Breisheet: Purposeful Ambiguity

"G-d said: What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is screaming to Me from the ground" (Breisheet 4:10).

G-d approached Cain after the murder of Hevel with a question, hoping that Cain would do teshuva for the murder of his brother. Did he? The text is unclear: "And Cain said to G-d: gadol avoni mi'n'so, [Is?]my sin is too great to bear" (Breisheet 4:13). Whether this is a question or statement of fact is unclear; without hearing the tone of voice that Cain used, we are left in the dark.

Yevamot 21: The Limits of Teshuva

On Yom Kippur afternoon, the Torah reading focuses on the Jewish sexual ethic. The Torah has a relatively long list of relatives with whom intimacy would be considered incest. If one were to "marry" one of these people--say, one's aunt--such a union would be of no standing. There is a second group of prohibited marriages, issur kedusha[1], where one may not marry someone; but such a forbidden marriage, while a violation of the sanctity of marriage, would be recognized as valid.

Rosh Hashanah: Time to Remember

David, Karen, and Beca Bookman wish their parents, families, friends, and the Or Chaim Minyan a Happy and Healthy Shana Tova, and a Shana Tova to Rabbi Jay & Ilana Kelman and their family. "Blow the shofar at the [beginning] of the month, when the day of our holiday is covered". Rosh Hashanah is the only one of our holidays celebrated on the first of the month, and thus, unlike other holidays where the moon is clearly visible, on Rosh Hashanah the moon is almost completely concealed.
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