Torah Sparks

United Synagogue (USCJ) is proud and delighted to bring you Torah Sparks, with insights and learning materials on the Parasha (Torah portion) of the week. Torah Sparks is produced by the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Each week there will be a Dvar Torah - a discussion on some aspect of the reading, by CY faculty, alumni and friends; a Vort - a short thought from Chasidic rebbes or other thinkers about some point in the text; and Table Talk - questions to stimulate discussion on the Parsha around the Shabbat table. Torah Sparks is available here on the Conservative Yeshiva's Shiurim Online Beit Midrash website, as well as by subscription to weekly graphical emails. Please select the Parasha you would like to see - it will display articles from each year. A printable PDF is linked at the end of each week's presentation.


Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 2

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Two   Introduction The first part of our mishnah teaches that corpses found in certain places do not require a heifer’s neck to be broken.  The second section teaches that proximity of the corpse to certain cities also does not require the heifer’s neck to be broken.  We should note that […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 3

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Three   Introduction   Our mishnah deals with a case where the head and body of the corpse were found in separate places.  There are two potential issues involved:  first of all, from where do they measure in order to determine which city must bring the heifer?  Secondly, where do they bury […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 4

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Four   Introduction In today’s mishnah we learn from what part of the body they would measure in order to determine the closest city.   Mishnah Four From what part [of the body] do they measure? Rabbi Eliezer says: from the navel. Rabbi Akiva says: from the nose. Rabbi Eliezer ben […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 5

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Five   Introduction This mishnah continues to describe the neck-breaking ceremony.  It clarifies some points in Deuteronomy 21:3-4.   Mishnah Five 1)      The elders of Jerusalem departed and went away. 2)      The elders of that city bring “a heifer which has never been worked” (Deuteronomy 21:3). a)      And a blemish does […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 6

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Six   Introduction Our mishnah teaches the meaning of the declarations made after the neck of the heifer has been broken (vs. 7-8).   Mishnah Six 1)      The elders of that city then wash their hands with water in the place where the heifer’s neck was broken and they say, “Our […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 7

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Seven   Introduction This mishnah deals with a case where a dead body was found and at first, no one knew who the murderer was.  Therefore, they began the ritual.  However, before the ritual was completed the identity of the murderer was discovered.  We should note that the exegetical/midrashic portion of […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 8

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Eight   Introduction This is the final mishnah which deals with the neck-breaking regulations.  It discusses a case where there is some but not full testimony about the identity of the murderer.    Mishnah Eight 1)      If one witness says “I saw the murderer” and one witness says “You did not […]

Sotah, Chapter 9, Mishnah 9

Sotah, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Nine   Introduction From here until the end of the tractate, the mishnah teaches various things that the rabbis discontinued or for some reason ceased.  The first thing mentioned is the ceremony we have been discussing in this chapter, the ceremony of breaking the heifer’s neck.  The second thing discontinued was […]

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Mishnah Yomit

Learn one Mishnah each day with the Conservative Yeshiva's Mishnah Yomit, prepared by faculty member Dr. Joshua Kulp.

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