Aspaqlaria Blog

2

Interview: Widen Your Tent

Here is an interview I had with Rabbi Doron Kornbluth about my book, Widen Your Tent, Rabbi Shimon Shkop, and the topic of the book — Rav Shimon’s worldview as he describes it in...

The Burial Site of Rabbi Meir 0

Midrashei Halakhah

There are two kinds of medrash (which should technically be called “midrash” to be grammatically correct). Midrashei Aggada are non-halakhic statements, those of mussar, Jewish thought, Qabbalah, and the like. The thought is usually...

0

Yeru+Shalem

The first time we encounter Yerushalayim (Bereishis 14:18), it is under the rule of Malki-Tzedeq, a “kohein leKeil elyon — a priest of the most high G-d”, under the name “Shaleim”. The other half...

0

The King’s Highway, A Metaphor

I was wondering about something related to the attempt to travel on the Derekh haMelekh through Edom. Derekh haMelekh is the name of an actual highway of the time. But it sounds much like...

0

The King’s Highway, The Reality

In parashas Chuqas, Bamidbar 20:17, Moshe asks of the nation of Edom: נַעְבְּרָה־נָּ֣א בְאַרְצֶ֗ךָ לֹ֤א נַעֲבֹר֙ בְּשָׂדֶ֣ה וּבְכֶ֔רֶם וְלֹ֥א נִשְׁתֶּ֖ה מֵ֣י בְאֵ֑ר דֶּ֧רֶךְ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ נֵלֵ֗ךְ לֹ֤א נִטֶּה֙ יָמִ֣ין וּשְׂמֹ֔אול עַ֥ד אֲשֶֽׁר־נַעֲבֹ֖ר גְּבֻלֶֽךָ׃ Allow us,...

1

Anav Mikol Adam: reactions

My previous post engendered a couple of responses and a follow-up thought of my own that I would like to share. A quick reminder: In that post, I suggested that maybe “וְהָאִ֥ישׁ מֹשֶׁ֖ה עָנָ֣ו...

0

Anav Mikol Adam

A quick thought on something from the parashah (Behaalosekha), based on how one translates the words in the title. Bamidbar 12:3. The context is that Miriam and Aharon just complained about Moshe’s neglected wife,...

1

The Uncounted Convert

The placement of one section of parashas Naso struck me when reviewing the parashah last week. We just has a parashah and a half of counting the Jewish People — first the 12 shevatim,...

0

The Chatas and the Olah

There is a difference in halakhah between how a bird is slaughtered when brought as a qorban chatas and when brought as a qorban olah. The Torah says (Vayiqra 5:8-10) that the kohein must...

0

Ki and Im

How likely is it that someone would spill ink and it would legibly depict the Mona Lisa? How likely is it to win the lottery? The two questions differ in one way… When you...

0

Pieces of Sapphire

In this week’s parasha (Shemos 34:1), when Hashem tells Moshe to carve the second luchos, He says “פסל לך – carve for yourself”. The gemara comments on the apparently superfluous “לך – for yourself”...

Path To Happiness 0

Simchas Purim

Let’s just look at Ben Zoma (Avos 4:1): אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר? הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ. Who is wealthy? Someone who is sameiach, happy, with their lot.   Ben Zoma isn’t arguing for complacency. Look at his prooftext: שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר:...

0

Doing what is Customary

When the Jews reached the Red Sea and saw the Mitzriyim catching up, “וַיִּֽירְאוּ֙ מְאֹ֔ד וַיִּצְעֲק֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶל־ה’ — they became very fearful, and the Benei Yisrael cried out to Hashem.” (Shemos 14:10) Rashi,...

0

Hardening the Heart vs. Weighing it Down

So, I recently noticed that the translation of Unqelus I am using offers “hardened Par’oh’s heart” and the like regardless of whether the original word ויחזק (Aramaic: ואתקף) or another word built from \חזק\...

Why mitzvos? 0

Why mitzvos?

The following question appeared in the Orthodox Conundrum Discussion Group on Facebook: Been on my mind for a few years and never really discussed it, but feel this is a good forum for it....

When a Paradox is not a Disproof 7

When a Paradox is not a Disproof

The GPS is an amazing thing. The chips in it work because of the physics of semiconductors, and the fact that the energy the electrons can absorb or emit come in fixed quantities. All...

0

Zos Chanukah

Rashi writes on Bamidbar 30:2: “Zeh haDavar — This is the Idea“: Moshe gave nevu’ah with “Koh amar Hashem — Like this said Hashem, ‘Like in the middle of the night’” (Shemos 11, about...

Rembrandt: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel 4

Why is this, that you ask my name?

In Vayishlakh, this week’s parashah, Yaaqov Avinu battles an angel. At the end he asks the angel what his name was. The angel answers, “לָמָּה ×–Ö¶Ö¼×” תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי — why is this that you...

0

Which Rainbow?

An interesting tidbit from the Seforno on Ber’ 9:13 “vehaysa le’os beris”: והיתה לאות ברית: בהיות הקשת כפולה. ×›×™ אמנם נלאו חכמי המחקר לתת טעם לסדר צבעי הקשת השנית אשר הוא על הפך סדר...

0

Aseres Yemei Teshuvah Reader

There is a new, slightly enlarged, version of my reader for Aseres Yemei Tehuvah for 5781, suitable for putting that wandering mind to work while in shul. Contents: Spiritual Planning………………………………………………………… 1 9/11 and How...