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The Zealot’s Reward

In this week’s parshah, we learn about the reward claimed by Pinchas for his zealotry in defending Hashem’s honor: “Behold, I grant him My covenant of peace.”  Rashi explains that Pinchas justly earned his reward.[1] What does Rashi mean to add?  Is it not obvious that Pinchas deserved reward for fulfilling this important mitzva, in which he sanctified the Name of Heaven, and prevented a plague that could h ...

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The Savagery of Yishmael

Unable to curse Bnei Yisroel, Bilam returned to his homeland in disgrace.  But before he went, he turned his powers of prophecy to the future, to gaze behind the curtains of secrecy, and foretell what would befall the nations of the world in the end of days.  Among these prophecies, he said the following possuk:   "וישא משלו ויאמר אוי מי יחיה משמו אל."   “And he lifted his parable (employed his po ...

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Bracha of “Lehachniso” for absent father

Question: A father is unable to be physically present at the bris of his son. May he listen in and even video in via skype, and when the proper time arrives make the bracha of "lehachniso bbriso shel avraham avinu" on his own? Answer: When it is impossible for him to be present he may phone or video in and make the bracha on his own.   תשובת מורנו הרב במי שיושב לדאבון לב בבית האסורים ונולד לו בן זכר וה ...

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Learning Torah L’Shma

Torah L'Shma Introductory Note Our Sages[1] have greatly commended one who learns Torah לשמה-Lishmo-literally, for its own sake.[2] Many times in the Talmud [Pesachim 50b, Nazir 23b, Horiyos 10b, Sotah 22b, Sotah 47a, Sanhedrin 105b, Erchin 16b] they have stated that one should always learn Torah, even if it not Lishmo, for through this one will eventually reach Lishmo. The goal, though, is total Lishmo. Tw ...

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Sheitels from India

Question: What is the rovs opinion on sheitel. A-  if they come from india, B - if the seller claims its not. Answer: These sheitels [wigs] are permissible for use. Teshuva of Moreinu HaRav: בשאלת הפאות הנכריות בשאלת רבים אם מותר להשתמש בפאות העשויות משער שבא מהודו, כי נודע ששערות אלה מקורן מנשים המתגלחות כשהן עולות למקום עבודה זרה שלהן, ויסוד השאלה אם שערות אלה תקרובת עבודה זרה ואסורות בהנאה הנה תשובת שאלה ...

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Generator on shabbos

Question: Is there a chiuv gomur to use a generator on shabbes in Eretz Yisroel? Are there any gdolei haposkim who lechatchila permit using normal electricity on shabbes without a generator? Thank you. Answer: It is not a chiyuv gamur to use a generator on Shabbos. This is a debate going on many years, and most accept this practice as a chumra. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach wrote many reasons why using electri ...

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Jewish Heritage

Question: Shalom aleychem, I have a question to my "jewish heritage". I am from Germany. My parents came in the 70's from north-eastern Turkey, from a town called Trabzon (Trapezunt/Trebizond). This area is known as the "pontic" area, as there lived a lot of greek pontic people.They still speak next to turkish, the old greek language called "romeyka". I made a DNAethnicity test last year and was told, that ...

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Placing 10 Pieces of Bread for Bedikas Chametz

Placing 10 Pieces of Bread for Bedikas Chametz Before beginning the search for chametz on the night of the 14th of Nissan, it is customary to take ten pieces of chametz, and scatter them throughout the house.[1]  In the course of the search for lost chametz, these ten pieces are also gathered, and burned together with any chametz that may be found. What is the purpose of this custom?  Bedikas chametz is a s ...

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Mechiras Chametz

א מקור מנהג המכירה   שנינו בתוספתא פסחים פ"ב ה"ו ישראל וגוי שהיו באין בספינה ויש חמץ ביד ישראל מוכרו לגוי או  נותנו במתנה וחוזר ולוקחו ממנו לאחר הפסח ובלבד שיתננו במתנה גמורה", ומברייתא זו המקור לדין  מכירת חמץ לנכרי, והובאה הלכה זו בסימן תמ"ח ס"ג עי"ש. אמנם, שני הבדלים בין המכירה הנהוגה בזמנינו למכירה זו שבתוספתא דמכירה זו  אקראית ופרטית היא משא"כ זו שבזמנינו שהיא קבועה וכללית, ובאמת נרעדו אמות הסיפים ...

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Bracha on Bedikas Chametz in a Car

Question: Can one make a bracha on bedikas chametz being done only in a car? Answer: While a car certainly must be checked for chametz, no bracha should be recited if only the car is being checked. שאל כבודו האם יש לברך על בדיקת חמץ ברכב כאשר אינו בודק בליל י"ד אלא את רכבו בלבד והביא את מש"כ בחק יעקב (סימן תל"ו ס"ק י"ז) דאף שכתב הרמ"א (סימן תל"ג סי"א) דצריך לבדוק את כיסי בגדיו מ"מ אינו מברך אלא על בדיקת הבי ...

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