Monday, 23 July 2018

How Much Charity Are We Obligated to Give the Poor Person?

In today's "Random Torah" post, we take a look at the actual obligation of giving. How much is one required to give to others? Granted, people need. Granted we have to consider the other when we give. He may need water. He may need food. He may need clothing. He may need shelter. He may need a car to get around in. There are all sorts of necessities that those who don't have might actually need. But, be that as it may, how much are we actually obligated to give the other. We take a look at a ruling in the Rambam to find out the Psak Halachah - the definitive halachic ruling as ruled by the Rambam.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Don't Destroy the Trees!

In today's "Random Torah" we discuss the issue of wastage. Wastage refers to destroying things which have value. This can refer to wasting one's food simply because one purchases in excess, never to even think of using the food - and then throwing it away, to destroying things that have a purpose - even if we don't see it at the moment. The Torah prohibits, in the strictest of terms the wastage of anything that need not be destroyed.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

What Does God Want From You?

In today's "Random Torah" we take a look at a teaching from the Tanach - from the prophet Michah. Here he shares with us an amazing teaching. He tells us what God wants from us - in just one sentence!

Monday, 16 July 2018

How Much Do We Need to Help The Poor Person?

In today's "Random Torah," we take a look at a ruling in the Shulchan Aruch concerning the obligation to give. How much should we give someone who is lacking?

There's a "funny thing" about society, that those who are a part of it tend to look down on those who lack. When the poor man asks for help, he is often met with a barrage of questions as to how in the world he ever got himself into his current predicament. Yet others don't believe him altogether. It cannot be that someone doesn't have - they say. Some simply push him off with the excuse "There is no money in the world. We're all struggling. Nobody has any money." Yet others recommend he seek psychological help for his problem. And then there are many who even tell others that the reason he is poor is because that is the lifestyle he wants to live. He wants to live on the street and do without food. And so the damaging, painful and humiliating list continues. Indeed, if he would only be in touch with the real "helpful" social workers, he would get back on his feet to where he should be and he'd never have to ask for another dime in his life. But he refuses to follow protocol and so - nebach - he has nothing.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Students of Good - Students of Evil - You Choose

In today's "Random Torah" post, we take a look at the theme of becoming a student. Perhaps we have already studied something. Then, of course, we would have already chosen to be a student of something and certainly somebody. If we haven't yet studied - or if we are ready to take a new look at who we have studied from and who we should be studying from, our Mishnah in Pirkei Avot 5:19 gives us a key to success.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Truth Protested That Man Should Not Be Created

In today's "Random Torah" we take a look at truth. The Mishnah elsewhere (Pirkei Avot 1:18) tells us that Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel taught that the world exists on three things - justice, truth and peace. For a world to exist harmoniously these three qualities are essential ingredients. The Midrash offers us an even more powerful story to highlight the value of Truth.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

A Torah of Life - Study It, Teach It, Observe It!

In today's "Random Torah" we take a look at a teaching in Pirkei Avot - Ethics of our Fathers. The theme - Torah. The content - its study and its practice. What it's really all about.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Healing and the Mysterious Book of Healings

In today's "Random Torah" we take a look at a Mishnah in Masechet Pesachim. Here, the Mishnah tells us about some things that King Chizkiyahu did which the Sages approved of, and things he did they disapproved of. We take a look at one of the things the Sages approved on in a little more detail - following the Mishnah and find out the dangers of relying upon "man-made" medicine.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The Worst of Sins - Lashon HaRah - Evil Speech and Gossip

In our "Random Torah" today, we take a look at a Halachic ruling from the Rambam. Within the Halachah, the Rambam brings a teaching to show how our Sages were able to offer prophecy as to a person receiving punishment (affliction) in this world and being totally cut off from the world to come. This is a huge statement to make, and if our Sages can be relied upon, we should best value the dangers of speaking evil and derogatory speech about others. Let us see what the Rambam ruled and just what our Sages said regarding the terrible sin of Lashon HaRah.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Which Direction to Face When Praying

In today's "Random Torah" we take a look at which direction to face when praying. It's a fascinating topic and one can talk about it for hours on end. One thing that does come out from it, is that when we pray - we turn to Hashem. Hashem is everywhere and ultimately when we direct our hearts to heaven, we have directed ourselves correctly. 

Let us never forget that making assumptions that praying in certain directions makes one's prayer less or more effective is negating the infinity of God Who is everywhere! There is no real need to overconcern oneself in which direction one prays because God is everywhere - no matter which direction we choose. Our prayers come from our hearts and are directed spiritually into higher worlds that we are barely even aware of! Fortunate are we that no matter where we find ourselves - God is there too!

Living in a physical world, however, also means that we will of necessity be facing a particular physical direction. With this in mind, we can then ask, if possible and we do have a choice to turn in one direction over the other, which direction is most suited to pray towards?

Thursday, 5 July 2018

The Purpose of the Blessing for Children

וַתִּדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר וַתֹּאמַ֗ר יְהוָ֨ה צְבָא֜וֹת אִם־רָאֹ֥ה תִרְאֶ֣ה ׀ בָּעֳנִ֣י אֲמָתֶ֗ךָ וּזְכַרְתַּ֙נִי֙ וְלֹֽא־תִשְׁכַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲמָתֶ֔ךָ וְנָתַתָּ֥ה לַאֲמָתְךָ֖ זֶ֣רַע אֲנָשִׁ֑ים וּנְתַתִּ֤יו לַֽיהוָה֙ כָּל־יְמֵ֣י חַיָּ֔יו וּמוֹרָ֖ה לֹא־יַעֲלֶ֥ה עַל־רֹאשֽׁוֹ׃

And she made this vow: “O LORD of Hosts, if You will look upon the suffering of Your maidservant and will remember me and not forget Your maidservant, and if You will grant Your maidservant a male child, I will dedicate him to the LORD for all the days of his life; and no razor shall ever touch his head.”

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Measurements, Mitzvot and Rewards

אֵלּוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם שִׁעוּר. הַפֵּאָה, וְהַבִּכּוּרִים, וְהָרֵאָיוֹן, וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה. אֵלּוּ דְבָרִים שֶׁאָדָם אוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה וְהַקֶּרֶן קַיֶּמֶת לוֹ לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא. כִּבּוּד אָב וָאֵם, וּגְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים, וַהֲבָאַת שָׁלוֹם בֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד כֻּלָּם

These are the things that have no measure: Peah [corner of the field which, while harvesting, must be left for the poor], Bikurim[First-fruits that must be brought to the Temple and given to the priest], the appearance-sacrifice [brought to the Temple on Pilgrimage Festivals], acts of kindness, and the study of the Torah. These are things the fruits of which a man enjoys in this world, while the principal remains for him in the World to Come: Honoring one's father and mother, acts of kindness, and bringing peace between a man and his fellow. But the study of Torah is equal to them all.

Peah, to be left for the poor, is infinite, because the giving of charity has no end. Our Bikkurim gifts to the priest (the Kohein) going to the Temple, are infinite, because delighting in giving back to God from what He gives us is infinite. Acts of kindness have no end. Anyone can do them - any time they want. The study of Torah has no measure. It is infinite. There is no end. No matter how much one learns, there is still more to learn. It is not just a Bible of sorts, it is the very "Mind" of the Creator of the universe.

The study of Torah is the greatest of everything because it leads us to do what is correct. With this knowledge, we can go ahead with honouring parents as the Torah teaches us to, do acts of kindness - which are themselves infinite, and the best of all, bring peace between people - an infinite job which brings infinite reward for all concerned.


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