The Obligation of Parents for their Children’s Education

“And I will punish all that oppress them.” Even those responsible for collecting charity will be punished for forcing contributions from the poor, except for the payment of school fees so that their children can learn Torah and Mishnah. (Midrash Rabbah, Parshas Emor 30) A person is obligated to hire a teacher to teach his… Continue reading The Obligation of Parents for their Children’s Education

Laws for Lefties (Part III)

Bircas Kohanim: When kohanim say bircas Kohanim, they lift their right hand slightly above the left hand in order to strengthen the power of mercy (Vilna Gaon citing the Zohar). Lefties do the same. The Kohanim turn toward the right when, before reciting the blessing, they turn toward the congregation and after reciting the blessing… Continue reading Laws for Lefties (Part III)

Laws for Lefties (Part II)

Tefila: When reciting the Shma, the custom is to cover the eyes with the right hand. Lefties follow this custom and use their right hand. The practice of placing the right hand over the left hand against the heart while reciting the Shmoneh Esrai is practiced by lefties as well, because the gesture symbolizes subduing… Continue reading Laws for Lefties (Part II)

Laws for Lefties (Part I)

“I’m not as strong as you are; I admit it," said Mrs. Kenegir back to her husband, as tears rolled down her cheeks. “I can’t demand monasterial behavior from Benzi, as you do. I don’t feel that he only has to have Torah learning on his mind at this age (16). He’s still young and… Continue reading Laws for Lefties (Part I)

The Blessings That are Made on the Birth of a Son or Daughter (part II)

When twin boys are born, the blessing is recited once, but with both children in mind. When a son is born, the parents are permitted to recite the “shehechiyanu” blessing, but it should be recited before saying “hatov vehameitiv” because the “shehechiyanu” blessing includes “hatov vehameitiv”. Those who have the custom of reciting the “shehechiyanu”… Continue reading The Blessings That are Made on the Birth of a Son or Daughter (part II)

The Blessings That are Made on the Birth of a Son or Daughter (part I)

According to the Gemorah (Brachos 59b), the blessing “hatov vehamativ” is made when a boy is born. Nevertheless, many communities do not recite the blessing because of the uncertainty that the child will survive. Today, medical examination can generally establish the viability of the newborn, even when it is born prematurely and placed in an… Continue reading The Blessings That are Made on the Birth of a Son or Daughter (part I)

Sefer Torah (VI)

It is good and fitting that the cord or belt that is used to close the Sefer Torah be connected with a clasp or some other device that avoids making a knot. From the Shulchan Aruch we see that it was once customary that a member of the congregation was honored with the task of… Continue reading Sefer Torah (VI)

Sefer Torah (V)

When the Torah is rolled closed, the seam between two pages of parchment should be placed so that it runs down the middle between the two sides of the scroll. That way, if the scroll were to tear, it would tear along a seam. When the Torah is rolled closed when reading the first and… Continue reading Sefer Torah (V)

Sefer Torah (IV)

The person who lifts the Torah should roll it together until three pages of text are showing, and then, lifting the Torah, show that text to the congregation. The honor of lifting the Torah should not be offered a person who is incapable of holding it for a certain amount of time before the eyes… Continue reading Sefer Torah (IV)

Sefer Torah (III)

When a person sees the letters so clearly that he can read them, he receives a great light. Because the person who lifts the Torah and shows it to the congregation is the one through whom this light enters the congregation, his merit is as great as the merit of all those put together who… Continue reading Sefer Torah (III)