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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Menachot

Using Ma’aser Money for Other Mitzvah Obligations

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on June 3, 2011

Can I use my ma’aser kesafim, tithes from my income, towards pre-existing mitzvah or tzedakah obligations, such as my synagogue dues, my children’s day school tuition, or pledges to charity that I have already made?  A mishna from Menachot touches on an answer to this question.   In the mishna in Menachot 81a, we learn that a Continue Reading »

Mesechet Menachot: Pigs and Greek Wisdom

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 27, 2011

The sixth chapter of Menachot is devoted to the topic of the bringing of the omer.   In the middle of all the halakhic discussions of this chapter, a fascinating story is told about how, one time, they needed to bring the omer from wheat that grew far away from Jerusalem: Our Rabbis taught: When Continue Reading »

Mesechet Menachot: The Taxonomy of the Gemara’s Grains

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 20, 2011

The Mishna of Menachot 70a lists the five species of grain.  These species are of central importance in many halakhot.  Only bread made from these species of grains is considered bread, and gets the brakha of hamotzi.  Only matzah made from these grains is considered matzah, and can be used on the seder night.  One only takes challah from bread Continue Reading »

Mesechet Menachot: Chametz and Fertility

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 13, 2011

Mesechet Menachot (53) addressed the prohibition to make menachot out of chametz.  Menachot, grain sacrifices, are usually made as matzah, unleavened bread.  There are some, notably the shetei ha’lechem, the two loaves that are brought on Shavuot, which are chametz.  Nevertheless, such chametz offerings are never burned on the altar, and the Torah explicitly prohibits Continue Reading »

“You Shall Be Holy” – Bringing the Holiness of the Temple into our Lives

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 29, 2011

The Gemara in Menachot discusses at length and over many pages the specific details relating to the laws of tzitzit.   At the end of these discussions, the Gemara ends with a braitta which that declares that “all are obligated in the mitzvah of tzitzit: Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites; converts, women and slaves.” (Menachot 43a).   Focusing on the first Continue Reading »

Magical Mezuzahs? Not so Much

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 14, 2011

In Masechet Menachot, there is a very rich section that deals with the laws of tefillin and mezuzah.   A particular theme of interest, especially in the context of the korban Pesach, is that of the mezuzah as an object that protects the house.   This idea is never stated in the Torah.  To the contrary, Continue Reading »

Rabbeinu Tam’s Two Sunsets: When is it Nighttime?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 1, 2011

One of the key Tosafots in Shas (Menachot 20b, s.v., ini) discusses the position of Rabbeinu Tam that there are two sunsets – the visible one, and then one occurring almost an hour later, when the sun – according to Rabbinic cosmology – exists the tunnel of the opaque dome of the rakiya, sky or Continue Reading »