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Posted on: April 5th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
It is said that giving charity can save one from death. We also believe that there is no such thing as a “coincidence.”
Posted on: March 28th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
In her book The Watchman’s Rattle, subtitled Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction, Rebecca Costa delivers a fascinating account of how civilizations die. Their problems become too complex. Societies reach what she calls a cognitive threshold. They simply can’t chart a path from the present to the future.
Posted on: March 28th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
The Schwartzes had three vehicles but only two drivers. At any given time the third vehicle, the 2005 red Ford van, could be seen on different driveways throughout the neighborhood – and sometimes even in Miami Beach and Hollywood, Florida. The Schwartzes kept a third vehicle, knowing that not everyone had a car.
Posted on: March 22nd, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
The popularity of the rise of chassidus did not go unnoticed by those who did not share the same allegiance. As long as the movement was limited to the commoner and isolated in a few pockets of Poland no one perceived it as a threat. But all of this had changed by 1772.
Posted on: March 22nd, 2012Judaism → Parsha
We think of a sin as something we did intentionally, yielding to temptation perhaps, or in a moment of rebellion. That is what Jewish law calls b’zadon in biblical Hebrew or b’mezid in rabbinic Hebrew. That is the kind of act we would have thought calls for a sin offering. But actually such an act cannot be atoned for by an offering at all. So how do we make sense of the sin offering?
Posted on: March 21st, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
It’s my first moment of wakefulness, and I’m chilled to the bone. Pull the covers over myself, I’m thinking, while I decide to roll over to look at the clock. It’s 5:30 a.m. and I’m exhausted. But attending morning minyan – even once – is the least I can do.
Posted on: March 14th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
The name Bezalel was adopted by the artist Boris Schatz for the School of Arts and Crafts he founded in Israel in 1906, and Rav Kook wrote a touching letter in support of its creation. He saw the renaissance of art in the Holy Land as a symbol of the regeneration of the Jewish people in its own land, landscape and birthplace. Judaism in the Diaspora, removed from a natural connection with its own historic environment, was inevitably cerebral and spiritual, “alienated.”
Posted on: March 7th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
I lost control of my car while driving in Brooklyn when a speeding taxi slammed into me. I thought my life was about to end when my car slammed directly into a tree. Baruch Hashem I survived, even though the taxi driver never stopped to help me.
Posted on: February 29th, 2012Judaism → Parsha
There is a deeper message in Parshat Tetzaveh - the principle of the separation of powers, which opposes the concentration of leadership into one person or institution. All human authority needs checks and balances if it is not to become corrupt. In particular, political and religious leadership (keter malchut and keter kehunah) should never be combined. Moses wore the crowns of political and prophetic leadership, Aaron that of priesthood. The division allowed each to be a check on the other.
Posted on: February 29th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Shabbat is a time of menuchah, of rest. It is also a time of simcha, of happiness. We are often too busy during the week to stop and think about how we can do something simple to bring simcha into someone else’s life. When we can combine the menuchah of Shabbat together with its inherent simcha, we can bring ohr laYehudim, light to all of us.
Posted on: February 22nd, 2012Judaism → Parsha
It is not what G-d does for us that transforms us, but rather what we do for G-d. A free society is best symbolized by the Tabernacle. It is the home we build together. It is only by becoming builders that we turn from subjects to citizens. We have to earn our freedom by what we give. It cannot be given to us as an unearned gift.
Posted on: February 22nd, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
My children were growing up and leaving the nest. Wanting to fill up my days with a challenging project, I heard through a friend that a local high school needed an English teacher.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism
First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Chodesh Tov/Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Baruch, from the village of Radovitz, was a sharecropper who barely eked out a living. His income was at the mercy of the infamously cruel Poritz, who owned the Radovitz environs.
Posted on: February 15th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
I thank Hashem that my daughters play “shampoo gemach", and I take pride in our community, which stresses gemachs and acts of gemilas chesed. Families try to find ways to help others, and people go out of their way to search for opportunities to practice kindness.
Posted on: February 8th, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
Recently, I discovered a frum website, www.jewish-e-books.com, that allows one to download hundreds of Jewish books – both in English and Hebrew. Having written a sefer myself, I was able to get it put on their website.
Posted on: February 2nd, 2012Judaism → Parsha
In September 2010, BBC, Reuters and other news agencies reported on a sensational scientific discovery. Researchers at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado showed through computer simulation how the division of the Red Sea might have taken place.
Posted on: February 1st, 2012Judaism → Columns → Lessons In Emunah
My friend Mrs. Rosen (not her real name) asked me to share her story. A widow for several years, she recently moved back to the community where she grew up so that she could help her elderly parents.
Posted on: January 26th, 2012Judaism
There is a fascinating moment in the unfolding story of the plagues that should make us stop and take notice. Seven plagues have now struck Egypt.
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