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13

The midrash in Sh'mot Rabbah (2:5) offers some explanations: Why fire? To inspire him with courage so that when he comes to Sinai later he is not afraid of the fire.1 Why a thornbush? R' Yehoshua b. Karchah said: to teach that no place is devoid of God's presence, not even a thornbush. R' Eliezer said: just as the thornbush is the lowliest of all trees ...


5

The Bach in O.C. Siman 167 has a nice explanation of this. He starts by pointing out that the word "hamotzi" is the preferred word for the blessing, even though the word "motzi" would suffice, because "hamotzi" implies both past and future tense (Berachos 38a). The intent, he says, is both on this bread which came out of the ground, and on the bread that ...


5

There are two problems as explained at this article There are two major kosher concerns with “pure maple syrup.” First, an observant Jew is required to turn on the evaporator because only an observant Jew is allowed to “light the fire” that cooks a kosher food item. Second, while the sap is boiling, farmers drip animal fat into the mixture to ...


4

Rashi says God appeared in a thornbush to show He was sharing the Jews' pain.


4

You asked: Have there been any (scientific) studies that prove the benefits of Orlah? Well, as you will see from the answer to your second question, it's not about benefits. You can see from articles like this one that most fruit trees don't bear (real) fruit for the first 3 - 4 years. You then asked: What is the reasoning behind Orlah ...


4

I was just referred to "How to keep your aravos fresh throughout sukkos: The definitive guide for frustrated palm-frond wavers", an apparently anonymous document describing a series of nine experiments, carefully testing different strategies for keeping Aravot fresh. Read the whole thing to see all of the strategies tested and all of the results, including ...


4

Small serations are kosher, large ones are not. See Halachipedia's entry on aravos.


3

In Psalms 104.14 it is written "Lehotzi lechem min ha'aretz" צְמִיחַ חָצִיר, לַבְּהֵמָה, וְעֵשֶׂב, לַעֲבֹדַת הָאָדָם; לְהוֹצִיא לֶחֶם, מִן-הָאָרֶץ. I have always assumed that this was the source of the text, and a shiur from Rav Ya'akov Nagan from Yeshivat Othniel also gives this source.


3

To summarize this book: Rabbi Moshe Sofer considers it an unacceptable attempt to emulate the gentiles. (Responsa Bet Shearim, YD No. 402). In a similar vein, R. David Tzvi Hoffman cites Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (in Shut Malmad Lehoil Part II YD Number 109) opined that putting flowers on a grave is forbidden as imitation of non-Jewish practices. ...


3

Yes. Per Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi Regarding: Subject: maple syrup Message: Is any brand of pure maple syrup KP? Thanks Reply: if there are no added ingredients-yes. But I'm pretty sure there are other ingredients-please list YA Product in question: Berkley & Jensen Pure maple syrup ingredients: pure maple ...


3

This is an excellent question! I don't think that I can answer it definitively, but the following information might be of use to you. If you have a look at Avraham Grossman's Rashi (trans. Joel Linsider; The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2012), you will see that he features a bit of a discussion of this issue on pp145-147. He quotes various ...


2

Rambam writes (Maachalos Asuros 10:11-12): ספק ערלה וכלאי הכרם בארץ ישראל אסור. בסוריא והיא ארצות שכבש דוד מותר. כיצד היה כרם וערלה וענבים נמכרות חוצה לו. היה ירק זרוע בתוכו וירק נמכר חוצה לו. שמא ממנו הוא זה שמא מאחר. בסוריא מותר ובחוצה לארץ אפילו ראה הענבים יוצאות מכרם ערלה או ירק יוצא מן הכרם לוקח מהן. והוא שלא יראה אותו בוצר מן הערלה או לוקט ...


2

As a chef, I can assure you that the use of animal fat as a defoaming agent is no longer a common practice in maple syrup production. In virtually all cases, the role formerly filled by animal fat is now either unnecessary, or it is filled by either a specially manufactured defoaming agent or a small amount of vegetable oil. The defoaming agent, ...


2

Unfortunately, I don't remember where I heard this, but I heard that the apparently-incongruous wording of the blessing is there to make us realize that even though bread is only edible thanks to a great deal of human activity, we still have to thank God for it as if it sprouted, fully-formed, from the ground, since all of the human activity was only ...


2

This lists the Last Dates of Kedushas Shevi’is, Sefichin and Biur 5775/5776: http://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/3023/last-dates-of-kedushas-sheviis-sefichin-and-biur-57755776/ Here is a Stark-K article on how to act post Shemitta: ...


1

Introduction The question is based on similarities between wine and bread, contrasting with their differences in blessing style. Bread is better than wheat seed. So praise for the gift-bread is a bigger than praise for gift-seed. The main reason why humanity grows wheat is for bread to eat. the fruit (i.e. the proceeds from wheat) is the bread. Sources and ...


1

Yes they are allowed. Due to the special status of Eretz Yisroel, generally, vegetables grown there must have ma’asros, tithes, separated. However, if the AeroGarden kit is used to grow vegetables in Eretz Yisroel, ma’asros need not be separated from the vegetables. This is because hydroponically-grown vegetables are free from the obligation to ...


1

You asked: How is this done? Do you dig up the earth to a certain depth? Do you dig a trench? Do you dig holes at certain intervals? It's a Mishna in Ohalot 16:4 which says: הַבּוֹדֵק, בּוֹדֵק אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה וּמַנִּיחַ אַמָּה, עַד שֶׁהוּא מַגִּיעַ לְסֶלַע אוֹ לִבְתוּלָה.‏ You check by drilling 1-Amah holes at 1-Amah intervals. They are reach ...


1

A great summary of all the kashrut issues with tea can be found at http://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/kashurs-kurrents-2013/summer-kashrus-kurrents-2013/1145/the-kashrus-of-tea-with-no-strings-attached/ Rooibos Tea is not a tea in that - as you point out - it is not Camellia sinensis. The blanket statement that all plain non-flavoured ...


1

Removing weeds with their roots, cutting weeds without removing their roots, removing stones to to prepare the land for planting and plowing are clearly forbidden. So practically it seems impossible to install synthetic grass during shmita on earth. Putting synthetic grass on say cement or stone doesn't seem to imply any violation of shmita laws (no more ...


1

Tishre 1st of Tishre - The new year for animal tithes -- Animals born in one year do not combine with animals born the following year - Rambam, Hilchot Bechorot 7:6 10th of Tishre - Shofar was blown on the 10th of Tishre on a Yovel Year to signal the freeing of the slaves - Vayikra 25:9 15th of Tishre - Chag Ha'Asif -- Celebrating the ingathering of the ...


1

For further sources, R Yosef Tzvi Rimon in his (highly recommended) reference book on shmita adresses this question indirectly and writes (pp. 34-35) Since the Sages permitted labors that are forbidden by rabbinic decree in cases of financial loss, it is permitted to water one's garden when necessary (but less frequently than usual) [...] Generally ...



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