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Parshah Halachah

Halachic Issues Culled from the Parshah


Discussions of laws related to daily Jewish living as sourced in the weekly Torah readings.

Parshat Bereishit
The first mitzvah in the Torah is "to be fruitful and multiply." As the verse in Genesis states: "And G‑d said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth...'" This mitzvah is considered a "great mitzvah" and in some cases even overrides certain other laws.
Feeding Animals
Parshat Noach
The Torah commands every person to ensure his animals are fed—and in the proper time. Actually, we are commanded to feed our animals before we eat ourselves. “And I will give grass in your field for your livestock”—and only thereafter “and you will eat and be sated.”
The Mitzvah of Circumcision (Part I)
Parshat Lech Lecha
Our sages go as far as to say that if not for this mitzvah, G‑d would not have created the heavens and earth; it is the greatest of the positive mitzvot; and considered the equivalent to all of the mitzvot of the Torah combined!
Parshat Vayeira
The proper date and time, the laws of a Shabbat brit, a list of honorees, and a to-do preparatory list.
Preparing for Prayer
Parshat Chayei Sarah
The essence of prayer is kavanah—focus and concentration. In order to achieve proper kavanah, it is important to pray in the proper place and with as few distractions as possible. This article focuses on the appropriate location for prayer, as well as the immersion in a mikvah.
Parshat Toldot
It seems that pressing need overrides the general prohibition against deception. This article will explore the importance of truth and the permissibility of deception under extenuating circumstances.
Minyan: The Prayer Quorum
Parshat Vayeitzei
It is said that in the merit of praying with a minyan, one will make a living more easily and be blessed with the fruits of his labor. In fact, even if praying with a minyan causes one financial loss, G-d will repay him by granting him extra success...
The Laws of Bar Mitzvah
Parshat Vayishlach
Calculating the bar mitzvah date, the privileges and responsibilities of the bar mitzvah boy, and laws and customs associated with the bar mitzvah celebration.
Educating Children
Parshat Vayeishev
Lessons from the Torah regarding proper childrearing and education.
Dreams in Judaism
Parshat Mikeitz
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains that meaningful dreams emanate from a very high spiritual level. But does this mean that our dreams are messages from G-d? Should we be frightened by a dream that portends doom?
Parshat Vayigash
A collection of laws that pertain to traveling. Studying while traveling, praying while traveling the Traveler’s Prayer, and more.
Parshat Vayechi
Where to get buried: In Israel? Together with family?
The Proper Environment for Prayer
Parshat Va'eira
Because when praying we stand before the King of kings, it is appropriate that we ensure that our environment is suiting, and that we dress in a respectable manner.
The Right (and Left) Way
Parshat Bo
Mitzvot Done with the Right Hands, and Guidelines for Left-Handed People.
Lechem Mishneh: The Two Shabbat Loaves
Parshat Beshalach
In order to enable the Jews to observe Shabbat while wandering in the desert, G-d provided them with a double portion of manna on Friday. To commemorate this miracle, the Sages instituted that we break bread over two complete loaves at the start of every Shabbat meal...
Parshat Yitro
The firstborn is a link in the chain that connects the souls of the younger siblings to their parents, and through them to G‑d. Therefore the siblings must respect him—just as they are obligated to respect their parents.
Meat & Milk
Meat & Milk
Parshat Mishpatim
Several reasons have been suggested for this mitzvah. Some argue that it is cruel to cook a baby in the very milk that was intended to nourish it. Others suggest that the reason for this mitzvah is health related. Maimonides asserts that an ancient pagan ritual which involved the cooking and consumption of meat and milk is the source of the prohibition...
Synagogue Architecture
Parshat Terumah
The synagogues and study halls in the Diaspora are considered “miniature sanctuaries.” For this reason, we find that some of the physical characteristics of the Holy Temple are to be incorporated into the building of a synagogue . . .
Laws Relating to Clothing
Parshat Tetzaveh
The priests were required to wear special clothing when performing their service in the Holy Temple. Similarly, the Torah scholars of ancient Babylonia would dress impressively, so as to encourage people to honor the Torah that they represented . . .
The Myth of the “Shabbos Goy”
Parshat Ki Tisa
The basic rule of thumb as far as having a gentile do work for a Jew on Shabbat is that if a Jew may not do it, a non-Jew cannot do it for him. There are, however, various exceptions to this rule...
The Obligation to Remain
Parshat Pikudei
A person must behave in a way that is beyond reproach, both the reproach of G‑d and of his fellow man.
Parshat Vayikra
The chassidic masters explain that the more one is nullified before G‑d, the more humble one becomes in the face of G‑d’s infinite greatness . . .
Inheriting Leadership Positions
Parshat Tzav
In Jewish law, we find that certain positions are passed from father to son, provided that the son is worthy of filling his father's post, while other positions are not inherited. This article will explore this issue.
All About Kosher Fish
Parshat Shemini
In order to render a fish kosher, the scales must be visible to the naked eye and they must be easy to remove from the skin of the fish. If the scales can be only be removed after soaking the fish in scalding water, there are differing views as to whether the fish is considered kosher...
Laws of Childbirth
Parshat Tazria
Laws and customs pertaining to pregnancy, labor, birth, and the new mother.
The Power of Speech
Parshat Metzora
How to use one's power of speech in a positive and healing manner.
Permitted Marriages
Parshat Acharei
This article explores the Torah’s rules regarding whom one may and may not marry.
Shatnez: A Mixture of Wool and Linen
Parshat Kedoshim
The reason for this prohibition is not clear. As the verse says: “You shall observe My statutes . . .” This means that this mitzvah is a “chok”—a divine statute that defies (full) comprehension.
The Obligation to Pay Workers on Time
Parshat Kedoshim
The Torah recognizes that often a worker is in urgent need of his wages; he needs to feed himself and/or his family. To postpone paying him may cause him distress and, in some cases, death. In addition, by keeping this mitzvah we train ourselves to be compassionate and kind...
The Kohen's Purity
Parshat Emor
A Kohen may not come in contact with a human corpse. Find out why, how, the exceptions to this rule, and the areas a Kohen should avoid.
Rejoicing on the Holidays
Parshat Emor
By nature people need joyous occasions in their lives. In His kindness, G-d established holidays when we can experience joy in a holy context and express thanksgiving for the miracles G-d has performed for us...
Hurtful Words
Parshat Behar
One should be extremely careful to never shame another in public. This sin is akin to murder; just as blood is spilled in the act of murder, so too when one is shamed the blood drains from his face...
Parshat Bechukotai
All Jewish souls constitute one entity. Our nation is likened to a large body, each soul emanating from one of its 248 limbs. From this stems our mutual responsibility for one another—because we truly are one.
Parshat Bamidbar
The prohibition against counting Jews directly, its reasons and applications.
The Torah Perspective on Alcohol Consumption
Parshat Naso
Our sages say that the original sin of Adam and Eve involved wine, as the Tree of Knowledge was actually (according to one opinion) a grape vine.
Lashon Hara
Lashon Hara
Parshat Behaalotecha
We find that lashon hara, negative talk, is a sin that has caused numerous tragedies for the Jewish people, and indeed the world, since the very beginning of history.
Laws of Tzitzit
Parshat Shelach
Our sages say that one who fulfills this mitzvah properly merits to have a wife and children. He is also protected from sin, and in that merit he is assured that he will see the face of the Divine Presence . . .
The Importance of Peace
Parshat Korach
The final paragraph of the Mishnah states: “Great is peace, for G‑d found no other vessel for [His] blessings other than peace.” Meaning that G‑d only sends His blessings to a family, community, country, etc., if it is in a state of peace.
Laws of Doctors & Healing
Parshat Chukat
While we must recognize that every illness is a message from G‑d and take appropriate spiritual action, at the same time we may, and must, use medicines that have healing powers.
Safeguards Against Immorality
Parshat Balak
Our Sages recognized that in order to overcome natural temptations, a person must control his sight and thoughts —the faculties through which he can be led astray. The most common cause of a forbidden union is a man and woman – not married to each other – being secluded together in a private setting...
Parshat Pinchas
When the sages instituted the daily prayers, they included a prayer for each of the regular communal sacrifices. They also instituted the Musaf prayer to be recited on any day when the musaf sacrifice was to be offered.
Immersion of Vessels (Tevilat Keilim)
Parshat Matot
After the Jewish people were victorious in their war against the Midianites, Elazar the high priest taught them the laws of “kosherizing” food utensils taken from the spoils of the enemy. The reason for this immersion is to bring the vessel into the holy domain of the Jewish people . . .
Guard Your Life
Parshat Massei
The Torah considers one responsible for safeguarding one's own as well as others' health and wellbeing. Presented here is a partial collection of laws pertaining to guarding the life and health of oneself and others.
Parshat Devarim
By forbidding Jews from eating food cooked by non-Jews, our sages intended to create a social barrier between Jews and non-Jews in order to prevent intermarriage.
Laws of Reciting the Shema (Part I)
Parshat Va’etchanan
Our sages tell us that the creation of the entire world is considered a worthwhile endeavor just for the acceptance of the yoke of Heaven that we enact during the daily recital of Shema.
Laws of Reciting the Shema (Part II)
Parshat Eikev
When one recites the Shema, he should do so tremulously, with concentration, reverence and awe, as people are wont to do when reading a new communication issued by the king.
The Mitzvah of Giving Loans
Parshat Re'eh
Giving loans is considered a greater mitzvah than the mitzvah of giving charity because it is less embarrassing for a needy person to take a loan than to receive charity.
Parshat Shoftim
The prohibition of cutting down fruit trees is stricter than the prohibition of destroying other objects of value. Since man is compared to a fruit tree, it is particularly harmful to destroy a tree, for the act unleashes negative spiritual energies.
Parshat Ki Teitzei
Cross-dressing can lead to promiscuous behavior. Wearing the clothes of a woman would enable a man to mingle inappropriately among women, and vice versa...
The Prohibition Against Living in Egypt
Parshat Ki Tavo
The return of the Jews to Egypt would be an affront to G‑d, who specifically saved us from slavery there and removed us from there...
Parshat Nitzavim
A collection of the sources from the Torah that serve as the basis for belief in Moshiach and for the details regarding Moshiach and the messianic era.
Parshat Vayelech
The 613th mitzvah of the Torah is the obligation for every Jew to write a Torah scroll. In the words of the verse: ""And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel..."
Parshat Haazinu
The blessings that express our wish to connect our souls and the entire world with the essential holiness of the Torah.
The Torah-Business Partnership
Parshat Vezot Haberachah
The arrangement whereby one person supports the other who learns Torah, and the reward is shared between the two of them, has come to be known as a “Yissachar-Zevulun” partnership.
Electricity on Shabbat
Parshat Vayakhel
Although the halachic authorities concur that electricity per se is not considered fire, it is nevertheless universally agreed upon that one may not operate electrical appliances on Shabbat. There are various reasons offered for this...
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