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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776
Judaism
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Yishai Fleisher Show: The Gay MK Against Land Giveaway [audio]
 
OECD Global Education Industry Summit Kicks Off in Jerusalem

September 26, 2016 - 10:01 PM
 
Bank of Israel: New Year’s Financial Report Card Has Good Grades, No Change in Interest Rate

September 26, 2016 - 9:39 PM
 
Terror Stoning Attack Near Tekoa in Eastern Gush Etzion

September 26, 2016 - 8:37 PM
 
Israel’s Ambassador to UN Campaigns for Kosher Food

September 26, 2016 - 8:25 PM
 
10 Rosh Hashanah Hacks to Keep Your Kids (or Students) Engaged

September 26, 2016 - 7:57 PM
 
Israel’s Leviathan Consortium and Jordan Sign $10b, 15-Year Gas Deal

September 26, 2016 - 7:27 PM
 
Israel Bashes Great Britain 9-1, Heads to World Baseball Classic [video]

September 26, 2016 - 4:41 PM
 
US Jewish Leaders Briefed by Dept. of Homeland Security Ahead of High Holy Days

September 26, 2016 - 3:43 PM
 
16 Senior Yisrael Beiteinu Officials to Be Indicted on Corruption Charges

September 26, 2016 - 3:14 PM
 
Neo-Nazi Leaflets Hit Jews in Florida Neighborhood [video]

September 26, 2016 - 2:01 PM
 
New Israeli Crowdfunding Platform Starts Micro Funds Named After Donors [video]

September 26, 2016 - 1:10 PM
 
‘Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven’ at the Met [video]

September 26, 2016 - 12:30 PM
 
Bennett: US Elections an Opportunity for Imposing Israeli Sovereignty

September 26, 2016 - 10:57 AM
 
IDF Extensive Overnight Raids Capture Jenin Weapons Workshops

September 26, 2016 - 8:41 AM
 
Lord Parry Mitchell Resigns ‘As A Jew and Zionist’ from Corbyn-led Labour Party

September 26, 2016 - 1:50 AM
 
Shooting attack in Malmo, Sweden

September 26, 2016 - 1:14 AM
 
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Urges Labour to Expel the Jews

September 26, 2016 - 12:48 AM
 
Emergency Session on Syria at UN Security Council

September 26, 2016 - 12:23 AM
 
Liberman Allocates NIS 17M for IDF Jewish Identity & Conversion Course

September 25, 2016 - 11:29 PM
 
Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies

September 25, 2016 - 11:08 PM
 
Jewish Runners Take On Berlin Marathon Proudly Wearing Israeli Flags

September 25, 2016 - 11:02 PM
 
Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport Braces for 30,000 Travelers to Uman

September 25, 2016 - 10:51 PM
 
Prominent Jordanian Christian Writer Shot to Death Outside Courthouse for Sharing ‘Allah’ Cartoon on Facebook

September 25, 2016 - 9:52 PM
 
Trump Promising Netanyahu Jerusalem Embassy, Wants Advice on Building Fences

September 25, 2016 - 8:12 PM
 
Conference Debating Bringing Holocaust Images to Life [video]

September 25, 2016 - 3:57 PM
 
Former Chief Rabbi of France Joseph Sitruk Dead at 72

September 25, 2016 - 3:14 PM
 
The Golem Comes to Life in Berlin’s Jewish Museum [video]

September 25, 2016 - 2:23 PM
 
Israeli Innovations That Could Save Your Life

September 25, 2016 - 1:55 PM
 
Arab Preacher gets 8 Months for Inspiring Assassination Attempt on MK Glick [video]

September 25, 2016 - 1:05 PM
 
Soldier Stabbed in Azaria Case Testifies: I Heard There Was an Explosive Charge

September 25, 2016 - 12:04 PM
 
Jewish Minor Detained by Jerusalem Police on Suspicion of Prayer

September 25, 2016 - 11:05 AM
 
Kerry’s Last Ditch Effort to Get Netanyahu to Commit Political Suicide

September 25, 2016 - 9:08 AM
 
PM Netanyahu Hopes Obama Continues UN Vetoes Till End of Presidency

September 25, 2016 - 2:10 AM
 
Massacre in Aleppo As Syrian War Escalates After Collapse of Ceasefire

September 25, 2016 - 1:36 AM
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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
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Posted on: September 5th, 2012

JudaismHalacha & Hashkafa

It would be reasonable to assume that a language that contains the verb “to command” must also contain the verb “to obey.” The one implies the other, just as the concept of a question implies the possibility of an answer. We would, however, be wrong. There are 613 commandments in the Torah, but there is no word in biblical Hebrew that means “to obey.” When Hebrew was revived as a language of everyday speech in the nineteenth century, a word, letsayet, had to be borrowed from Aramaic. Until then there was no Hebrew word for “to obey.”

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Posted on: August 29th, 2012

JudaismParsha

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness...” (Dr. Martin Luther King).

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Posted on: August 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

There is a fascinating detail in the passage about the king in this week’s parshah. The text says that, “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he must write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll before the levitical priests” (Deuteronomy 17:18). He must “read it all the days of his life” so that he will be God-fearing and never break Torah law. But there is also another reason: so that he will “not begin to feel superior to his brethren” (Kaplan translation), “so that his heart be not haughty over his brothers” (Robert Alter). The king had to have humility. The highest in the land should not feel that he is the highest in the land.

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Posted on: August 15th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Having set out the broad principles of the covenant, Moses now turns to the details, which extend over many chapters and several parshiyot. The long review of the laws that will govern Israel in its land begin and end with Moses posing a momentous choice.

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Posted on: August 9th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Something implicit in the Torah from the very beginning becomes explicit in the book of Devarim. God is the God of love. More than we love Him, He loves us. Here, for instance, is the beginning of this week’s parshah: “If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love [et ha-brit ve-et ha-chessed] with you, as he swore to your ancestors. He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers” (Deuteronomy 7:12-13).

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Posted on: August 1st, 2012

JudaismParsha

Near the end of Parshas Va’etchanan, so inconspicuously that we can sometimes miss it, is a statement with such far-reaching implications that it challenges the impression that has prevailed thus far in the Torah, giving an entirely new complexion to the biblical image of the people Israel:

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Posted on: July 18th, 2012

JudaismParsha

During The Three Weeks between 17 Tammuz and Tisha B’Av, as we recall the destruction of the Temples, we read three of the most searing passages in the prophetic literature, the first two from the opening of the book of Jeremiah, the third, next week, from the first chapter of Isaiah.

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Posted on: June 27th, 2012

JudaismParsha

It is a scene that still has the power to shock and disturb. The people complain. There is no water. It is an old complaint and a predictable one. That’s what happens in a desert. Moses should have been able to handle it in his stride. He has been through far tougher challenges in his time. Yet suddenly he explodes into vituperative anger:

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Posted on: June 13th, 2012

JudaismParsha

The episode of the spies has rightly puzzled commentators throughout the centuries. How could they have got it so wrong? The land, they said, was as Moses had promised. It was indeed “flowing with milk and honey.” But conquering it was impossible. “The people who live there are powerful, and the cities fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of the giant there … We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are … All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the titans there … We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we seemed in theirs” (Numbers 13:28-33).

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Posted on: June 6th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Adaptive leadership is called for when the world is changing, circumstances are no longer what they were, and what once worked works no more. There is no quick fix, no pill, no simple following of instructions. We have to change. At a certain point, Moses had to help the Israelites change, to exercise responsibility, to learn to do things for themselves while trusting in God instead of relying on God to do things for them.

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Posted on: June 1st, 2012

JudaismParsha

There was an ongoing debate between the Sages as to whether the nazirite – whose laws are outlined in this week’s parshah – was to be praised. Recall that the nazirite was someone who voluntarily, usually for a specified period, undertook a special form of holiness. This meant that he was forbidden to consume wine or any grape products, to have a haircut, and to defile himself by contact with the dead.

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Posted on: May 2nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

It is simply not the same to put on tefillin or keep kashrut or observe Shabbat in the Diaspora as in Israel. The Torah is the constitution of a holy people in the holy land. Only in Israel is the fulfillment of the commands a society-building exercise, shaping the contours of a culture as a whole. Only in Israel does the calendar track the rhythms of the Jewish year.

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Posted on: April 25th, 2012

JudaismParsha

It was the Septuagint, the early Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, that translated tzara’at, the condition whose identification and cleansing occupies much of Parshiyot Tazria and Metzora as lepra, giving rise to a long tradition identifying it with leprosy.

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Posted on: April 18th, 2012

JudaismParsha

Why was spontaneity wrong for Nadav and Avihu, yet right for Moshe Rabbeinu? The answer is that Nadav and Avihu were kohanim, priests. Moses was a navi, a prophet. These are two different forms of religious leadership. They involve different tasks and different sensibilities, indeed different approaches to time itself.

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Posted on: March 28th, 2012

JudaismParsha

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.

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Posted on: March 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

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?

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Posted on: March 14th, 2012

JudaismParsha

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.”

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Posted on: February 29th, 2012

JudaismParsha

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.

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Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

JudaismParsha

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.

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Posted on: February 15th, 2012

Judaism

First in Parshat Yitro there were the Asseret Hadibrot (the Ten Utterances, or general principles). Now in Parshat Mishpatim come the details.

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