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Mendel Kaplan

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Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the founder and spiritual leader of Chabad @ Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, he also serves as a Chaplain of the York Regional Police Service.

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Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 30
When Can’t You Get Fired Up?
Glowingly presented arguments on the holiday ban on burning. Bridging seemingly disparate Torah topics, the Talmud elegantly threads its jurisprudence about circumcision, sacred contraband, and then the positive dimension of Yom Tov observance, to conclus...
Parsha Curiosities: Vayishlach
Massacre or Mitzvah: Were Shimon and Levi Justified?
Arriving in Shechem, Dina ventured out to observe the local girls. She was abducted by the Crown Prince, who violently raped and abused her. Without seeking counsel, two of her brothers brutally massacred the townspeople along with the perpetrator. Does t...
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeitzei
Wedding Wackiness
Jacob’s carefully planned marriage is the only wedding party ever documented in the Torah. It ended up becoming an epic matrimonial mix-up, which surprisingly continues to affect the way we do Jewish weddings today. According to the literal biblical narra...
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 29
Fired-Up Learning About Holidays
The Talmud continues its analysis of the Mishna by seeking additional sources for the ban on kindling contraband during festive biblical days – despite the permitted use of fire for cooking purposes. The fascinating give and take about sacred fiery dispos...
Parsha Curiosities: Chayei Sarah
The Enigma of Eliezer
Abraham’s famous servant looms large in the Bible with many virtuous qualities attributed to him in our sacred tradition. Yet, his master seems unable to trust him without administering a sacred oath. Why would such an outstandingly righteous person be so...
Parsha Curiosities: Vayeira
The Original Rocking Cradle
Isaac's baby bash attracts some pretty rude guests and crude comments. In trying to understand the irreverent behavior of an oversized world leader, a surprising narrative emerges in a remarkable true story of the Biblical origin of the proverbial rocking...
Intermediate Talmud: Tractate Shabbat, Lesson 28
“Fire Away and Filler Up”
A new Mishnah is introduced with a broad background about sacred soil and holy harvests. Defilement of such hallowed edibles, mandates mitzvah incineration. Differing opinions about varied fuels and flammable agents and their compatibility with Shabbat se...
Parsha Curiosities: Lech-Lecha
Behind Elijah’s Chair at a Circumcision
A fascinating exposé of the traditional chair universally designated for the Prophet Elijah at a Brit Milah ceremony. This lecture begins by fleshing out the spiritual character and impact engendered by sacred circumcision. We then proceed to peel away hi...
The Talmud on a sukkah’s temporary constitution
Home Alone Again: Residences Redefined
The Talmud's previous analysis established distinctions between biblically ordained Halachic homes and a Sukkah. Now we must define when its character is man-made in nature, and biblical grammar is no longer in play. Our Sages delve deeply to clarify the ...
The Talmud on a sukkah’s temporary constitution
Home Alone Hypotheses
After drawing a broad distinction between the multiple paradigms of permanent Halachic homes and the intrinsically transient Sukkah, the Talmud's narrative returns to the varied differentiations, found within the seemingly homogeneous list of legal reside...
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