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Shavuos: Sinai by Another Name ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

We are all probably familiar with the name of the site of the greatest mass revelation of G-d’s existence — Mount Sinai. However, throughout the Bible that place is variously mentioned under other names. These names include “Mountain of G-d,” “Mount Bashan,” “Mount Gavnunim” (Psalms 68:16), “Mount Hemed” (Psalms 68:17), and “Mount Horeb” (Exodus 33:6). … Continue reading Shavuos: Sinai by Another Name ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Lag B’Omer: Putting the Bar in Bar Mitzvah ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

On Lag B’Omer, Jews all over the world celebrate Rashbi’s hillula. Rashbi, of course, is an acronym for the Tannaic sage, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Or, is it Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai? Why do we sometimes use the word ben to mean “son,” and sometimes use the word bar? What is the difference between these two words? Moreover, why is a Jewish boy … Continue reading Lag B’Omer: Putting the Bar in Bar Mitzvah ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

Emor: An Appropriate Epithet ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

The common word for a tombstone in spoken Hebrew is a matzeivah (literally, “monument”), and, indeed, when Yaakov buried his wife Rachel, the Torah reports that he erected a matzeivah at her grave (Gen. 35:20). Elsewhere (Yechezkel 39:15 and II Kings 23:17), the Bible refers to graves that are marked with a tziyun (“marker”). A third word for gravestone appears in … Continue reading Emor: An Appropriate Epithet ~ Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein

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