Mishneh Torah

Hilchot Brachot ch. 7 – Derech Eretz

Halacha is not only formal laws, but also a way of life more generally. The Mitzvah of Bracha frames our meals, and thereby also guides us in proper social dynamics of eating. This includes good character traits, but as a social institution also the manifestation and appearance of those traits. Thus, for example, one shouldn’t…

Mishneh Torah

Hilchot Kriat Shema ch. 1

1. אף על פי שאין מצות ציצית נוהגת בלילה, קוראין אותה בלילה, מפני שיש בה זכרון יציאת מצריים; ומצוה להזכיר יציאת מצריים ביום ובלילה, שנאמר “למען תזכור את יום צאתך מארץ מצריים, כול ימי חייך” (דברים טז,ג).  Why isn’t remembering Yetziat Mitzraim every day a mitzva? The fifth rule of counting Mitzvot is that one…

Tanach

Covering One’s Sins with the Aron Hakodesh?

King David is a paradigm of doing teshuva. His Teshuva had many parts, both illustrated in the story and explained in Tehilim (especially mizmor 51). One of the lesser known steps happened when he was running away from Avshalom. When David is on the run from Avshalom, he has the opportunity to take the Aron…

Mishneh Torah

Is a diamond forever? – Reflections on Rambam Yomi ch. 4

To illustrate the general scientific and philosophical principles of this chapter, the Rambam gives numerous examples. However, from a purely scientific standpoint there are too many examples. For example, there is no relevant scientific difference between precious gems and other rocks, yet the Rambam gives both in his list of examples. The Rambam is not…