Final Pirkei Avos Shiur, 5775

Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinowich will be delivering his last Pirkei Avos shiur of the season on September 6, 2015/21 Elul 5775. There are eighteen or nineteen Shabboses between Shavuos and Rosh Hashana, which have Pirkei Avos shiurim. I say “eighteen” because according to Rav Moshe Isserles (see about him in our first blogs re: Lag B’Omer), Orach Chaim 553:2 we do not study Avos if Tisha B’Av ever falls on Shabbos, as it did this year. We therefore, lost a Shabbos and the chapter for Shoftim was Chapter 6. Other calendars offer chapter one as the study chapter for Parshas Shoftim.

“Other Gods”?

This past Shabbos, I had the pleasure of substituting for my dear friend, Rabbi Mier Fund, shlita, at his shul, Congregation Shevet Achim. One of the points I raised in my sermon was that Onkelos, in his translation of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3): “You should not have other Gods” and in Deuteronomy 5:7, the same exact verse, translates the verse literally: “other Gods”. Yet in our sidra, 8:19 “And you shall not follow other Gods”, Onkelos reverts to his standard translation for idols, “mistake of the nations!” (This unique non-literal translation appears throughout the Torah; cf. Exodus 23:32, 33, 34:14, 15, 16; Deuteronomy 4:28, 6:14, 7:14, et al). Interestingly enough, in last week’s sidra, however, in both 6:14 and again in 7:4, Onkelos also translates “other Gods” as he does here, with his non-literal approach, in contradistinction to his translation of this term in the Ten Commandments.

What is a possible explanation for this inconsistency?

Further research is required.

What is very apparent is that in Exodus 34:14 and Deuteronomy 6:14, 7:4 and 8:19 the term “other Gods” appears in conjunction with “following” or “worship” of the “other Gods” as opposed to the Ten Commandments where the verse deals with the “acceptance” of “other Gods”. Perhaps herein lies the explanation?

It is also noteworthy that in these five appearances, the term “other Gods” is given in the plural while in Exodus 34:14 the term appears in the singular.

I’m very interested in your comments.


Nosson Dovid Rabinowich (special thanks to Ms. Marcy Katz of Toronto)

Nathan David Rabinowich: Visiting Old Delhi’s Attractions

Nosson Dovid (Nathan David) Rabinowich has been coordinating worldwide tours for Jewish Heritage Tours. Tour groups visiting Delhi can take some time to appreciate the beautiful architecture of the Mughal dynasty of the yesteryears. Nathan David Rabinowich recommends visiting these incredible places while you are in Delhi.

The Old Fort

The Old Fort or Purana Quila is located on the eastern side of India Gate. Emperor Humayun established a city named Dinpanah or ‘Shelter of the Faithful’ here, in 1534, and the internal fortress of this city is the Old Fort or the Purana Quila. Humayun considered Dinpanah as ‘a southern Samarkand’ or a learning place for scholarly men of every Islamic group who could talk about religious philosophy at leisure under the support of the emperor. In 1540, Sher Shah Suri laid siege and captured the city and renamed it Delhi Shershahi or “Shergarh” and built many buildings there. However, in 1555, Humayun recaptured his city and lived there until his passing.

Dilli Haat

Situated in the heart of Delhi, the exceptional Dilli Haat is an overhauled version of the traditional weekly market, offering a smattering of art, food and various cultural activities. Dilli Haat is a market where you can see the constant influx of craftsmen offering a kaleidoscope of beautiful Indian artifacts and handicrafts for sale.

The Baha’i Temple

The Baha’i Temple is engineering wonder of the Baha’i faith. The building is a tourist attraction and can be seen from several places in South Delhi.

Akshardham Temple

Akshardham Temple is a Hindu place of worship, located in the east district of New Delhi. The sanctuary is home to an 11-foot tall gilded statue of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The building is built totally from Pink Sandstone and Italian Marble, with no cement or steel. The elaborate carvings, amazing structure and the backdrop of the Yamuna River, render the sanctuary a masterpiece of art.

Nathan David Rabinowich is a versatile businessman who has extensively traveled the world.

See more about Nathan’s visit his about me page:

Nathan David Rabinowich: Author and Expert Lecturer

Nathan David Rabinowich, a native of Brooklyn, has authored thirteen critically acclaimed scholarly books, including several articles. He is a specialist in Jewish History and has extensive teaching experience at both the secondary school and university levels.

Nathan has traveled to Morocco nine times. Nathan David Rabinowich believes that anyone visiting Morocco will have the chance to appreciate a land known for its Grand Imperial cities, royal residences, and exquisite gardens. Morocco is a land with rich culture, several mosques, lively markets, white sandy shorelines, and archeological wonders. One of the most important things a traveler to Morocco will experience is the hospitality of the people. A few of the Moroccan cities have a vibrant Jewish society, including areas such as Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, Meknes, Marrakech, Volubilis, Sali, Azamour, and Rabat.

Nathan David Rabinowich is an experienced lecturer, having addressed numerous audiences around the world. Nathan has provided exceptional leadership as a CEO and as a Scholar in Residence for such ventures as the Jewish Heritage Tours to Africa, Canada, and Western Europe.

Nosson Dovid Rabinowich has long been committed to learning and has endeavored to make scholastic progress all through his educational profession. While he was in Brooklyn, he enlisted at Mesifta Talmudical Seminary, and after his Mesifta residency he went to the Mir Talmudical Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, to further his studies. Nathan is appreciative for his exceptional blend of academia, not just as a student and mentor, but also as a person with vast expertise in Jewish history and tradition.