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.


Mikvaot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 1

Mikvaot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah One   Introduction Today’s mishnah deals with mikvaot that are found and with whether one can assume that they have been filled with rainwater and are valid or that they have been filled with drawn water and are invalid.   Mishnah One 1)      The land of Israel is clean and its […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 2

Mikvaot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Two   Introduction Today’s mishnah and tomorrow’s deal with what constitutes a seminal emission such that a man must go to the mikveh. I know, you’re thinking, doesn’t a man know when one has had a emission? I would imagine that this is generally the case. But the rabbis talk about […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 3

Mikvaot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Three   Mishnah Three 1)      If he emitted thick drops from his member, he is unclean, the words of Rabbi Elazar Hisma. 2)      If one had sexual dreams in the night and arose and found his flesh heated, he is unclean.   3)      If a woman discharged semen on the third day, […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 4

Mikvaot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Four   Mishnah Four 1)      If a non-Jewish woman discharged semen from an Israelite, it is unclean. a)      If an Israelite woman discharged semen from a non-Jewish man, it is clean. 2)      If a woman had intercourse and then went down and immersed herself but did not   sweep out the house, […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 5

Mikvaot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Five   Introduction Today’s mishnah is about things that block the water of the mikveh from having full contact with the body such that proper immersion occurs. The Hebrew term for this is “hatzitzah.”   Mishnah Five 1)      If a menstruant placed coins in her mouth and went down and immersed […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 1

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah One   Introduction The ninth chapter deals completely with the issue of what blocks immersion. Today’s mishnah begins with what blocks immersion for a person. The end of the chapter (5-7) deals with what blocks immersion in vessels.   Mishnah One 1)      The following block [immersion] in the case of a […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 2

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Two   Mishnah Two 1)      The matted hair on the heart and on the beard and on a woman’s hidden parts; pus outside the eye, hardened pus outside a wound and the plaster over it, dried-up juice, clots of excrement on the body, dough under the finger nails, sweat-crumbs, miry clay, […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 3

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Three   Introduction Today’s mishnah deals with clumps of matted hair that do not block successful immersion from occurring.   Mishnah Three 1)      The following do not block: the matted hair of the head and of the armpits and of a man’s hidden parts. 2)      Rabbi Eliezer says: it is the […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 4

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Four   Introduction Today’s mishnah continues the list of things that do not block immersion.   Mishnah Four 1)      Pus within the eye, hardened pus within a wound, juice that is moist, moist excrement on the body, excrement inside the finger nail, and a dangling finger nail and the downy hair […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 5

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Five   Introduction Today’s mishnah deals with cases in which pitch and myrhh stains block the successful immersion of vessels. The general rule is quite obvious—if the person would want to remove the stain of pitch or myrrh, then it blocks immersion. But if we can assume that they don’t care, […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 6

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Six   Introduction Today’s mishnah talks about when such types of stains block the successful immersion of vessels.   Mishnah Six 1)      On clothing: if on one side [only] they do not block. a)      But [if found] on two sides they do block. 2)      Rabbi Judah says in the name of […]

Mikvaot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 7

Mikvaot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Seven   Mishnah Seven 1)      They do not block in the case of aprons belonging to workers in pitch, potters, or trimmers of trees. a)      Rabbi Judah says: the same applies also to summer fruit-driers. 2)      This is the general rule: if it is something which one cares enough [to remove], […]

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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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