Parshas Tazria-Metzoroh

The famous story is told in the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah) about a pedlar who travelled around the neighbourhood of Tzippori, offering for sale the elixir of life. From his study, Rebbi Yanai heard the pedlar proclaiming: מאן בעי סם חיים “who wants the potion for eternal life? Rebbi Yanai asked him for a sample. The pedlar refused saying “People like you do not need it”. After much importuning however, he consented to show it R’Yannai. He took out a book of Psalms and, opening it, pointed to the text: מי האיש החפץ חיים ... נצור לשונך מרע ... סור מרע וגו’ “Who is the man who desires life?... guard your tongue from evil…” on seeing this R’Yannai exclaimed: כל ימי הייתי קורא פסוק זה ולא הייתי יודע היכן הוא פשוט עד שבא רוכל זה והודיע מי האיש החפץ חיים “All my years I have read this verse without knowing the simple explanation of the words, and now this pedlar has shown me their meaning.”

Parshas Shemini

The above interpretation needs clarification. Nadav and Avihu brought a Korbon when they weren’t commanded to. How can the Ohr HaChaim say it was not a punishment? They made what seems an obvious mistake; they brought an Aish Zorah - an alien fire, as the Passuk (10:1) tells us.

Parshas Tzav and HaGadol

Can all utensils be kashered by dipping them in the bubbling pots at a public hagolas keylim? No. Halochoh requires that kashering be done with the same level of heat as the item was exposed to when it became chometzdig or treif. There are four types of kashering. Below is a short explanation of each method, and examples for when it is required

Parshas Vayikroh & Hachodesh

e usher in the month of Geulah with the additional maftir of Parshas HaChodesh. The Bnei Yisrael are given the ability to bring kedusha into the physical world through the calendar and the mitzvah of Kiddush HaChodesh. We are commanded to start the process of redemption through slaughtering the sheep, the Egyptian deity. This is followed by roasting it whole and eating it with Matza and Maror. This enabled us to leave Mitzrayim as free men, liberated from the slave mind-set, ready to embark on the journey towards Kabalas HaTorah.

Parshas Vayakhel-pekudei & Poroh

In practical terms, when companies and businesses are making deals and transactions frequently, it is often not so practical to expect both parties to sign a Heter Iska each time. Therefore, we advise people to sign a Heter Iska Klali. Once a company, business or individual have a Heter Iska Klali, then all that is required is to insert a clause in all future contracts, stating: “This agreement is subject to the terms and conditions of the company’s/ business’s/my Heter Iska Klali, signed on the ………………….., a copy of which is attached” Once both parties sign an agreement/ contract with such a clause, it is as if they have both signed a Heter Iska specific to that deal.

Parshas Ki Sissoh

Hashem commanded Moshe Rabbenu, “ לך רד כי שחת עמך עשו להם עגל מסכה – Go down, for your people have become corrupted, they have made for themselves a molten calf.” Incredibly, despite Hashem’s explicit instruction to go down, Moshe ignores this and begins to pray for Klal Yisroel.

Parshas Tetzaveh- Zachor-Purim

This week, the Federation published a history of Edmonton Cemetery. The book, compiled by Rebbetzen Aviva Landau, offers a glimpse into the lives of distinguished rabbonim and communal leaders buried at this historic beis kevaros, containing over fifty detailed biographies. Here is an exclusive preview of this work.

Parshas Terumoh

The song that is the staple of every Purim Seuda belies a profound idea. Or at least it would, if it were given a fighting chance. Besides for having to fight against the competing attractions of alcohol and tasty food, this poor מאמר חז”ל doesn’t really stand a chance. Whoever made it popular, has a lot to answer for. For this is only a partial quote. To understand it, one would need to quote it in its entirety.

Parshas Mishpotim & Parshas Shekalim

The biblical oath was taken with the expression of the Divine Name whilst holding a Sefer Torah. Rashi1 comments, that because of the severity of such an oath, the Rabbis of his generation avoided these types of oath and replaced them with a less severe declaration of a penalty of a curse for swearing falsely. The Ritvo disagrees and said the biblical oath is more of a deterrent to lying and should therefore be used. Shulchan Oruch2 mentions the custom of Rashi.

Parshas Yisro

Having recently concluded masseches Shevuos in the Daf Yomi, one can appreciate what a serious matter it is to take an oath even if one swears truthfully. The Gemoro relates the whole world quaked when the mitzvah of לא תשא את שם ה' אלקיך לשוא was given.1
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