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Dr. Aryeh Hirsch

The Omer Sacrifice and the Gulag

The <I>Gemara</I>, <I>Menachos</I> 65a, mentions two arguments that the rabbis had with the Sadducees. The arguments seemingly have nothing to do with one another. But Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (in <I>Mishpat Kohen</I>, and quoted in the <I>Harav Kook Haggada</I>, page 297) says there is a connection between the two., 5/15/2005, 1:01 PM

The Rasha on the Territories

The <I>Haggadah</I> says the <I>rasha</I> is one who <I>"kafar ba'ikar"</I>, he denies the role of God in history. So, he makes up nonsensical rationalizations for his Disengagement, such as equating Israel with Pharaoh. , 5/3/2005, 5:43 PM

Shakespeare and the Pesach Haggadah

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook explains that by having farmers bring their produce to Jerusalem, our largest and capital city, and by mandating that the city-dwellers go out and extend a lavish greeting to the country bumpkins, the Almighty was ensuring mutual appreciation and unity among the people., 4/21/2005, 12:38 AM

<I>Shemini</I>, Purim and the Jewish Temperance League

Last week, we were told to celebrate, with revelry that includes drinking alcohol <I>"ad d'lo yada"</I>, until we lose our powers of reason. Yet, in this week's Torah reading , Aharon is warned, "You and your sons are not to drink wine and other intoxicating beverages when you come into the <I>Ohel Moed</I>." , 3/31/2005, 5:44 PM

<I>Vayak'hel</I>: Sacrifice

It appears that our happiness and very presence in the Land of Israel is integrally related to the issue of sacrifices., 3/3/2005, 11:05 AM

<I>Mishpatim</I>: Law and Order, and Woodstock

We are all familiar with the words in the <I>Shacharit</I> (morning ) prayer, in which we, like the angels, are <I>"notenim reshus zeh la'zeh,"</I> giving the other guy respect, breathing-space, the benefit of the doubt, etc. So, tomorrow morning, when you are <I>davening</I>, think of this...., 2/3/2005, 7:11 PM

<I>Yitro</I>: Camping, Israeli Style

[As] long as each Jew was able to see and appreciate the particular <I>chein</I> possessed by every other individual Jew, and each Jew furthered the interests of his fellow, the <I>machaneh</I> was truly a living organism of such beauty, harmony and <I>chein</I> that Israel merited a tete-a-tete with the Divine Presence. , 1/27/2005, 2:33 PM