaTzrichim Matar"
23 Nissan 5767 listen Chometz She-Avar Alav HaPesach (Chometz After Pesach) (20:32)
Even after Pesach has ended, there are still chometz prohibitions that we must be concerned about. Chometz owned by a Jew during Pesach becomes permanently forbidden. But what if a non-Jew gives it to you? Leaves it in your home?
Sources: OC 448:1-3,5; MB 448:3-9
11 Nisan 5767 listen Blessings on the Four Cups of Wine (14:34)
Does each of the four cups require its own brocha rishona? Brocha achrona? Why or why not?
Sources: OC 474:1; MB 474:1-5
10 Nisan 5767 listen Shabbat HaGadol (13:08)
The shabbos before Pesach is known as "The Great Shabbos -- Shabbat HaGadol. Why is it called "Great", and what are the customs associated with this special shabbos?
Sources: Ex. 12:1-20; OC 430:1; MB 430:1-2; Mal. 3:23
9 Nisan 5767 listen Women and Children at the Seder (14:43)
Are women obligated to drink the four cups of wine? What about the rest of the seder obligations? What is a child's role at the seder?
Sources: OC 472:14-16; MB 472:44-45,50
8 Nisan 5767 listen What kind of wine should you use for the four cups? What if you don't like wine? (13:05)
The general rule: use the best wine you can afford.
Sources: OC 472:10-13; MB 472:35-42
7 Nisan 5767 listen Introduction to the Four Cups (13:11)
Why do we drink four cups of wine? How much wine should you drink?
Sources: Ex. 6:6-8; OC 472:8-9; MB 472:24-27,34
4 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: What if you forget to lean? (16:00)
If one forgets to lean at the seder, is he required to go back, or has he fulfilled his mitzvah nonetheless?
Sources: OC 472:7; MB 472:20-23
3 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Reclining When it may be Disrespectful (13:36)
Does a child recline in front of his father to whom he is required to show honor? What about a student in front of his Rabbi?
Sources: OC 472:5-6; MB 472:14-19
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Aliza Sali bas Tzipora
2 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning as a Sign of Freedom (8:16)
Do women lean at the seder? What about mourners?
Sources: OC 472:4; MB 472:12-13
1 Nisan 5767 listen The Pesach Seder: Leaning to the Left (9:27)
At the seder, we all lean to the left, even those who are left-handed. Why?
Sources: OC 472:3; MB 472:9-12
29 Adar 5767 listen Setting a Seder Table fit for a King (9:07)
The seder table is set with one's finest of everything. The Maharil would even decorate his seder table with non-kosher plates and cups!
Sources: OC 472:2; MB 472:6-8
26 Adar 5767 listen When is the best time to start the Seder? (15:15)
We start the seder immediately after dark, in part to make sure the kids are awake.
Sources: OC 472:1; MB 472:1-5; Shaar HaTziun 472:2
25 Adar 5767 listen Chometz Pots; Cat Litter, Listerene, and Beer Shampoo (12:58)
Keilim used with chometz that cannot be cleaned properly or that contain more than a kazayit of chometz must be given to a non-Jew. Also: toasters, cat litter made from dried corn, and the difference between Listerene and beer shampoo.
Sources: OC 442:11; MB 442:51
24 Adar 5767 listen Less Than a Kazayit of Non-Food around the House; Food Unfit for a Dog (17:01)
Chometz dispersed around the house and non-food chometz, including beer shampoo, buckwheat pillows, and beanbags.
Sources: OC 442:8-9; MB 442:36,38,42
23 Adar 5767 listen Keeping Pesach Cleaning Sane (17:14)
What are we required to clean, what to we clean out of legitimate chumra, what is "customary" to clean, and what is just plain foolish? Halachic guidelines to follow in Pesach cleaning.
Sources: OC 442:6-7; MB 442:28,39
22 Adar 5767 listen Chometz? Ink, Non-Foods, Beer, and Booze (9:21)
Ink and other non-foods containing chometz are not an issue to own or use, so long as the chometz was mixed in prior to Pesach. Beer, booze, and other foods, even with just a taste of chomeetz are completely forbidden.
Sources: OC 442:10,5; MB 442:44-45,24
19 Adar 5767 listen Chometz in Non-Foods (15:37)
Chometz medications, glues, and starch in clothes.
Sources: OC 442:3-4; MB 442:13-17,20-21,23
18 Adar 5767 listen Moldy, Rotten Chometz (9:44)
Bread that is so rotten that a dog wouldn't eat it is no longer chometz. But can we own it on Pesach?
Sources: OC 442:2; MB 442:9-12; Shaar HaTziun 442:19
17 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz; Chometz Nukshe (Conclusion) (15:52)
The different categories of ta'arovet chometz and chometz nukshe.
Sources: OC 442:1; MB 442:4-5
16 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz (Part 2); Chometz Nukshe (14:57)
Is it permitted to own mixtures of chometz on Pesach -- for example, beer, wheat-based paste, and paper mache? What is chometz nukshe, and is its din the same or different?
Sources: OC 442:1; MB 442:1-2
15 Adar 5767 listen Mixtures of Chometz (Part 1) (10:21)
Is it permitted to own mixtures of chometz on Pesach -- for example, beer, wheat-based paste, and paper mache?
Sources: OC 442:1
12 Adar 5767 listen Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon for Purim (15:47)
What if you forget al hanissim in birkat hamazon? Also: what if Purim falls before or after shabbos and your meal begins in the day and continues into the night -- can you say both al hanissim and r'tzei?
Sources: OC 695:3; MB 695:15
10 Adar 5767 listen The Importance of Community on Purim: Matanot L'Evyonim and Mishloach Manot (14:48)
Matanot L'Evyonim and Mishloach Manot are mitzvot that enhance the communal joy of Purim and increase the loving brotherhood of all Jews for each other.
Sources: OC 694:4; MB 694:12-13; OC 695:4; MB 695:18-27
9 Adar 5767 listen Halachic Oddities that Emphasize the Importance of Hearing the Megilla (13:00)
The obligations of half-slaves, androginus, and tumtum; reading megilla without a minyan: odd situations that demonstrate the halachic importance of hearing the megilla read.
Sources: OC 689:3-5; MB 689:9,14-15
5 Adar 5767 listen Megilla: The Obligation to Read; the Obligation to Listen (14:35)
Is the obligation to read the Megilla, or is the obligation to hear it read? Is the obligation the same for men and women? Can women read the megilla in public? Can women read it for men?
Sources: OC 689:2; MB 689:4-7; Shaar HaTziun 689:7
4 Adar 5767 listen The Importance of Reading the Megilla (14:35)
Megilla is so important that we put aside (almost) any other mitzvah to read the megilla -- even a mitzvah d'oraita.
Sources: OC 687:2; MB 687:7,10-12
3 Adar 5767 listen Interrupting before the Chetzi Kaddish after Yishtabach (11:04)
Chetzi Kaddish, like all kaddishim, must be said over pasukim. What are the parameters for this? How is it that we say Kaddish d'Rabbanan after learning together? Also: more on the parameters of interruptions between yishtabach and chetzi kaddish for the purpose of a mitzvah.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:9,11,14
2 Adar 5767 listen Yishtabach (Part 2); The Chetzi Kaddish after Yishtabach (14:29)
It is forbidden to interrupt between Yishtabach and Yotzer Ohr with the exception of interruptions for the purpose of a mitzvah that come between Yishtabach and Chetzi Kaddish.
Sources: OC 54:3; MB 54:5-8,13
Dedicated in memory of Hinda bas Fishel on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
28 Shevat 5767 listen Yishtabach (Part 1) (14:38)
Yishtabach completes peukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 54:2; MB 54:2-5
27 Shevat 5767 listen Mizmor L'Todah (9:13)
Special aspects of Mizmor L'Todah in pesukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 51:9; MB 51:21-22
25 Shevat 5767 listen Kavanah for the Verse "Poteach et Yadecha" (14:27)
The verse Poteach et Yadecha of Ashrei requires focus and concentration, and one who says the verse without such kavanah must go back and repeat the verse. Also: various issues of pronunciation and enunciation in pesukei d'zimra.
Sources: OC 51:7; MB 51:15-19
24 Shevat 5767 listen Kavanah in Pesukei d'Zimra: Enunciation (8:14)
Each word of pesukei d'zimra is precious, as precious as a gold coin.
Sources: OC 51:6,8; MB 51:14,20
21 Shevat 5767 listen Why is it forbidden to interrupt during Pesukei d'Zimra? (12:56)
Given the importance that Chazal place on kindness to others, there must be a reason for the stringency forbidding interruptings during pesukei d'zimra. What is it?
Sources: OC 54:1; MB 54:1
20 Shevat 5767 listen Why is Parshat Shekalim read prior to Rosh Chodesh Adar? (19:20)
Also: what if you forget to read one of the four parshiyot?
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29b; OC 685:1; MB 685:2
19 Shevat 5767 listen Greeting Others During Pesukei d'Zimra (8:41)
Chazal upheld the importance of greeting others in such high regard that they permitted interrupting pesukei d'zimra to extend greetings when appropriate. What are the parameters for such an interruption, and what is the halacha l'ma'aseh today?
Sources: OC 51:5; MB 51:12
18 Shevat 5767 listen Interruptions During Pesukei d'Zimra (Part 2) (13:18)
It is forbidden to interrupt pesukei d'zimra except for certain prayer responses.
Sources: OC 51:4; MB 51:10-11
17 Shevat 5767 listen Interruptions During Pesukei d'Zimra (Part 1) (14:09)
It is forbidden to interrupt pesukei d'zimra except for certain prayer responses.
Sources: OC 51:4; MB 51:6-9
14 Shevat 5767 listen Omitting Tachanun on Tu B'Shvat (8:07)
In general, we omit tachanun on holidays and at mincha on the day prior to the holiday, though there are exceptions.
Sources: OC 131:6; MB 131:30-34
13 Shevat 5767 listen Interrupting Between Baruch She-Amar and Hodu (12:31)
Though it is forbidden to interrupt between a bracha and the action which required the bracha, we can say "Amen" between Baruch She-Amar and Hodu. Why?
Sources: OC 51:2-3; Beur Halacha d.h. "Oneh Acharav"; MB 51:4
Dedicated in memory of Aharon ben Tzvi on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
12 Shevat 5767 listen Answering "Amen" to Your Own Bracha (16:36)
In general, we don't answer "Amen" to our own brachot, but there are exceptions.
Sources: OC 51:2-3; MB 51:2-3,5; Beur Halacha d.h. "HaChazan"
11 Shevat 5767 listen Introduction to Baruch She-Amar and Pesukei D'Zimra (15:10)
What is the origin of Baruch She-Amar? What is the purpose of Pesukei D'Zimra?
Sources: OC 51:1; MB 51:1
29 Tevet 5767 listen Introduction to Tefillat HaDerech (13:55)
We say Tefillat HaDerech before a trip. During a trip, we say it as part of the amidah.
Sources: OC 110:4; OC 110:7; MB 110:16-23,29
28 Tevet 5767 listen Reviewing Rosh Chodesh Prayers in Advance (14:51)
Prior to Rosh Chodesh and other events that come less frequently than once a month, we prepare the prayers in order to recite them fluently.
Sources: OC 100:1; MB 100:1-3; Shaarei Teshuva 100:2
27 Tevet 5767 listen Permitted Interruptions in the Amidah (14:45)
Most people don't realize that there are times when it is permissible to interrupt in the middle of the amidah -- but these times are very specific, and l'chatchila we must prepare everything possible prior to beginning the amidah in order to prevent such interruptions. What are the parameters involved?
Sources: OC 96:2; MB 96:8; OC 104:1,3; MB 104:1-2,10
26 Tevet 5767 listen Examplary Personal Prayers (13:35)
A look at the personal prayers of various tannaim and amoraim.
Dedicated for a zechus for Arlyne bas Frida, that she should be saved from a din of sreifa.
22 Tevet 5767 listen Interrupting Elokei N'tzor (14:42)
All the halachot of permitted and forbidden interruptions during personal supplications after the amidah, in detail.
Sources: OC 122; MB 122:2-7
21 Tevet 5767 listen Is Elokei N'tzor part of the amidah? (11:14)
Do we consider Elokei N'tzor to be a fixed prayer or an optional prayer? Can we interrupt in the middle to answer kaddish or kedusha? To say amen?
Sources: MB 122:1
20 Tevet 5767 listen After the Amidah: Elokei N'tzor (13:35)
After the amidah, we are free to add our own personal prayers, though once again there are parameters to work in. For starters, at exactly what point is the amidah finished?
Sources: OC 122:1
19 Tevet 5767 listen Keeping the Matbeah shel Tefilla (13:56)
When adding personal prayers, we do so in a way that ensures the integrity of the prayers set down by chazal.
Sources: OC 119:1-2; MB 119:9-12
18 Tevet 5767 listen Praying for Klal Yisrael (8:24)
According to Rabbeinu Yonah, we follow different constraints when adding prayers for Klal Yisrael as opposed to prayers for oneself or an individual.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:5-8
15 Tevet 5767 listen Hashem Hears All Our Prayers (15:02)
Personal prayers of any kind can be added to Shomea Tefillah, the last of the (weekday) middle blessings.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:4;122:8
14 Tevet 5767 listen Inserting Personal Prayers in the Amidah (11:46)
The halachic parameters of personal requests -- where and how they can (and cannot) be inserted in the amidah.
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:2-3
13 Tevet 5767 listen Personal Prayer: An Introduction to Kavanah (11:41)
With all the emphasis on the requirements of prayer and all of the proscriptive elements of kavanah, just where does personal prayer come in? How do I put myself into my amidah?
Sources: OC 119:1; MB 119:1
12 Tevet 5767 listen Standing in Awe (14:51)
When davening the amidah, we stand in awe before the King of all Kings.
Sources: OC 95:2-3; MB 95:6-7
8 Tevet 5767 listen The Fasts of the 8th and 9th of Tevet (10:51)
The 8th and 9th of Tevet are among the lesser known fast days that are, in general, publicly observed.
Sources: OC 580:1-2; MB 580:13
7 Tevet 5767 listen Closing Our Eyes in Order to See (15:18)
Sometimes we see best by closing our eyes. Also: Standing for Kedusha.
Sources: OC 95:4,2; MB 95:8,4-5;91:6;90:8
Dedicated for a zechus for Shmuel Natan ben Yosef and Chana bat Avraham, that they should have the zechus to have many children and to raise them to a life of Torah, Chuppah, and Ma'asim Tovim.
6 Tevet 5767 listen Standing Like an Angel before Hashem (16:13)
When we arise for the amidah, we leave the physical world behind.
Sources: OC 95:1; MB 95:1-3
Dedicated for a zechus for Shmuel Natan ben Yosef and Chana bat Avraham, that they should have the zechus to have many children and to raise them to a life of Torah, Chuppah, and Ma'asim Tovim.
5 Tevet 5767 listen Facing East to Daven (11:50)
In general, when we rise for the amidah we turn toward Jerusalem, which in the US means facing East. But we may also face South -- toward the Menorah, or North, toward the Table. Just what is this directionality about?
Sources: Bava Batra 25b; OC 94:1-2; MB 94:1-2
1 Tevet 5767 listen Where (Not) to Place Chanukah Candles on Erev Shabbos (8:32)
On Erev Shabbos -- and even on a weekday -- one should take care not to place Chanukah candles where they may be blown out by the wind.
Sources: OC 680:1-2; MB 680:1,3-4
29 Kislev 5767 listen Torah Readings on Chanukah, Shabbos Chanukah, and Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (11:09)
What is the Torah reading for Chanukah and why? What do we read on shabbos? Rosh Chodesh?
Sources: OC 684:1-2; MB 684:1-2,5,7
28 Kislev 5767 listen Reciting Hallel on Chanukah (8:12)
Chanukah is a holiday of thanks and praise expressed by, among other things, the daily recitation of Hallel.
Sources: OC 683:1; MB 683:1
27 Kislev 5767 listen Al HaNissim for Chanukah (13:42)
Why doesn't al hanisim mention the nes of the oil? Adding al hanissim to birkat hamazon and the amidah; what if you forget al hanissim?
Sources: OC 682:1-2; MB 682:1-4,6
24 Kislev 5767 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles at Home (14:48)
Today, we in the US generally don't put our Chanukah candles outside. But they should be placed in a window nonetheless. Where is the best place to put them?
Sources: OC 671:6,8; MB 671:26-28,30,50,54
Dedicated for zechus for the release of captive Israeli soldiers.
22 Kislev 5767 listen When the First Night of Chanukah Falls on Erev Shabbos (15:37)
When lighting Chanukah candles before Shabbos, it is best to daven Mincha first -- especially if it's the first night. Why? And what if you can't?
Sources: OC 672:1; OC 679:1; MB 679:1-2; Shaar HaTzium 679:7
Dedicated for chizuk for Oritte bat Aliza.
21 Kislev 5767 listen Placing the Chanukah Candles in Public View (13:03)
Where is the best place to light your Chanukah candles?
Sources: OC 671:5; MB 671:21,24-25
20 Kislev 5767 listen Chanukah Candles: The Difference Between a "Candle" and a "Flame" (13:16)
Each Chanukah candle must be separate and distinct, and all must stand in a row, none more or less important than another.
Sources: OC 671:4; MB 671:14-15,18-19
18 Kislev 5767 listen The Mystical Origins of Chanukah (16:21)
Chanukah has mystical origins that go all the way back to Creation. In fact, Chanukah is woven into the very fabric of the universe.
Sources: Midrash Tanhuma B'ha'alatcha 5; Gen. 32:25; Rashi to Gen. 32:25; Chul. 91a; Av.Zar. 8a; Gen. 1:3; Rashi to Gen. 1:4; Num. 33:29; Chag. 12a
Dedicated in honor of Rabbi Joseph Hager.
16 Kislev 5767 listen The Essence of Chanukah (13:15)
Why is Chanukah the only holiday where there is no festive meal? What does the joy of Chanukah celebrate?
Sources: OC 670:2; MB 670:6,9
15 Kislev 5767 listen Aspects of Chanukah (16:14)
Various lesser-known aspects of Chanukah: prohibitions on eulogies and fasting; women's freedom from work while the candles are burning; the courageous acts of Yehudit, the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, and more.
Sources: OC 670:1-3; MB 670:3-5,7,10,12
14 Kislev 5767 listen What is Chanukah? (12:50)
The introduction to Chanukah as brought in the Mishnah Brurah.
Sources: OC 670:1; MB 670:1
13 Kislev 5767 listen What if you forget v'Ten Tal u'Mater? (11:43)
The general rule is that you must go back to pray for rain if you forget to mention "matar", but the details are must more complicated.
Sources: OC 117:4-5; MB 117:15,17,19
11 Kislev 5767 listen Praying for Rain (11:18)
During the Winter season, we have an obligation to ask for rain in our amidah.
Sources: OC 117:1,4; MB 117:3-5,7,15
9 Kislev 5767 listen Introduction to v'Ten Tal u'Matar (12:46)
Why do we praise Hashem for rain in one bracha but daven for rain in another? When do we daven for rain?
8 Kislev 5767 listen Responding After the Chazan Even If You Don't Know What He Said (14:05)
Should you answer "amen" if you don't know what you are answering to? What about kaddish or kedusha? Should you respond "amen" to a child's brachah?
Sources: OC 124:11-12; MB 124:45-47
7 Kislev 5767 listen The Meaning of "Amen" (11:58)
What does "amen" mean? Also: "amen" that is too short or too long.
Sources: OC 124:8-11; MB 124:35,41
6 Kislev 5767 listen Knowing What Bracha You Are Answering (8:54)
More about orphaned, rushed, mumbled, and other incorrect forms or pronunciations of "Amen."
Sources: OC 124:8; MB 124:33-34
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Meir Tzvi ben Dov Ber on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
1 Kislev 5767 listen What if the chazan forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo? (9:05)
The shaliach tzibbur generally goes back to make up for a missed ya'alei v'yavo, though he would not repeat the entire amidah. Why not? What does he do instead?
Sources: OC 126:3; MB 126:13
30 Cheshvan 5767 listen Forgetting Ya'alei v'Yavo on Rosh Chodesh (7:12)
An individual who forgets Ya'alei v'Yavo can fulfill his obligation along with the shaliach tzibur... or can he?
Sources: OC 124:10; MB 124:39-40
29 Cheshvan 5767 listen Orphaned, Rushed, and Mumbled "Amen" (10:23)
Pitfalls to avoid in saying "Amen": not hearing the end of the bracha, answering too quickly, not answering quickly enough, mumbling or swallowing the sounds, and more.
Sources: OC 124:8; MB 124:30-32
26 Cheshvan 5767 listen Putting the "A" in "Amen" (15:08)
The proper pronunciation of the "A" in "Amen" and the proper kavanah for "Amen."
Sources: OC 124:6,8; MB 124:25,29
25 Cheshvan 5767 listen How to Answer a Bracha (13:02)
Answering a bracha is not so simple as we might expect. How and when do we say "baruch hu uvaruch shmo"?
Sources: OC 124:5-6; MB 124:21,24; Shaar HaTziun 124:24
24 Cheshvan 5767 listen Listening with Kavanah During Chazarat HaShatz (Part 2) (15:56)
Even for one who has already davened, it is so important to listen with kavanah to chazarat hashatz that it is forbidden even to learn Torah! As for one who talks... "his sin is too great to bear."
Sources: OC 124:4,7; MB 124:16-18;26-28
23 Cheshvan 5767 listen Introduction to Chazarat HaShatz (14:29)
The shaliach tzibur repeats the amidah for the sake of those who are unable to say it themselves. What does it mean to be unable to say the amidah yourself? If everyone in the community can say it, does the shatz need to repeat it? Does the shatz need to wait for everyone to finish his personal amidah before beginning chazarat hashatz? Should he at least wait for the rabbi?
Sources: OC 124:3; MB 124:12-13
22 Cheshvan 5767 listen Listening with Intent to the Shaliach Tzibur (Part 1) (11:40)
One who cannot daven the amidah fulfills his obligation by listening intentfully to the shaliach tzibur... but there are more than a few stipulations...
Sources: OC 124:1; MB 124:1-3
19 Cheshvan 5767 listen Kavanah in Shema and Brachot (10:19)
We declare the shema alound to awaken our kavanah. The same is true of all our brachot.
Sources: OC 62:2-5; MB 62:9; OC 206:3; MB 206:13
18 Cheshvan 5767 listen Hearing Yourself Recite the Shema (12:49)
As with the amidah we are required to recite the shema loud enough that we can hear our own words. But unlike the amidah, there is no prohibition on vocalizing it fully.
Sources: OC 62:2-4; MB 62:4-7
17 Cheshvan 5767 listen Speaking the Words of Shema (14:45)
Like the amidah, the shema should be recited aloud, and like the amidah, though it can be recited in any language that you understand, Hebrew is prefered.
Sources: OC 61:4-5; MB 61:17,26; OC 62:1-2; MB 62:1-3
16 Cheshvan 5767 listen How do our prayers reach the Heavens? (15:18)
Effective tefillah reaches the Heavens. Chazal explain that prayer in Hebrew is more effective, but that doesn't mean you can only daven in Hebrew.
Sources: OC 101:4; MB 101:14-19
15 Cheshvan 5767 listen The Sanctity of the Hebrew Language (9:27)
What gives Hebrew the special status of being the only language you are allowed to pray in even if you don't understand what you are saying?
Sources: OC 101:4; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yachol l'hitpallel"
12 Cheshvan 5767 listen Davening in a Language Other Than Hebrew (11:25)
It is generally permissible to daven in any language that you understand, though the communal prayers should remain fixed in Hebrew.
Sources: OC 101:4; MB 101:13; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yachol l'hitpallel"
11 Cheshvan 5767 listen Davening Aloud From a Siddur (9:00)
The halachot of davening aloud in public change when everyone is using a siddur.
Sources: OC 101:3; MB 101:11-12
10 Cheshvan 5767 listen Raising Your Voice to Raise Your Kavanah (13:03)
Sometimes raising your voice will improve your kavanah. Is this permissible in shul? What about at home? Is this only for the amidah or for other prayers as well?
Sources: OC 101:2; MB 101:8-10; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'im aino yachol l'chaven"
9 Cheshvan 5767 listen Mouthing and Whispering the Words of the Amidah (10:18)
Many of the halachos of the amidah are learned from the prayers of Chana. For instance, we don't just think the words in our hearts but rather whisper them to ourselves.
Sources: OC 101:2; MB 101:5-7; Beur Halacha d.h. "B'libo"
8 Cheshvan 5767 listen The Amidah, Korbanot, and Kavanah (10:00)
There are a number of halachos in the amidah that we learn from the halachos of the korbanot.
Sources: OC 98:4-5
5 Cheshvan 5767 listen Kavanah During the Avot (12:01)
The avot bracha has a stronger requirement for kavanah than the rest of the amidah, so much so that some say that you should go back and repeat the amidah if you didn't have kavanah during the avot. Though in our time, we aren't even up to that level.
Sources: OC 101:1; MB 101:1-4; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'im aino yachol"
3 Cheshvan 5767 listen Developing Kavanah; Avoiding Distractions (13:08)
Practical issues in kavanah: contemplating the greatness of Hashem and the smallness of Man to develop kavanah; avoid distracting smells; avoiding distracting thoughts.
Sources: OC 98:1-3; MB 98:4-9
In memory of Leah bas Yechezkel on the occasion of her yahrzeit. May her neshoma have an aliyah.
28 Tishrei 5767 listen Shabbos Mevarchim and Machar Chodesh (7:48)
On the shabbos before Rosh Chodesh, we announce the upcoming month. Also, if Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday, we read a special haftarah on Shabbos.
Sources: OC 417; MB 417:1
28 Tishrei 5767 listen Maintaining Kavanah During the Amidah (5:52)
Three techniques for maintaining focus during the amidah...
Sources: OC 98:1
In memory of Feigel bas Aharon HaCohen on the occasion of her yahrzeit. May her neshoma have an aliyah.
27 Tishrei 5767 listen Proper Kavanah in the Amidah (8:31)
Focus during the amidah on the simple, straightforward meaning of the words you are saying. It's as simple -- and difficult -- as that.
Sources: OC 98:1; MB 98:1
26 Tishrei 5767 listen What if you forget Mashiv HaRuach? (12:14)
What to do if you leave out (or aren't sure if you said) mashiv haruach, with all the sources and all the details.
Sources: OC 114:5-9; MB 114:28-31,33; Beiur Halacha d.h. "B'lo chatima"; Baer Heiteiv 114:14
25 Tishrei 5767 listen Announcing Mashiv HaRuach (7:05)
The kahal does not begin to say mashiv haruach until it has been announced. But what if you don't hear it?
Sources: OC 114:2; MB 114:4,5,8,9
24 Tishrei 5767 listen Introduction to Mashiv HaRuach (7:15)
Topics covered: Why do we begin mashiv haruach on Shmini Atzeret? Why do we say it in the second brocha, the brocha of gevurot? What if you leave out mashiv haruach by accident?
Sources: OC 114:1; MB 114:1-2
19 Tishrei 5767 listen Dwelling in the Sukkah (9:59)
What does it mean to "dwell" in the Sukkah? In brief, we live in the Sukkah as we live in our homes the rest of the year... though in practice, it's a bit more complicated...
Sources: OC 639:1; MB 639:2,4,6,9
18 Tishrei 5767 listen Borrowed, Shared, and Stolen Sukkos (10:36)
Can you borrow a sukkah? Share one? What if you steal a sukkah?
Sources: OC 637:2-3; MB 637:5-9
17 Tishrei 5767 listen Feeling Joy on Sukkos (6:03)
There is a mitzvah to feel happy on Sukkos. How can Hashem command us to feel joy!?
17 Tishrei 5767 listen Building a Sukkah in the Middle of the Festival (7:08)
Can you put up a sukkah on chol hamoed? What about on Yom Tov?
Sources: OC 637:1; MB 637:1-4
14 Tishrei 5767 listen Sukkos, Children, and Chinuch (12:56)
Like all our Holidays, Sukkos has an element of chinuch: buy a lulav for your kids if they can wave it.
Sources: OC 657; MB and Biur Halacha ad. locum.
13 Tishrei 5767 listen Giving Up Everything to Avoid an Aveira (8:59)
For a mitzvah aseh, one should be prepared to spend up to 1/5 of his assets. But to avoid a lo ta'aseh? Be prepared to give up everything.
Sources: OC 656:1
12 Tishrei 5767 listen Spending Extra for Hiddur Mitzvah (13:13)
The Talmud learns that we should spend up to 1/3 extra for a beautiful etrog. How do we apply this halacha?
Sources: Bava Kama 9a; OC 656:1; MB 656:4
11 Tishrei 5767 listen Why Do We Dwell in Sukkos? (9:25)
Why do we dwell in sukkos for seven days? And why this time of year?
Sources: OC 625:1; MB 625:1
8 Tishrei 5767 listen Doing Teshuva When You're Not Sure if You Need To (3:50)
What about things we've done that we aren't sure if they are aveiros? What if you aren't sure if you did an aveira or not?
Sources: OC 603:1
6 Tishrei 5767 listen Pas Yisroel and Other Stringencies During the Ten Days (2:30)
All Jews are strict about pas yisroel during the ten days, even those of us who normally eat pas palter. Why the extra stringency? Just who are we fooling? We certainly aren't fooling G-d, and we aren't even fooling ourselves. So why do it?
Sources: OC 603:1; MB 603:1
5 Tishrei 5767 listen Davening Alone During the Ten Days (4:38)
Can Avinu Malkeinu be said without a minyan? What about selichot? Vidui?
Sources: OC 602:1; Baer Heitev 602:1; OC 581:1; MB 581:4
4 Tishrei 5767 listen Selichot, Vidui, and Avinu Malkeinu (2:51)
Special penetential prayers are added during the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva.
Sources: OC 602:1; MB 602:2,6
3 Tishrei 5767 listen Mistakes in Changes to the Amidah (3:27)
There are six changes to the Amidah during the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva. For five of them, one need not repeat the Amidah if a mistake is made.
28 Elul 5766 listen Erev Rosh HaShanah (2:44)
On the day before Rosh HaShanah, we do not say tachanun nor blow shofar.
Sources: OC 581:3; MB 581:24
27 Elul 5766 listen Shofar: Confusing the Soton (4:49)
Why all the different and repeated shofar blasts? It confuses the Soton.
26 Elul 5766 listen Passing Before Hashem for Review and Judgement (5:27)
On Rosh HaShanah, all people pass before Hashem for His review and judgement.
25 Elul 5766 listen Hashem Taught Moshe the Selichos (2:27)
The selichos are a sublime petition for forgiveness. Their origin? From the Heavens themselves.
22 Elul 5766 listen Identifying a Good Chazan (12:13)
Both the chazan and ba'al tokea (shofar blower) must be Torah observant, married, and over age 30.
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:2,5,11-13
21 Elul 5766 listen "Minor" Sins with Major Consequences (11:05)
In addition to serious transgressions like heresy, the Rambam lists are several transgressions that seem minor in comparison... but that cause a Jew to lose his portion in olam ha-ba.
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ariella Rivkah bas Devora Pessel.
20 Elul 5766 listen Acts Against the Jewish People (14:04)
One who separates himself from the Jewish people in this world will be spiritually cut off in the next. So too, one who causes the Nation of Israel to sin will be spiritually excised. Hashem's response to us is measure for measure: as we treat Him, so too will He treat us.
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ariella Rivkah bas Devora Pessel.
19 Elul 5766 listen Public Sinners, Public Sin (13:23)
The status of: a mumar who is known to violate a particular mitzvah; a mumar who publicly follows a foreign belief system out of convenience; and those who cause the community as a whole to sin.
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ariella Rivkah bas Devora Pessel.
18 Elul 5766 listen Various Forms of Heresy (10:33)
Deniers of Hashem, deniers of prophecy, and deniers of Torah: various forms of heresy.
15 Elul 5766 listen A Jew's Portion in Olam HaBa (12:33)
Jews who lose their portion in Olam HaBa.
14 Elul 5766 listen What is the tribal affiliation of a convert? (3:15)
Most Jews currently don't know their ancestral tribal affiliation, but when moshiach comes, all Jews will be restored to their ancestral tribes. What will happen to a convert who has no ancestral tribe?
14 Elul 5766 listen Teshuva, Olam HaBa, and Tefillin (7:36)
What is the impact of Teshuva on a Jew's portion of Olam HaBa?
13 Elul 5766 listen The Shofar's Call to Teshuva (13:37)
The Rambam's famous understanding of the call of the shofar -- "Awake, sleepers, from your slumber!"
In memory of Chaya Sarah bas Micha'el HaLevi on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
12 Elul 5766 listen The Book of Life (11:42)
The books are open: the Book of Life for the righteous and the Book of Death for the wicked; the rest of us hang in the balance.
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Mori v'Rabi, HaRav Shlomo Yitzchak ben Elka, shlit"a.
8 Elul 5766 listen Half Guilty, Half Innocent (10:54)
We should always see ourselves as half guilty, half innocent -- one more aveira and our sentence will be sealed.
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Hinde bas Hersh on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
7 Elul 5766 listen The Other Side of Teshuva: Granting Forgiveness (14:17)
When another has wronged you, you must work on yourself to develop a forgiving nature.
6 Elul 5766 listen Making Restitution as Part of Teshuva (12:51)
Sometimes, teshuva on its own is not enough. If another person was involved, we must make restitution and seek forgiveness from him.
5 Elul 5766 listen Teshuva in Our Hearts (11:34)
Complete teshuva requires resolution of the heart, mind, and soul.
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Batya bat Leah.
4 Elul 5766 listen What is complete Teshuva? (7:36)
How do you know when you've done teshuva? When is teshuva complete?
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ephraim ben Chana Miriam.
30 Av 5766 listen Elul - The Season of Teshuva (9:16)
What makes Elul such an auspicious time for reconciling ourselves with Hashem?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581 - Introduction
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Ariella Rivkah bas Devora Pessel.
1 Elul 5766 listen The Sounds of the Shofar (7:17)
We begin blowing the shofar daily from Rosh Chodesh Elul. Why all the different sounds?
Sources: OC 581:1; MB 581:3; MT Shofar 1:1
29 Av 5766 listen The Four Levels of Transgression (12:47)
The four levels of transgression and the requirements of kaporah for each.
28 Av 5766 listen Teshuva and Yom Kippur (12:43)
Teshuva and the se'ir hamishtaleach of Yom Kippur.
27 Av 5766 listen Korbanot, Teshuva, and Vidui (12:04)
The interrelationship among korbanot, teshuva, and vidui.
Given as a zechus for a refuah shleima for Tuvia ben Brocha.
26 Av 5766 listen The Hizbulla War - Why did it happen? (14:54)
In Rav Dovid's maleva malka drasha, he discusses his trip to Israel during the Hizbulla War. His religious response to the war and the reasons for it are lessons in bitachon that will leave you wondering... what do you personally need to do to help the Jewish people in these difficult times?
Sources: Deu. 15:12-18
23 Av 5766 listen Introduction to Teshuva (7:16)
The tremendous value of teshuva is more precious than the World to Come.
Sources: Avot 4:21-22
Dedicated for a shidduch for Henya Rivka bas Fruma.
24 Av 5766 listen The Mitzvah of Vidui (7:40)
Vidui is a Mitzvah d'Oraita according to the Rambam. How is it done?
L'ilui nishmat Freida bas Mendel on the occasion of her yahrzeit.
13 Av 5766 listen Mourning the Site of Jerusalem Destroyed (14:25)
The obligation to rend one's garments at the sight of the destroyed Cities of Judah, Jerusalem, and the Temple.
Sources: OC 561:1-5; MB 561:2,5-6,10-13
10 Av 5766 listen Restrictions on the 10th of Av (8:23)
Restrictions on meat, wine, shaving, haircuts, and washing continue into the 10th of Av, though there are leniencies when the 10th falls on Friday.
Sources: OC 558:1; MB 558:1,3
7 Av 5766 listen Nachem, Aneinu, Selichot, and Tachnun on Tisha B'Av (14:37)
Nachem, a special prayer for Tisha B'Av is added to boneh Yerushalayim. Aneinu is added as on all fast days. There are no selichot nor is tachnun recited, both due to the fact that Tisha B'Av is a moed.
Sources: OC 557:1; MB 557:1-5; OC 559:4; MB 559:18-21
8 Av 5766 listen The Severity and Importance of Tisha B'Av (13:12)
Summary of the hilchot Tisha B'Av.
Sources: MB 549:2; OC 554:25
6 Av 5766 listen Tallis and Tefillin on Tisha B'Av (9:19)
Tallis and tefillin are not worn at shacharit onTisha B'Av. Why? Also: sleeping on the floor or without a pillow.
Sources: OC 555:1-2; MB 555:1,3,8; Lam. 2:17
2 Av 5766 listen Prohibitions on Work and Greeting Others on Tisha B'Av (12:41)
Take the day off if possible, and avoid greeting others.
Sources: OC 554:23-24,20-21; MB 554:48-50,41-42
3 Av 5766 listen The Night of Tisha B'Av (11:04)
Ma'ariv, Eicha, and sitting on the floor.
Sources: OC 559:2-3; MB 559:4-7,10-11,13
28 Tamuz 5766 listen Prohibitions on Annointing and Shoes on Tisha B'Av (10:34)
The parameters of the prohibitions on annointing with oil and wearing shoes.
Sources: OC 554:15-17; MB 554:30-31,34-35
29 Tamuz 5766 listen Marital Relations; Working on Tisha B'Av (12:10)
Marital relations are forbidden, but does the prohibition have all the stringencies of niddah? Introduction to the prohibition of working on Tisha B'Av.
Sources: OC 554:18,22; MB 554:37,43-45
24 Tamuz 5766 listen Torah Study on Tisha b'Av (13:52)
The first of the five afflictions: Torah study. What is prohibited, what is allowed?
Sources: OC 554:2-4; MB 554:3-8
25 Tamuz 5766 listen Tisha B'Av: Fasting Leniencies; Restrictions on Washing (15:55)
On Tisha b'Av, the restrictions on eating, drinking, and washing are identical to the restrictions on Yom Kippur.
Sources: OC 554:5-11; MB 554:16,21-22
23 Tamuz 5766 listen Accepting the Fast of Tisha b'Av (13:43)
The five afflictions of Tisha b'Av and the acceptance of the fast.
Sources: OC 554:1; MB 554:1; OC 553; MB 553:1-3,8
22 Tamuz 5766 listen What to Eat at the Seudah HaMafseket (11:13)
A variety of (raw) fruits, cheeses, and dairy products are permitted, though a mourner's meal is best. Also: why do we skip tachnun at mincha?
Sources: Taanit 30a; OC 552:4-8,12; Baer Heitev 552:5; MB 552:15-18
L'ilui nishmat Chaim ben Micha'el on the occasion of his yahrzeit.
21 Tamuz 5766 listen Forbidden Foods for Seudah HaMafseket (11:13)
The Seudah HaMafseket is a simple meal, with one simple cooked dish and no wine.
Sources: OC 552:1-3; MB 552:1,3-6,11; Shaar HaTziun 552:1
17 Tamuz 5766 listen The Calamities of the 17th of Tamuz (3:38)
The Talmud lists five calamities that befell the Jewish People on Shiva Asar b'Tamuz.
Sources: OC 549; MB 549:2
18 Tamuz 5766 listen Introduction to the Seudah HaMafseket (10:49)
What is the seudah hamafseket eaten on Erev Tisha b'Av?
Sources: OC 552:9; MB 552:20,22
L'ilui nishmat Avraham ben Leib on the occasion of his 25th yahrzeit.
16 Tamuz 5766 listen Washing, Bathing, and Shehechiyanu (14:04)
Prohibitions on washing and bathing during the Three Weeks. Avoiding missing opportunities to say shehechiyanu.
Sources: OC 551:16-17; MB 551:88,90,92,94,96-100; Beur Halacha d.h. V'litzorech mitzvah
15 Tamuz 5766 listen Meat and Wine; Summary of Mourning in the Three Weeks (10:27)
Prohibitions on meat and wine; more on haircuts and shaving; summary of the mourning customs of the Three Weeks.
Sources: OC 551:4,7,9,11-13; MB 551:36-37,40,49,58-59,79-80
14 Tamuz 5766 listen Haircuts, Laundry, and New Clothes During the Three Weeks (15:05)
Haircuts and clean or new clothes are avoided as a sign of mourning.
Sources: OC 551:3,5; MB 551:20-22,25,32,44-45
11 Tamuz 5766 listen Diminishing Joy: Business, Engagements, and Weddings During the Three Weeks (13:47)
During the Nine Days or Three Weeks, we diminish our joy in all endeavors, whether for business or pleasure.
Sources: OC 551:2; MB 551:11-19
10 Tamuz 5766 listen Introduction to the Three Weeks (9:17)
Introduction to the mourning period leading up to Tisha b'Av.
Sources: Taanit 26b; OC 551:1; MB 551:2,9
9 Tamuz 5766 listen The Differences Between Tisha B'Av and Other Fasts (13:12)
An overview of the four fasts: the 10th of Tevet, the 17th of Tamuz, the 9th of Av, and the 3rd of Tishrei.
Sources: OC 550; MB 550:1,4,6-10
7 Tamuz 5766 listen The 9th of Tamuz (10:14)
The 9th of Tamuz is a fast day for a ba'al nefesh. Why is it not a fast day for the rest of us?
Sources: OC 549; MB 549:1,4
4 Tamuz 5766 listen Kissing Tefillin and Tzitzit During Shema (11:56)
When, where, and why we touch, hold, and kiss tefillin and tzitzit during kriat shema.
Sources: OC 61:25-26; MB 61:39-40; OC 24:2,4; MB 24:4-7; Men. 43b
3 Tamuz 5766 listen Separating Between Words of Shema (11:01)
We must be careful to separate between words so as not to slur them together. Some read the shema with the ta'amei hamikra (cantillation marks) to improve their kavanah.
Sources: OC 61:19-24; MB 24:38
2 Tamuz 5766 listen The Rewards of Proper Pronunciation and Enunciation of Shema (14:25)
Grammatical pauses, enunciating letters, differentiating words. What is the reward for proper recitation of shema?
Sources: OC 61:14-18; MB 61:31,32; OC 62:1; MB 62:1-2
1 Tamuz 5766 listen Mentioning Rosh Chodesh in Birkat HaMazon and Korbonot (8:27)
Part of the observance of Rosh Chodesh includes adding ya'aleh v'yavo in Birkat HaMazon. What if it is forgotten? Also: mentioning the Rosh Chodesh sacrifices as part of korbonot.
Sources: MB 419:2; OC 424:1; MB 424:1-2; OC 421:1; MB 421:1
30 Sivan 5766 listen Having a Rosh Chodesh Meal (4:25)
Not quite as extravagant as shabbos, the Rosh Chodesh meal is a mitzvah nonetheless.
Sources: OC 419:1; MB 419:1
27 Sivan 5766 listen The Prohibition on Repeating the Shema (14:01)
We are forbidden from reciting Shema repeatedly. Why? What about other verses? Also: why do we say Baruch shem kavod malchuto l'olam va'ed in a whisper?
Sources: OC 61:9-10,12-13; MB 61:22,28,30
26 Sivan 5766 listen The 248 Words of Shema (13:49)
The 248 words of Shema have a therapeutic benefit on both body and soul.
Sources: OC 61:3; MB 61:6,11,13,14
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Menachem Mendel ben Yeshua Yaakov.
25 Sivan 5766 listen Kavanah for Hashem's Name (13:21)
What is the correct kavanah when saying Hashem's name? When saying elokim?
Sources: OC 5; MB 5:1-3
24 Sivan 5766 listen Developing Kavanah for Shema (13:39)
Simple, straightforward steps to developing kavanah for Shema: close and cover your eyes; pronounce the words aloud; enunciate; focus on the meaning of the words; recognize that the words are new and renewed each day.
Sources: OC 61:2,4-8; MB 61:17,20; Shaarei Teshuva 61:7
23 Sivan 5766 listen Reciting Shema with Fear, Awe, and Trembling (13:57)
The depth of meaning in the kavanah of kriat shema.
Sources: OC 61:1; MB 61:1-4
20 Sivan 5766 listen Kavanah for the First Pasuk of Kriat Shema (13:03)
What is the required kavanah for reciting Shema?
Sources: OC 60:5; MB 60:11-12
19 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 3 (12:20)
With regard to kavanah, is there a difference between a mitzvah d'oraita and a mitzvah d'rabbanan?
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:10
18 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 2 (13:35)
If you do a mitzvah without kavanah, have you fulfilled your obligation, or do you need to go back and do the mitzvah again with kavanah? Second opinion: mitzvot require kavanah.
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:8-9
Dedicated for a refuah shleimah for Ariella Rivka bas Devorah Pesel.
17 Sivan 5766 listen Do Mitzvot Require Kavanah? - Part 1 (15:18)
What intentions are required when doing a mitzvah? What is kavanah? First opinion: mitzvot do not require kavanah.
Sources: OC 60:4; MB 60:7
16 Sivan 5766 listen Korbanot (Part 2) (8:12)
The reading of morning korbanot as a means of teshuva.
Sources: OC 1:7-9; MB 1:18,20
Dedicated by Ronald and Marion Stein l'ilui nishmat Dov Matisyahu ben Rav Tzvi and Yaffe Yehudit.
13 Sivan 5766 listen Korbanot (Part 1) (14:52)
The readings of the morning offerings (korbanot).
Sources: OC 1:5-6; MB 1:14-15,17; OC 48:1; MB 48:1
12 Sivan 5766 listen Techinot: The Akeidah, Parshat HaMan, Aseret HaDibrot (12:30)
Extra prayers and supplications: the binding of Isaac, the manna given in the dessert, and the Ten Commandments. When, how, and why are they recited?
Sources: OC 1:4-5; MB 1:13,16
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Yafitte bat Aliza Sali.
9 Sivan 5766 listen Midnight Prayers and Supplications (12:02)
Tikkun Chatzot, Kavanah, and mourning for the Temple and Exile
Sources: OC 1:2-4; MB 1:10-12
7 Sivan 5766 listen Shavuot: The Time of the Giving of Torah (9:22)
Is Shavuot the time of the giving of Torah or the time of our reciept of Torah? What is the difference?
5 Sivan 5766 listen Eating Meat after Dairy on Shavuot (9:04)
For those who follow the Rama's custom and eat meat after the dairy meal on Shavuot, there are certain rules of kashrus to be aware of.
Sources: OC 494:3; MB 494:14-16
4 Sivan 5766 listen Various Laws and Customs of Shavuot (15:04)
Torah and Haftara readings, Akdamut, decorating the shul with plants, smelling grasses, and eating dairy.
Sources: OC 494:1-3; Ex. 34:3; MB 494:2-3,5,10,12
3 Sivan 5766 listen The Night of Shavuos (13:53)
Why do we stay awake all night for Shavuos? What if you get tired?
Sources: OC 494:1; Ex. 19:16; MB 494:1; Lev. 23:15-17
28 Iyar 5766 listen Machar Chodesh and Rosh Chodesh Sivan (13:21)
The significance of the special haftara reading for when Rosh Chodesh falls on Sunday; also, the first days of Sivan leading up to Shavuot.
26 Iyar 5766 listen Never Be Embarrassed to Do a Mitzvah (15:02)
Even if others mock you for excessive piety, never be embarrassed to keep the Torah. How, if at all, should you respond to such mockery?
Sources: OC 1:1; MB 1:5-8; Beur Halacha d.h. "V'Low Yitbayeish"
25 Iyar 5766 listen Six Constant Mitzvot (15:35)
Keep focus on six aspects of Jewish belief and you can avoid all misdeeds.
Sources: Beur Halacha d.h. "Hu Klal Gadol BaTorah"
21 Iyar 5766 listen Keeping Mindful of Hashem (13:52)
Being mindful of our constant presence before Hashem will change all of our behavior.
Sources: OC 1:1; MB 1:3-4,9
20 Iyar 5766 listen How to Wake Up in the Morning (12:11)
The first actions of the day are dedicated to Hashem. What are the morning mitzvot?
Sources: OC 1:1; MB 1:1-2
19 Iyar 5766 listen Responding to Kaddish (14:53)
What are the correct responses to kaddish? Should you answer even if you came in late and didn't hear the entire kaddish?
Sources: OC 56:2-5; MB 56:9,15
18 Iyar 5766 listen The Importance of Kaddish (13:59)
Need we stand during kaddish?
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:5-8
17 Iyar 5766 listen Proper Pronunciation of Kaddish (14:09)
Proper pronunciation as the first step toward kavanah.
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:2; Eze. 38:14-23
14 Iyar 5766 listen Pesach Sheini (12:55)
The 14th of Iyar is Pesach Sheini, the "Second Passover." What is this minor holiday about?
Sources: Num 9:1-14
13 Iyar 5766 listen Kavanah During Kaddish (12:15)
The how and why of having proper kavanah -- intention -- while listening and responding to kaddish.
Sources: OC 56:1; MB 56:1
7 Iyar 5766 listen Introduction to Kaddish (10:46)
Two aggadic passages introduce the importance of Kaddish.
6 Iyar 5766 listen Sefirat HaOmer and Self-Improvement (11:47)
Sefirat HaOmer has become a period when we work on improving ourselves in preparation for receiving the Torah on Shavuot.
Sources: OC 493:4; MB 493:18-19; Shaar HaTziun 493:16
5 Iyar 5766 listen Mourning During Sefirat HaOmer (14:41)
Why is the Omer period a time of semi-mourning? Rabbi Akiva's 12,000 pairs of students.
Sources: Yev. 62b; OC 493:1-3; MB 493:2-4,7-8,14-15; Beur Halacha d.h. "Yeish Nohagim"
4 Iyar 5766 listen Various Mistakes in Counting; The Din of Chadash (13:44)
What if you forget to count? What if you aren't sure? Also: the din of chadash.
Sources: OC 489:7-10; MB 489:35-38,44-45
30 Nissan 5766 listen What if you forget "Ya'aleh v'Yavo"? (8:45)
If you forget to say Ya'aleh v'Yavo, should you repeat the amidah?
Sources: OC 422:1; MB 422:1,3-9
28 Nissan 5766 listen How early can you count Omer? Must you have kavanah? (13:28)
Can you count after Shkiya? Plag HaMincha? What if you start the brocha thinking today is the 4th day but it is actually the 5th?
Sources: OC 489:3-6; MB 489:17,29,32; Beur Halacha d.h. "Mib'od yom"; Shaar HaTziun 489:37
27 Nissan 5766 listen How and when do we count Omer? (13:08)
What if you count days but not weeks or vice versa? What if you count before dark?
Sources: OC 489:1-2; MB 489:7-9,11,14-15
26 Nissan 5766 listen Introduction to Sefirat HaOmer (13:08)
Why do we count the Omer? Is it d'oraita or d'rabbanan?
Sources: Lev. 23:9-21; Deut. 16:9-10; OC 489:1; Beur Halacha d.h. "Lispor HaOmer"; MB 489:5,6; Shaar HaTziun 489:7
23 Nissan 5766 listen Chometz After Pesach (11:01)
After Pesach, you can't quite go buy whatever chometz you want...
Sources: OC 448:1,5; MB 448:25; OC 449; MB 449:3
13 Nissan 5766 listen Mizmor L'Todah; Tzom Bechor (Fast of the Firstborn) (12:44)
Why don't we say Mizmor L'Todah on Pesach? Why do firstborn children fast on Erev Pesach? Who is obligated to fast?
Sources: OC 429:2; MB 429:9; OC 470:1,3; MB 470:1-4
12 Nissan 5766 listen Working on Erev Pesach; Designating Foods for Pesach (12:08)
The prohibition on working on the 14th of Nissan; the prohibition on designating meat for Pesach.
Sources: OC 468:1; MB 468:1,2,4,5; OC 469:1; MB 469:6
9 Nissan 5766 listen Sale of Chometz to a non-Jew; Chometz, Seor, Nuksheh (16:40)
Why is chometz sold to a non-Jew prior to Pesach permitted? Also: What is the status of your pre-schooler's shellacked noodle basket on Pesach? What about paste made from flour? Beer shampoo? Perfume?
Dedicated for a refuah shleima for Shoshana Lea bat Yehudit.
7 Nissan 5766 listen Baking Matzo for Pesach (14:45)
An overview of the special procedures followed for baking Pesach matzo.
Sources: OC 460:1-2; OC 453:4; MB 453:21-23; OC 451:1; MB 451:1,2,4,5,21,23; OC 456:1; MB 456:1,3; OC 459:2; OC 454:1; MB 454:5; OC 460:5; MB 460:17
6 Nissan 5766 listen The Sale of Chometz; Storing a non-Jew's Chometz (13:22)
Why do we sell our chometz? What can be sold?
Sources: OC 436:1; OC 440:2; MB ad. loc.
5 Nissan 5766 listen Chometz Found During Pesach (18:08)
What should you do if you find chometz during Pesach? What if you didn't check properly before Pesach?
Sources: OC 435; OC 446:1-2; MB ad. loc.
2 Nissan 5766 listen Bitul (Nullifying) Chometz (12:38)
After checking for chometz, we nullify all remaining chometz. Why isn't either checking or nullification enough on its own?
Sources: OC 434:2-4; MB ad. loc.
1 Nissan 5766 listen Putting Away Chometz after Checking (7:31)
What do we do with remaining chometz after checking for chometz?
Sources: OC 434:1; MB ad. loc.
1 Nissan 5766 listen The Month of Nissan (5:45)
Halachot beginning with Rosh Chodesh Nissan
Sources: OC 429:2; MB ad. loc.
29 Adar 5766 listen Where must we check for chometz? (15:17)
In what rooms is checking required? What about outdoors
Sources: OC 433:3-11; MB ad. loc.
28 Adar 5766 listen The Requirement to Use a Candle (15:01)
Must a candle be used? What if you check before nighttime? Can a flashlight be used?
Sources: Pes. 7b-8a; OC 433:1-2; MB ad. loc.
27 Adar 5766 listen Who should check for chometz? (13:40)
Who is trusted to check for chometz? If multiple people are checking or if you are checking more than one place, do you make more than one brocha?
Sources: OC 432:2; MB 432:7-12
24 Adar 5766 listen The Blessing for Checking for Chometz (13:28)
What is the blessing before checking for chometz and why? When is it recited?
Sources: Pes. 7a-7b; OC 432:1; MB 432:1-6
23 Adar 5766 listen The Importance of Checking for Chometz (9:57)
What takes precedence, checking for chometz or learning Torah? Checking for chometz or Ma'ariv?
Sources: OC 431:2; MB 431:5-8
22 Adar 5766 listen The Obligation to Remove Chometz (10:26)
Why do we have to remove chometz if we nullify it? And why the need to nullify it if we remove it?
Sources: Ex. 13:7; Ex. 12:15; Pes. 2a; OC 431:1; MB 431:1-2
21 Adar 5766 listen Parshat HaChodesh - Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan (9:40)
17 Adar 5766 listen Thirty Days before Pesach (8:34)
Sources: Meg. 32a; OC 429:1-2; MB 429:1-2
16 Adar 5766 listen Parshat Parah (9:53)
The reading of Parshat Parah on the Shabbos after Purim.
Sources: Num. 19:1-22; OC 685:3,7; MB 685:15
13 Adar 5766 listen Who is obligated to read Megilla? (6:20)
Also: Why are some verses recited aloud by all?
Sources: OC 689:1,6; MB 689:1-3,16-17
10 Adar 5766 listen Mechetzit HaShekel - Giving a "Half Shekel" before Purim (9:44)
Sources: OC 694:1; MB 694:5; Ex. 25:1-3
9 Adar 5766 listen Mishloach Manot and Matanot L'Evyonim - Sharing Food and Gifts for the Poor (8:35)
The Mitzvot of Purim: giving food and gifts to the poor.
Sources: OC 695:4; OC 694:1; MB 695:25; MB 694:1-3; Est. 9:19
8 Adar 5766 listen Seudat Purim - The Purim Meal (8:53)
Is there really a mitzvah to get drunk on Purim?
Sources: Meg. 7b; OC 695:1-2; MB 695:5
7 Adar 5766 listen Where is Purim in the Torah? (12:57)
Is there a reference to Purim in the Torah?
7 Adar 5766 listen Parshat Zachor - Shabbat before Purim (2:37)
The reading of Parshat Zachor on the Shabbos before Purim.
3 Adar 5766 listen Megilla Reading by Day and by Night (7:43)
Is there a difference between the daytime and nighttime Megilla reading?
Sources: OC 687:1; MB 687:2; Shaarei Teshuva *
2 Adar 5766 listen Ta'anit Esther (The Fast of Esther) (8:28)
Why do we fast? Who is obligated to fast?
Sources: OC 686:2-3; MB 686:2,3,5,8; Shaar HaTziun 686:11
2 Adar 5766 listen Can you put on Tefillin late in the day? (1:57)
What should you do if you don't put on Tefillin in the morning? How late can you put on Tefillin?
1 Adar 5766 listen Removing Tefillin before Musaf (8:27)
Why do we remove Tefillin before Musaf on Rosh Chodesh? And why do we recite Borchi Nafshi?
Sources: OC 423:3-4; MB 423:5,7,10; Ps. 104:19
30 Shevat 5766 listen Rosh Chodesh Adar (5:53)
29 Shevat 5766 listen Tefillin: Restrictions, Reward and Punishment (10:28)
Restrictions on wearing Tefillin. The rewards for properly wearing Tefillin and the punishment for failing to do so.
Sources: Shabb. 49a; Rosh HaShanah 17a; OC 37:1-2; MB 34:1-4,7; Baer Heitev 37:1; MT Teshuva 3:13
26 Shevat 5766 listen What is written inside Hashem's Tefillin (9:03)
The wonders of Tefillin!
25 Shevat 5766 listen Hashem Lays Tefillin (8:16)
How do we know that Hashem lays Tefillin? What does that mean? An introduction to the wonders of Tefillin.
Sources: Ex. 33:18-23; Rashi 33:23; Brachot 6a
24 Shevat 5766 listen Tefillin and Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai (12:47)
No fewer than ten aspects of Tefillin are from the Oral Torah given to Moshe on Mount Sinai.
23 Shevat 5766 listen Parshat Shekalim - Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar (10:19)
The reading of Parshat Shekalim on the Shabbos before Rosh Chodesh Adar.
Sources: Ex. 30:11-16; Meg. 29a; OC 685:5; MB 685:1
19 Shevat 5766 listen Round and Square Tefillin (8:16)
Tefillin must be square.
Sources: OC 32:39; MB 32:173,179,181
18 Shevat 5766 listen Different Ways of Making Tefillin (7:32)
Tefillin should be made from one piece of hide. Tefillin Gasot, Dakot, and Pashutot.
Sources: OC 32:38; MB 32:172
17 Shevat 5766 listen Making Tefillin Lishma - for the Sake of the Mitzvah (9:06)
Materials for making Tefillin (cont.)
Sources: OC 32:37; MB 32:165,171
16 Shevat 5766 listen Materials for Making Tefillin (8:51)
From what materials can Tefillin be made? Why do they need to be black?
Sources: OC 32:37; MB 32:166,169; Beur Halacha d.h. "Tehorim"
15 Shevat 5766 listen Putting on Tefillin (8:28)
The order of putting on Tefillin.
Sources: OC 25:3-5; OC 32:42,52; MB 25:12,13,18,21
11 Shevat 5766 listen Tefillin: One Mitzvah or Two? (10:59)
Are Tefillin one mitvah or two mitzvot? Do they require one blessing or two? What should you do if you only have one tefilla?
10 Shevat 5766 listen Introduction to Tu B'Shvat (9:04)
What is Tu B'Shvat?
Sources: Rosh HaShanah 2a; Rosh HaShanah 14b; YD 331:57,112
9 Shevat 5766 listen How Tefillin Make Us Holy (10:39)
What is the proper intent when wearing Tefillin?
Sources: OC 25:5; OC 37:2; OC 25 first BH; MB 25:14
8 Shevat 5766 listen The Importance of Owning Tefillin (8:58)
If you only have enough money for tallis or tefillin, which should you buy? Is it important to own your own tefillin? Is failure to put on tefillin properly a sin?
Sources: OC 25:1; OC 37:1; MB 25:2; ST 25:1,*
5 Shevat 5766 listen The Holiness of Tallis and Tefillin (9:57)
Can an old tallis be thrown away? Why are tefillin holier than a tallis? Does a tallis have holiness at all?
4 Shevat 5766 listen Tallis, Tefillin, Honor, and Embarrassment (10:10)
If you touch your tefillin before your tallis, which do you put on first? What if you touch your tefilla shel rosh prior to your tefilla shel yad? What if you are embarrassed to put on your tefillin prior to your tallis?
Sources: OC 25:1,6
3 Shevat 5766 listen Keeping Tallis and Tefillin in a Bag Together (9:14)
If you store your tallis and tefillin in the same bag, the tallis goes on top. Why?
2 Shevat 5766 listen Proper Placement of Tallis and Tefillin (12:29)
Overview of the proper way to wear tallis and tefillin.
Sources: OC 8; OC 27
19 Tevet 5766 listen The Rewards of Wearing Tzitzit (5:28)
Tzitzit remind us of the mitzvot and help us to keep them.
Sources: OC:24:1-2,5-6; MB 24:3-4,8
18 Tevet 5766 listen Are tzitzit obligatory for the garment or for the person wearing it? Also: Wearing Tzitzit in a Cemetery (8:53)
Are you allowed to own a four-cornered garment without tzitzit on it? Do new tzitzit require a shehechiyanu when attaching tzitzit or before wearing for the first time? Is there a mitzvah to acquire tzitzit? Are tzitzit worn in a cemetery?
Sources: OC:19:1-2; OC 22:1; OC 23:1; MB 19:1,5; 17:5; 22:3; Baer Heitev 17:2; 22:2
13 Tevet 5766 listen Tzitzit by Day, Tzitzit by Night (8:42)
What is the earliest time to put on a tallis? Does a four-cornered garment worn at night require tzitzit? Does a blanket require tzitzit?
Sources: OC 18:1-3; Brachot 1:2; Baer Heitev 18:1; MB 18:8
12 Tevet 5766 listen Borrowing a Tallis Without Permission (10:12)
Can you borrow a Tallis without the owner's permission? What about Tefillin? A siddur (prayerbook)?
Sources: OC 14:4; MB 14:11,13,15-16
11 Tevet 5766 listen Borrowed Tallesim (6:15)
Is a blessing made on a borrowed tallis? What about one that belongs to the shul? What if I just put it on for an aliyah?
Sources: OC 14:3; MB 14:9-11
10 Tevet 5766 listen What if you accidentally eat on a fast day? (3:10)
What if you accidentally eat on a public fast day? This is one of the most commonly misunderstood halachot of fast days. Rav Dovid clarifies based on the Mishnah Brurah.
Sources: MB 549:3; OC 568
9 Tevet 5766 listen Asara b'Tevet: Why do we continue to fast today? (8:45)
Why do we continue to fast today? Who must fast? What about someone who is sick? Pregnant? Nursing?
Sources: OC 549:1; OC 550:1; MB 550:1; MT Taaniyot 5:1,19
6 Tevet 5766 listen The History of the Tenth of Tevet (9:34)
The History of the Tenth of Tevet as found in II Kings chapter 25.
5 Tevet 5766 listen The Proper Way to Don and Wear Tzitzit (8:07)
Enwrapping oneself with a tallis surrounds us with mitzvot and brings us to yirat shamayim.
Sources: OC 8:2-4,11; MB 8:3-4,25
4 Tevet 5766 listen Brachot for Tallis Gadol and Tallis Katan (7:00)
What is the bracha on the tallis gadol? On the tallis katan? Do we make brachot on both? What if the tallis katan is donned before sunrise?
Sources: OC 8:1,17
29 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles on Motzei Shabbos (7:23)
Which mitzvah comes first, Chanukah candles or Havdala?
Sources: OC 681:2; MB 681:2,3
28 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles on Erev Shabbos (5:53)
Which are lit first, Chanukah candles or Shabbos candles?
Sources: OC 679:1; MB 679:2
27 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles in Synagogue at Shacharit (6:00)
Sources: Ta'amei HaMinhagim; Ex. 30:7; MT Tmid. u'Mus. 3:10; Encyclopedia Talmudit
26 Kislev 5766 listen Lighting Chanukah Candles in Synagogue (6:04)
Sources: OC 671:7; MB 677:2-3
22 Kislev 5766 listen Who is obligated to light Chanukah candles? (10:23)
Women, guests, and Chanukah candles. Are women obligated to light Chanukah candles? Why or why not?
Sources: Shabb. 23a; OC 675:3; OC 677:1-2; MB 677:2-3
21 Kislev 5766 listen The Blessings Over the Chanukah Candles (9:11)
What blessings are recited over the Chanukah candles and why?
Sources: Shabb. 23a; OC 676:1; Shaarei Teshuva 676:1; MB 676:1
20 Kislev 5766 listen The Haftara for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah (10:55)
Which Haftara portion is read on Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Chanukah? Why?
19 Kislev 5766 listen The Importance of Chanukah Candles (10:15)
If you only have enough money for Chanukah candles or Shabbos candles, which takes precedence? What about candles vs. Kiddush wine?
Sources: OC 671:1; MB 671:1-3; Shabb. 23b; OC 678:1; MB 678:4
18 Kislev 5766 listen How many Chanukah candles are lit? (10:34)
We all light one candle on the first day and add one each day, but is that the mitzvah?
15 Kislev 5766 listen What if you didn't or can't light Chanukah candles on time? (9:03)
Sources: Shabb. 21b Tosefos d.h. "D'i lo idlik madlik"; OC 672:2; MB 672:4; Shaar HaTziun 672:17
14 Kislev 5766 listen What is the latest time to light Chanukah candles? (Part 2) (8:06)
Sources: Shabb. 21a; OC 672:2; MB 672 ad locum
13 Kislev 5766 listen What is the earliest time to light Chanukah candles? (Part 1) (6:27)
Sources: Shabb. 21a; OC 672:1; MB 672 ad locum
1 Cheshvan 5766 listen Saying Ya'aleh v'Yavo in Birkat HaMazon (6:03)
Ya'aleh v'Yavo is added to Birkat HaMazon on Rosh Chodesh. What do you do if you forget to add it in?
Sources: OC 424:1; MB 424:1,2

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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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