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There is a widespread custom not to study Torah on “Nittel Night” – the night of the holiday commemorating the birth of Yeishu. Many halachic sources mention little about Nittel and its customs, presumably due to a fear of reprisal or persecution from the gentiles. Even the name of the night is difficult to source. There is even a question as to when Nittel should be observed. Rabbi Naftali Flintenstein Sheds Light on this unusual custom.
How many candles do we light on the first night of Chanukah? Seems easy, right? Same for which blessing we recite first in Havdalah — the one on fire, or the one on besamim. In this fascinating look into the future, we find out that much of what we are used to doing will be subject to change with Mashiach’s arrival.
As Chanukah approaches, people tend to brush up on their knowledge of the pertinent halachos of hadlakas neiros. But some halachos can be confusing, even to the point of being incomprehensible. The solution? Pe’er Halachah, Rav Dovid Hirsch’s beautiful work on Mishnah Berurah. Through clear, concise graphics that highlight his understanding of the finest distinctions of halachah, Rav Hirsch makes even the most difficult sections of Mishnah Berurah accessible to all. The man, the mission, and his methods.
Entering the supermarket aisle in which olive oil is stocked can be extremely confusing. There’s virgin olive oil, exra-virgin olive oil, just plain olive oil, and refined olive oil. Since extra-virgin olive oil is ostensibly pure, can we assume that it is kosher without certification? And can we use just any oil to light our Chanukah menorahs? Rabbi Yirmiyahu Kaganoff sets the record straight.