Beit Midrash

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21 Lessons
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    Sukkot

    Sukkot stories about Rav Mordechai Eliyahu zt'l

    "Rabbi Alnekaveh told a story he heard once from an etrog-seller who used to bring Rav Eliyahu etrogim to check: "It is well-known that Rab Eliyahu could look at an etrog for mere seconds and immediately discern its advantages and defects..."

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Tishrei 18 5782
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    Zachor

    Parshat Zachor

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5770
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    Laws of Hanukkah

    Who is Obliged, and Who is Exempt from Chanukah Candles

    Fulfilling the Mitzvah in the following cases, according to the Sephardic and Ashkenazi customs: lighting in the Synagogue, travelers, women, single and married children living at home and away from home, Yeshiva students, soldiers, roommates, mourners, and blind persons.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5770
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    Sukkot

    Sleeping in the Sukkah

    If a sukkah is built so poorly that it is not possible to sleep in it, some authorities hold that it is not kosher and that one may not even eat in it. However, in practice, we do not follow this view, and such a sukkah is nonetheless kosher.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Tishrei 5769
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    Shabbat

    Twice Scripture, Once Targum

    The practice of reading the weekly Torah portion twice in the original Hebrew and once in the Aramaic Targum is not mere good advice, and it is certainly more than just a remedy for good fortune. Rather, it is an obligation that applies to every Jew.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Sivan 5768
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    The Life of Tzaddikim

    Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes

    Iyar 14 is the Hilulah (death anniversary) of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNes. Tradition has it that Rabbi Meir asked to be buried in an upright position so that, when the Messiah comes and the dead are resurrected, he be able to run to greet him with no delay.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Iyar 5768
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    Tu Bishvat

    Some Laws Relating to Tu Bishvat

    The custom is to eat fruits on both the evening and day of Tu Bishvat, and people try to give preference to those fruits for which the land of Israel is famous. Furthermore, it is preferable to eat fruits that were grown in the land of Israel.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 7 Shvat 5768
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    Prayer

    Requesting Rain, Mentioning Rain

    A person should always familiarize himself with an uncommon prayer before beginning to recite it. Therefore, before Maariv (the evening prayer) on 7 Marcheshvan, one should familiarize himself with the "Barech Alenu" prayer, or read it through.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Wednesday, 5 Cheshvan 5768
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    Rosh Hashana

    Some Preparations for Rosh Hashanah

    The day before Rosh Hashanah is the last day of the year, and it is the last opportunity to repent before the Day of Judgment. It is a day of reflection on the year gone by, and a day of preparation for the coming year.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Sunday, 26 Elul 5767
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    The Month of Elul

    Days of Divine Favor

    The first two forty-day periods of prayer were of no avail, and it was only after an additional forty days that God said to Moses "I have forgiven according to your request." Therefore, we recite selichot during this same last period of forty days.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Monday, 20 Elul 5767
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    The Month of Elul

    Laws of the Month of Elul

    Though God accepts the repentance of his children all year long, the forty days between Rosh Chodesh (New Month) Elul and Yom Kippur are more suited for repentance than any other period of the year, for they are days of Divine mercy and favor.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Thursday, 9 Elul 5767
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    The Ninth of Av

    Ninth of Av Thoughts

    The Talmud says, “Where it is the custom to do work on the ninth of Av, one may work; where it is the custom not to do work, one may not do work.” However, whoever does work on the Ninth of Av will not see a sign of blessing from that work.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Menachem Av 5765
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    The Laws of Three Weeks

    Laws Relating to the Three Weeks

    If, during the Three Weeks, a person accidentally blessed "boreh pri ha'etz" over a new fruit, some authorities hold that the fruit should not be eaten. Others hold that pronouncing God's name in vain is a greater offense than eating the new fruit.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l
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    The spiritual view

    Shabbat Preparations

    Even a person who has many servants should try to prepare personally something for the Sabbath. R' Chisda would mince vegetables; Rabbah and R' Yosef would chop wood. Every person should make them his example, for honoring the Sabbath is a privilege.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5767
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    The Ten Days of Repentance

    Prayer During the Ten Days of Repentance

    Some people have certain prayer customs on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which are not accurate according to Jewish law. All the same, a person should not hastily renounce a custom which has be handed down from generation to generation.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | תשס"ד
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    Lessons for the 10th of Tevet

    The Laws of Fast Days

    One should not use fast days for leisure or for field trips. One should even refrain from performing permissible acts such as showering or cutting one's hair. If a person spends the fast indifferently, he has not properly fulfilled his obligation.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5765
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    Laws of Hanukkah

    The Remaining Chanukah Oil

    When buying oil for Chanukah, one should not say, “This oil is for Chanukah,” for some authorities hold that by making such a statement one dedicates all of the oil for Chanukah candles alone, including that which remains in the bottle after Chanukah.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5765
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    The Ninth of Av

    The Laws of the Nine Days

    When the month of Av arrives, rejoicing should be minimized. A Jew must therefore avoid undertaking construction projects from which pleasure will be derived. Also, transactions should be minimized and one must refrain from consuming meat and wine.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5762
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    The Haggadah

    Passover...and Foreign Workers

    The people of Bombay inquire of Ben Ish Chai as to whether or not there is a possible violation of Jewish law in the fact that non-Jewish servants bring chametz into the homes of their Jewish employees and eat there in the privacy of their own rooms.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | 5763
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    The Meaning Sefirat Ha'omer

    Celebrating During the Counting of the Omer Period

    Rabbi Akiva had twelve thousand pairs of pupils spread out all over the country from Gevat to Antipatros and they all died during the period from Passover to Shavuot because they did not treat each other with respect and the world was desolate.

    Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Zt"l | Nisan 5763
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