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About the Author

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

Rabbi Shraga Simmons spent his childhood trekking through snow in Buffalo, New York. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He is the co-founder of Aish.com, and founder of JewishPathways.com. He is also the founding editor of HonestReporting.com, and author of "David & Goliath" (2012), the definitive treatment of media bias against Israel. He lives with his wife and children in the Modi'in region of Israel.

9. Introduction to Mezonot

9. Introduction to Mezonot

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The special bracha said on satiating and nutritious grains.


8. Ha'gafen Covers All Drinks

8. Ha'gafen Covers All Drinks

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Two key conditions for Ha'gafen to cover other beverages.


7. Fruit Juice & Wine

7. Fruit Juice & Wine

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Juice is considered a separate entity from the fruit.


6. Altered States

6. Altered States

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Altering the state of a food can also change its bracha.


5. Six Types

5. Six Types

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Getting practical: The six basic brachot said on food.


4. Eating without a Bracha?!

4. Eating without a Bracha?!

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It is worse to eat without a bracha than it is to waste food.


3. When is a Bracha Not Required?

3. When is a Bracha Not Required?

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Since eating is an act of pleasure, some situations are exempt from a bracha.


Calling Charles Schumer a Traitor

Calling Charles Schumer a Traitor

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The Jews are being blamed again.


2. Text and Meaning

2. Text and Meaning

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Deconstructing the basic components of a bracha.


1. What is a Bracha?

1. What is a Bracha?

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The philosophy and inspiration behind the blessings.


Condemning the Violence

Condemning the Violence

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Israeli society is repulsed and outraged at the latest violence allegedly perpetrated by Jews.


34. M&Ms - Part 2: Memachaik, Mesarteit, Mechateich

34. M&Ms - Part 2: Memachaik, Mesarteit,...

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Smoothing out solids, and cutting things to size.


33. M&Ms - Part 1: Mafshit and Me'abeid

33. M&Ms - Part 1: Mafshit and Me'abeid

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Salting and pickling your food.


32. Shochait: Live and Let Live

32. Shochait: Live and Let Live

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Actions that cause bleeding or kills a living thing.


31. Tzad: Catch Me if You Can

31. Tzad: Catch Me if You Can

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Confining the movement of a living creature.


30. Tofair: Making a Connection

30. Tofair: Making a Connection

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Tightly attaching two flexible surfaces by means of a third material.


29. Koshair: Knot What You Think

29. Koshair: Knot What You Think

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A halachic knot is permanent and tight.


28. The Melachot of Weaving

28. The Melachot of Weaving

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All about the construction and operation of a loom.


7 Dangers to Israel

7 Dangers to Israel

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The State of Israel, founded in 1948, is besieged today more than ever.


Permission to Destroy the Jews

Permission to Destroy the Jews

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With the Iran nuclear deal, we must not let history repeat itself.


27. Combing, Coloring, Spinning: Fun with Wool

27. Combing, Coloring, Spinning: Fun with Wool

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Three melachot that involve cases of cosmetics, food coloring, and spills.


26. Melaben: Halachic White-Out

26. Melaben: Halachic White-Out

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Cleaning stains from various materials.


Staged Palestinian Photos

Staged Palestinian Photos

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Digital editing tools spark a wave of fake photos.


25. Gozez: No Need to be Sheepish

25. Gozez: No Need to be Sheepish

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Issues of removing hair, skin and nails.


24. Bishul – Part 6: Hot Water, Cold Water and More

24. Bishul – Part 6: Hot Water, Cold Water and...

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Stirring the pot, and a summary of all the cooking law.


23. Bishul - Part 5: Hatmana – Insulating Food

23. Bishul - Part 5: Hatmana – Insulating Food

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The difference between materials that increase the heat, or retain heat.


22. Bishul - Part 4: The Heat of the Matter

22. Bishul - Part 4: The Heat of the Matter

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The ins and outs of the Shabbat blech.


21. Bishul - Part 3: Standing the Heat…

21. Bishul - Part 3: Standing the Heat…

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Ladles, re-cooking, roasting, and much more.


20. Bishul – Part 2: Three Degrees of Separation

20. Bishul – Part 2: Three Degrees of Separation

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The proximity of the utensil to a heat source determines its status.


19. Bishul - Part 1: The Heat is On

19. Bishul - Part 1: The Heat is On

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Defining the cooking process – whether direct, or generations removed.


18. Losh: Mixing it Up

18. Losh: Mixing it Up

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Mixing two substances to create a new, thick and consistent product.


17. Tochen - Part 2: Healing on Shabbat

17. Tochen - Part 2: Healing on Shabbat

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The rules of taking medicines and driving to the hospital.


16. Tochen - Part 1: Back to the Grind

16. Tochen - Part 1: Back to the Grind

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Rules for cutting up your vegetable salad.


15. Meraked: Sifting and Straining

15. Meraked: Sifting and Straining

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Salt shakers, water filters and more.


14. Borer - Part 4: Beyond the Edible

14. Borer - Part 4: Beyond the Edible

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Clothes, books, silverware and more.


13. Borer - Part 3: From Soup to Nuts

13. Borer - Part 3: From Soup to Nuts

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Exploring a full range of practical applications.


12. Borer - Part 2: Sorting Things Out

12. Borer - Part 2: Sorting Things Out

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Taking the good, not the bad.


11. Borer - Part 1: Make Your Choice

11. Borer - Part 1: Make Your Choice

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Be careful not to separate different types from a mixture.


10. Zoreh: Blowin' in the Wind

10. Zoreh: Blowin' in the Wind

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Separating two things by use of wind or air power.


9. Dosh - Part 3: The Absorbing Topic of Liquids

9. Dosh - Part 3: The Absorbing Topic of Liquids

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How to clean up a spill on Shabbat.


8. Dosh - Part 2: The Big Squeeze

8. Dosh - Part 2: The Big Squeeze

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The prohibition of squeezing juice from a fruit.


7. Dosh - Part 1: From Threshing Floor to Kitchen

7. Dosh - Part 1: From Threshing Floor to Kitchen

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Separating a growing item from its natural shell or peel.


6. Me'amer: Gather 'Round

6. Me'amer: Gather 'Round

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The prohibition of gathering together things that grow.


5. Kotzer: From the Ground Up

5. Kotzer: From the Ground Up

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Think twice before climbing a tree on Shabbat.


Tortured in Iran

Tortured in Iran

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Ahmad Batebi bears witness to a brutal, untrustworthy regime.


4. Sowing: So What?

4. Sowing: So What?

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Helping trees, seeds and flowers grow better.


3. Plowing: Back to our Roots

3. Plowing: Back to our Roots

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The ground rules: walking and playing.


2. Thoughtful Work

2. Thoughtful Work

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Eight key conditions to constitute true "work" on Shabbat.


1. Shabbat: Day of Rest

1. Shabbat: Day of Rest

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An introduction to the idea of "creative labor activities."


40. Holidays - Part 4

40. Holidays - Part 4

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The rabbinic holidays of Chanukah and Purim.