Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Parashat Kedoshim: Connecting Beginnings and Endings by Yaakov Bieler

April 26, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

The implication of the numerous juxtapositions within verses comprising the Parasha An interesting structural feature of Parashat Kedoshim is the significant number of verses which contain “Hekeishim” (lit. connections; tech. two diverse topics appearing within the same verse which are then assumed to share some sort of commonality). Whereas there is a disagreement as to [...]

Reflections on הא לחמא עניא by Aryeh Klapper

April 17, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

The standard seder text begins with the recitation of הא לחמא עניא, “This is the bread of oni that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt”.  The use of “this”, equivalent the the Hebrew זה, suggests that one is pointing at a matzah, and the literary issue is that no context has been set.  [...]

The Uncertain Future of the Jerusalem Real Estate and Hotel Industry by Gidon Rothstein

April 17, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

Jerusalem real estate today is fairly expensive, but viewed in the long term, that investment is not necessarily as good as it seems. For the hotel industry, it might be even worse.  The issue lies in an halachah discussed in the Tosefta and Avot de-Rabbi Natan (Version A, Chapter 39), where one of the ways [...]

Parashat Acharei Mot: A Yom Kippur Lottery and a Pesach Parallel by Yaakov Bieler

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

  A lottery to assign animals for different sacrifices.                 A curious component of the “Yom HaKippurim” ritual as described in the beginning of Parashat Acharei Mot is the manner in which animals are assigned for a sin offering on the one hand and for “Azazel” on the other, i.e., by means of an apparently [...]

Parshat Metzora: The Symbolism of Removing Hair by Yaakov Bieler

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

A curious aspect of the purification of a person who had been declared a Metzora. When the individual smitten with Tzora’at (the bodily affliction described in Parshiot Tazria and Metzora that results in first quarantine and then ostracism from the encampment for the duration of the condition) is finally declared ritually cured, one of the [...]

Should Jews Change How They Build Houses? On Avoiding Halachic Problems by Gidon Rothstein

April 6, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

Based on its reading of verses from this week’s parsha, Mishnah Negaim 12:2 clearly states that only houses constructed of wood, stones, and dirt can be subject to house-צרעת, loosely translated as house-leprosy. The Mishnah derives this from the Torah’s reference to replacing all those materials as the first stage of checking whether the stain [...]