Aspaqlaria Blog

Meshekh Chokhmah Noach 6:9 – Behavior and Character 0

Meshekh Chokhmah Noach 6:9 – Behavior and Character

A 15 minute shiur on Facebook Live on the Meshekh Chokhmah’s discussion of the first pasuq of parashas Noach (Bereishis 6:9) “× Ö¹Ö—×—Ö· אִ֥ישׁ צַדִּ֛יק תָּמִ֥ים הָיָ֖ה בְּדֹֽרֹתָ֑יו — Noach was a righteous man, he...

Meshekh Chokhmah – Bereishis 1:26 – Free Will 0

Meshekh Chokhmah – Bereishis 1:26 – Free Will

A 15 minute shiur on Facebook Live on the Meshekh Chokhmah’s discussion of Bereishis 1:26 “וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹקִ֔ים נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה אָדָ֛ם בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ — And G-d said, ‘Let us make man in our Image.” Audio:   Video:...

Choosing Role Models 0

Choosing Role Models

Next time you hear a speaker or a rabbi speak about “the goyim” in some disparaging stereotype, ask them about this gemara. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi asks about an apparent contradiction in seifer Yechezqeil....

For He Remembered Us When We Were Low 0

For He Remembered Us When We Were Low

Tehillim 136, which Chazal call Hallel haGadol, has a long list of things Hashem did for us with the refrain “×›×™ לעולם חסדו — for His Lovingkindness is eternal.” The first three call us...

The Blue Does Not Hold Up the White 2

The Blue Does Not Hold Up the White

התכלת אינה מעכבת את הלבן והלבן אינו מעכב את התכלת תפילה של יד אינה מעכבת של ראש ושל ראש אינה מעכבת של יד הסולת והשמן אינן מעכבין את היין ולא היין מעכבן המתנות של...

Dip the Apple in the Honey 0

Dip the Apple in the Honey

Here are three thoughts related to the siman, the mnemonic practice, of eating an apple dipped in honey. (Aside from the ear-worm you or your kid learned in preschool that starts with the words...

Yerushalayim 0

Yerushalayim

I’m about to repeat two points by R’ Meir Simchah haKohein miDvinsk zt”l: 1- Yerushalayim is named for being the convergance of two principles: refined middos and perfected intellectual comprehension. 2- There is an...

Simanei Milsa 2

Simanei Milsa

I was asked the following question, and the author thought enough people want to know the answer that it pays to share it here: Q: “Siman“, as on Rosh Hashanah night, is translated as...

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue 0

Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue

צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף לְמַ֤עַן תִּֽחְיֶה֙ וְיָרַשְׁתָּ֣ אֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־ה אֱלֹקיךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ׃ Justice justice you shall pursue, so that you will live and inherit the land that Hashem your G-d gives to you. – Devarim...

What isn’t Omnipotence? 0

What isn’t Omnipotence?

Orion asked on Mi Yodeya: Hashem’s infinite power I’ve heard many times that Hashem is infinitely powerful. But how do we know this? Perhaps he’s just very powerful or even all powerful (possessing all...

Mourning the Three Weeks 1

Mourning the Three Weeks

The point of mourning during Bein haMetzarim (“between the tragedies”, a/k/a the “Three Weeks”) is not to be miserable in-and-of itself. How many politicians and other famous people recently said “I’m sorry” only to...

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Bil’am the Frummy

The Medrash Tankhuma (Balaq 1) says: … וְאִם תֹּאמַר מִפְּנֵי מָה הִשְׁרָה הַקָּבָּ”×” שְׁכִינָתוֹ עַל גּוֹי רָשָׁע? כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה פִתְחוֹן פֶּה לָאֻמּוֹת לוֹמַר, אִלּו הָיוּ לָנוּ נְבִיאִים, חָזַרְנוּ לְמוּטָב, הֶעֱמִיד לָהֶם נְבִיאִים וְהֵם...

Day 22 – Lev Tov 1

Day 22 – Lev Tov

The Mussar Institute is doing an omer series based on the 48 skills necessary to acquire Torah, listed in Avos 6:6. I was given the task of writing two entries — day 5, eimah...

Waiting before Prayer 0

Waiting before Prayer

כמה ישהה בין תפלה לתפלה? רב הונא ורב חסדא. חד אמר: כדי שתתחונן דעתו עליו. וחד אמר: כדי שתתחולל דעתו עליו. [Minimally,] how long must one wait between [one] prayer to [another] prayer? Rav...

Day 5 – Eimah 0

Day 5 – Eimah

The Mussar Institute is doing an omer series based on the 48 skills necessary to acquire Torah, listed in Avos 6:6. I was given the task of writing today’s — day 5, eimah (fear)....

Irrational Rishonim 3

Irrational Rishonim

I was kind of surprised by the reception this answer on Mi Yodeia got; the questioner didn’t even think I answered his query. Here’s the exchange: Eli asked: Are there any Rishonim who believe...

Gratitude – Natural and Learned 0

Gratitude – Natural and Learned

“If he shall offer it as a todah, a thanksgiving offering…” (Vayikra 7:1). The gemara reads, “Rabbi Yehudah said that Rav said: There are four who have to thank [Hashem] — those who go...