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Tag: Accidental Talmudist

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  • Rebuilding Begins - New Ideas are Needed

    By Salvador Litvak

    3 weeks ago

    Rava said: If the righteous wanted, they could create a new world. (Sanhedrin 65b, B. Talmud)

    An open-ended cease-fire has been declared in Gaza.

    We pray that it lasts.

    If it does, new ideas are needed for creating a status quo that won't backslide into more of the same...

  • Sons of Abraham: Talking Faith, Family and Friendship in the 21st Century

    By Salvador Litvak

    May 21, 2014 | 10:53 am

    A Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, a joke?”

    Actually, it’s a true story: the Muslim, Rahmi Mowjood, ordered a virgin mojito and shared Sufi poetry. The Jew related how he became the Accidental Talmudist. And the Christian, Jason...

  • Passover 5774/2014 – What Dementia Can Teach Us About Love, Loss and Liberation

    By Salvador Litvak

    April 14, 2014 | 10:08 am

    And I shall inscribe on the tablets the words that were upon the first tablets which you broke, and you shall place them into the ark. (Deut. 10:2)

    Rav Yosef [said], “This teaches that both the second tablets and the broken pieces of the first were placed in the [holy] ark....

  • What is Holiness?

    By Salvador Litvak

    February 9, 2014 | 5:31 pm

    [Remarks delivered Shabbat morning in the Library Minyan, Los Angeles, Feb. 8, 2014 – 8 Adar I, 5774]

    Good Shabbos!

    What is holiness? What does it mean to be holy? I have wrestled with this question ever since I found my way back to Judaism 16 years ago.

    This week’s Torah...

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  • The 10th Commandment, Tony Kushner, and Me

    By Salvador Litvak

    January 29, 2014 | 6:35 pm

    The Ten Commandments prohibit murder with just two words, while the prohibition on coveting includes fifteen. The no-coveting rule is also the 10th Commandment - the climax of God's revelation at Sinai. It's surprising because we all covet; we can't help it. So why did God make a...

  • Day 2711 - Siyum HaShas: The Talmud Ends, The Talmud Begins

    By Salvador Litvak

    August 5, 2012 | 8:23 pm

    Whoever learns halachos every day is assured that he will be a citizen of the World to Come. For it is stated: The ways (halichos) of the world are His. Do not read halichos, but halachos. (Niddah 73a)

    After seven and a half years of daily study, my voyage through the sea of Talmud...

  • Accidental Talmudist, Day One

    By Salvador Litvak

    March 1, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    This week marks the seventh anniversary of an errand that changed my life.

    On March 2, 2005, I went to The Mitzvah Store on Pico Boulevard in order to buy a book. I was in my seventh year of being a practicing Jew, and I had probably visited the shop a dozen times. After finding...

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