The Mitzvah of Knowing Truth

There is a popular misconception that “Judaism is not a religion of dogma” and that it makes no demands on belief.  However, it is clear from the Torah itself that there are obligations of the intellect as well as obligations of action.  In this week’s Parsha, Yitro,  we find the following, famous statements. I am the Lord your G-d, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the ...

Read More

Torah From Heaven…On Earth

This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, relates the events of the revelation on Mt. Sinai, at which G-d revealed and transmitted the Torah to the Jewish people. Maimonides, in his explication of the Thirteen basic fundamentals of Jewish belief, states the following: The entire Torah was given by G-d to Moses, and the Torah that is in our hands today is the same Torah as the original.  That is, the entire Torah ...

Read More

The 15th of Shevat and the Ethics of Agriculture – Yitro 5775

This week we will be marking Tu BiShvat, the new year of trees, so I think it is valuable to give a short review of some ideas behind the commandments that apply to the Land of Israel.  The agricultural products of the land of Israel are considered holy and therefore there are special laws that apply to them.  The most well-known is the obligation in Biblical and Temple times to ...

Read More

Law of the Land – Yitro 5774

In honor of Tu BeShvat, the new year of trees. Below is an overview of some of the mitzvot that apply to the produce of the Land of Israel. The Land of Israel and its agricultural products are considered holy, therefore there are special laws that apply to them. The most well-known is the obligation in Biblical and Temple times to separate a percentage of the crop and give it ...

Read More