Fifteen steps or ritual components make up the Passover seder. Knowing that in advance can empower your guests and everyone else gathered around the dinner table. Most haggadot list the 15 steps at the beginning of the text. Think of it as a key, or GPS, to help you navigate through this age-old tradition. In our home, we sing the 15 steps together, repeating them up to the ritual section being observed until we've completed all 15 parts.
Theologically, Chanukah is insignificant, yet its historical lesson is of great importance to all religious faiths.
In anticipation of Easter, a slightly modified version of "The Passion of the Christ," the film by actor and director Mel Gibson, and screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald, has been re-released. The second coming if you will. This re-cut version is widely available in a DVD gift format.
All of us have heard, or experienced a variation of the following story, told of a father and his daughter. She, a busy professional; he, a retired widower. In one of their virtually nonexistent exchanges, he asks: "With your booked schedule, will you be able to attend my funeral?" Her response: "Of course, how could you say such a thing?" His retort: "I need you in my life now, before I die."
From the Torah's beginning until its end, God is portrayed as being personally involved in the welfare of humanity. Deism is not a Jewish notion. God is not an "unmoved mover," the proverbial clockmaker who after assembling and winding his ware, steps back watching it tick down, never to again involve Himself with it. On the contrary, God hears our innermost thoughts, feels our deepest concerns, judges us and guides us through our lives. A traditional Jewish concept of God is one that is interactive and intimately personal.
Sukkot teaches us to view the world differently; it teaches us to value every waking moment of our lives.
Sunday evening the Jewish world begins its celebration of Shavuot (which literally means weeks). In preparation for the holiday, the Torah orders us to count 49 days (seven weeks) from the second night of Passover until the festival's start.
Six days after the earth's creation, God both mandates and hallows the Sabbath day.
For those who struggle with the concept of God, the primary issue is God's existence. Once established, one's belief in the divine informs other areas, such as the afterlife, reincarnation and resurrection.
All of us question authority at times. We do it for any number of reasons. Sometimes our ego motivates us. Sometimes the motivation stems out of a true desire to bring about a needed change.