December 19, 2018 |

Mishpatim

The Eved Ivri in Culpepper Virginia

On December 30th, I got the following letter in the mail: “Shalom Aleichem. Our Traditional Jewish Community desperately needs a volunteer one Saturday evening per month to lead our conclusion of Shabbat, Havdalah service. Without your assistance we will be unable to meet and experience the...

Let It Snow

This week, I have decided to depart from my usual practice in order to discuss the topic of snow in Judaism. There are three possible reasons for doing this. One, it's what we call inyana d'yoma, the topic of the day, based on the large drifts of snow that have become a regular part of my Manhattan...

Parshat Mishpatim: Walkthrough

[Almost this whole parsha is a divine soliloquy. Start God quotes now:] Here are the laws that you should establish: When you buy a Hebrew slave, he works for six years, and then goes free in the seventh. He leaves with whatever he came in with, and if he was married his wife goes free as...

The Shabbat Experience

The idea of Shabbat is one of the most important Jewish contributions to the world. The Talmud says (Yerushalmi, Berachot 1) that Shabbat is equivalent to (lit. measures up against) all the other commandments in the whole Torah[1]. The Torah begins (Genesis 1) with the seven days of creation leading...

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Mishpatim

The Israelites have experienced the revelation at Sinai and now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of spelling out the laws. Where to begin? Amazingly, Parshah Mishpatim begins with the law dealing with Hebrew slaves. Given that the Israelites themselves had just been freed, why start with...

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