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The air at the event in Jerusalem was rife with the kind of excitement one finds in rock concerts. The thick crowd pushed, shoved, pressed, retreated temporarily, then pushed as relentlessly and eagerly as before. If the core idea of the entire event was to urge our Redemption from above by starting it down below, then this one had to have cut through a whole bunch of "klipot."
The Jewish Congressman who became the darling of the left wing of the Democratic party but not so much with his district (he served only one term), who, in 2009, defined the Republican’s idea of health care plan as, "Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly," may require some serious health care himself. Last Saturday he ran a red light with his car, smashed into a bus and injured two people.
Ex Mossad chief Meir Dagan often adds flare to his public statements. But don't let that fool you, he is a cool and reliable thinker, who undoubtedly was behind the sabotage efforts which caused Iran's nuclear program numerous mishaps and delays. But his flare and colorful speech are fodder for eager editors who misrepresent what the retired spy is actually saying. In fact, they often not only twist his words, they go as far as to invent new words for him, born by nothing more than wishful thinking and an agenda.
We went out to watch the Purim Parade in our sweet town of Netanya, and for a few hours were transported to a care-free world, somewhere between Disneyland and New Orleans. Our daughter Yarden said, Purim is like Halloween but without dead people. Everyone was distinctly alive in Netanya this Purim. And everyone seemed to take very seriously the idea of the Purim happy noise. Even the babies.
Perhaps you can’t really define a people without also defining its enemies. Certainly many believe that if the Jews could get rid of the idea of peoplehood, then they wouldn’t have enemies.The experience of the 19th century assimilationists and post-Oslo Israel tells us that this strategy doesn’t work in the real world. Even if we refuse to remember Amalek, he remembers us. And if we don’t have the support of self-conscious peoplehood (and its concrete representation, the Jewish state), how can we fight him?
It’s hard to believe it’s already here, but Purim is just a few days away. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the myriads of things we do in the days leading up to it, here are a few cute, simple, and fun ideas sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces and get them into the Purim spirit!
Our world is filled with amazing color and taste – its great when we can find a way to combine them into something beautiful. Here is a fun idea the whole family can enjoy – with minimal preparation, you can create an original and eye catching centerpiece for any occasion.
You know the way your house smells on Friday night when the cholent is bubbling away in the crockpot? Did you ever think of using that crock-pot or slow cooker during the week? Well, I did and I had no idea one slow cooker could create so many tasty dishes, all easy to whip up and full of flavor.
Monkeys and apes are generally symbols of base passion, particularly lust, in Western art. Giovanni Battista Foggini's 17th century bronze sculpture "The Fall of Man" shows not only the serpent dangling from the Tree of Knowledge tempting Adam and Eve, but also a monkey seated behind the tree eating an apple. Foggini may have gotten the idea from Jan Brueghel the Elder, whose 1612 painting "Garden of Eden" features a monkey prominently, or from a c. 1410 "The Garden of Eden" by an unknown artist in Frankfurt. A century earlier, Martin Luther had famously referred to Satan as "God's ape," building upon the then-popular view of monkeys as unintelligent animals that simply mimicked primitive human behavior.
My oldest daughter recently celebrated her nineteenth birthday, and I'm just now getting used to the idea that my husband and I are heading into a new parsha in our lives: Getting ready to find a shidduch for our daughter. So it wasn't any wonder that the topic came up when I ran into an old friend at shul the other day.
You're cooking or cleaning and the radio is on in the background to keep you company. You really are not listening and have no idea what's being said, but suddenly "Israel" is mentioned and you rush over, turn up the volume and listen. How does that happen? What made you hear that word? What made you pay attention, while you had ignored the thousands of other words that might have been said in the minutes before? More importantly, how can we get that to work for us and make us happier?
Over the past few weeks, I've become an improved Jew. I learn more, say more brachos, bench more, and didn't have a problem remembering the day in the Omer. I haven't been to Israel recently, didn't have a near death experience that reawakened my spiritual side, nor did I feel empty in my life and decided I needed to search for more meaning. So what caused this recent growth spurt in my Judaism? I got an iPod touch.
Rabbi Horowitz, As parents, we often see that our children have talents that are outside the classic Mitzvah realm. This could be in the area of art, gymnastics, musical instruments, etc. Often times, development of these talents require time, money and sometimes exposure that we would generally not encourage. How does one decide when this is a good idea (or at least necessary) and when these activities are a distraction from spiritual pursuits?
Social conservatives constantly bemoan the erosion of traditional family life and morality. In their view, narcissism and materialism plague the American landscape.
With the economy heading south, we are all looking for ways to cut back on our expenses. I guess that's good news for Motel 6, pawnshops and "Dollar Stores," but it's a pretty lousy development for anyone running a nonprofit organization (like me) because practically everyone except bankruptcy attorneys earns less money in times like these. Less money means less charity giving. Gulp!