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.


Yevamot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 4

Yevamot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Four   Introduction This mishnah contains a discussion about whether or not a eunuch is obligated to perform halitzah for his dead brother’s wife and whether or not halitzah is performed for his wife, should he die without children.  Note that this issue is tied to the eunuch’s ability or lack […]

Yevamot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 5

Yevamot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Five   Introduction This mishnah discusses the performance of yibbum or halitzah by a eunuch or by an aylonit, a woman who has not developed signs of sexual maturity, and therefore by definition cannot procreate.  Both of these categories are therefore people who cannot procreate.  Since they cannot procreate they are […]

Yevamot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 6

Yevamot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Six   Introduction This mishnah deals with several categories of people who are of doubtful gender status.  A hermaphrodite is a person who has the outer sexual signs of both a male and a female.  A tumtum is a person who has no outer sexual signs.   Mishnah Six 1)                     If […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 1

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah One   Introduction The first two mishnayoth of this chapter list variations of women who are either permitted or forbidden to their husbands and to their yevamim (their husband’s brothers). This chapter does not really teach new laws that were unknown from other places in the Yevamot. Rather it organizes them […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 2

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Two   Introduction This mishnah continues to list types of women who are either forbidden to their husbands or to their yevamim.   Mishnah Two The following  are permitted to their yevamim and forbidden to their husbands: 1)                     A high priest who betrothed a widow and has a brother who is […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 3

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Three   Introduction In mishnah 2:4, we learned that there are secondary incest prohibitions that were instituted by the scribes.    Mishnah Three [Concerning] relatives of the second degree [of incest laws who are forbidden] by the words of the scribes: 1)                     [A woman who is] a second degree of kinship […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 4

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Four   Introduction This mishnah discusses whether or not a woman eats terumah or tithe (which the Levites eat) in situations where she might be moving from an Israelite home to a priest’s domain, and whether she loses the right to eat terumah in situations where she might be leaving her […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 5

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Five   Introduction As with all of the mishnayoth of this chapter, we don’t really learn any new information in this mishnah.  What we see is a tightly organized literary structure, describing a situation where one woman moves in and out of the ability to eat terumah and tithe.   Mishnah […]

Yevamot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 6

Yevamot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Six   Introduction This mishnah says basically the same thing as the previous one, but in a reverse order.    Mishnah Six The daughter of a priest who was married to an Israelite may not eat terumah.  If he died and she had a son by him she may not eat […]

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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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