Special Shabbatot

Shabbat Chazon takes place on Erev Tisha Be’Av and the regular minhagim for this Shabbat apply, e.g. Lecha Dodi on Friday night is sung to a mournful tune, the Rabbi of the Synagogue chants the Haftarah of Chazon to the “nigun” of Eichah and Av Harachamim is said.  The traditional procedure for the final meal […]

Unlike the four special Shabbatot which have preceded this Shabbat, today there is no special Maftir and only one Sefer Torah is taken out of the Ark. Here are some of the interesting reasons given for this Shabbat being called Shabbat Hagadol – The Great Shabbat: The exodus from Egypt took place on a Thursday. […]

Today, Parshat Hachodesh heralds the commencement of the month of Nissan. This will be the only time of the year during which, for the duration of an entire month, we will not recite tachanun. Shouldn’t this be a halacha for the preceding month of Adar? After all, is it not concerning Adar alone that our […]

Why was Shabbat Parah Instituted? The third of our four special Shabbatot prior to Pesach is called Parah, named after the red heifer, which is the main theme of today’s Maftir. This passage was always read before the commencement of Nisan for the sake of all those who had been defiled (tameh) by contact with […]

When the Temple stood, it was incumbent upon every Jew to perform the positive mitzvah of contributing half a shekel yearly for the purchase of the communal offerings that were to be offered on the altar.  During a given year, only the half-shekel contributions of the same year could be used for this purpose. Even […]

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