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Jewish Journal

Tag: Commandment

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  • Doing Right Doesn’t Always Feel Good

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    3 weeks ago

    The word mitzvah, or commandment, is often mistranslated as “good deed.” This is partly because many of them are, in fact, about taking care of one another. Visiting the sick, comforting a mourner, and giving money to a person in need are all great examples of this.

    Generally,...

  • Pride Shabbat Provides Water for the Thirsty

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 3, 2013 | 8:00 am

    Last weekend was the hottest weekend we’ve had so far this year. It was hotter than normal for this time of the year. And our synagogue has no air conditioning.

    There was both a bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah ceremony in the sanctuary on Saturday morning. It was crowded. We opened...

  • Religious Freedom: Should the 10 Commandments Be Promoted in Public?

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    May 13, 2012 | 9:22 am

    One of the great debates in America today is over the role of religion in the public sphere. To what extent is the United States government embracing religion? Are we “one nation under G-d?” Most concretely, should religious teachings such as the Ten Commandments be allowed on...

  • Can we help?

    By Susan Freudenheim

    November 19, 2008 | 2:21 am

    My desk is coated with letters of request: Adopt an animal at the zoo; come to a gala for the Jewish food bank; plant a tree in Israel; plant a tree in Los Angeles. Feed 50 meals to homeless people. Support public radio. Support the temple building fund. Support the school PTA, the...
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  • Moving beyond charity

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    September 3, 2008 | 10:11 pm

    One of the biggest misnomers in the Jewish vocabulary is the translation of tzedakah as "charity." This mistranslation has gone on for so long in the American< Jewish community that it's a hard habit to break. Most Hebrew school kids will give this answer when asked, much as they will say that mitzvah means "good deed" (another misnomer, for another column).

    Tzedakah is much more than charity since it comes from the word tzedek, which means "justice." When looked at in this light,...

  • Power of Words

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Each night before retiring, the great Chasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav would make a list. At the end of a long day, he would write down all the wrongs he had committed -- against other people, against God, against himself. Nachman would read the list over and over again,...

  • For the Kids

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Good for you

    In Ki Tetze, we are given many mitzvot to do -- 613, actually. What's a mitzvah? A commandment to do a good deed, or to follow directions to perform a certain ritual. As a Jew, it is important to do both. We become role models for the world in our acts of charity,...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    July 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Being Green

    Do you have a backyard? Is it green and full of flowers and trees? In Matot-Masei, we learn that God believes green space is an absolute necessity. God tells the Israelites: "Set aside some of your land for the Levites, so they can build towns. Make sure that there is...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    February 19, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Deeply ingrained ideas die hard. This week'sparasha,however, helps to ring the death knell for one such idea. Many of ushave been trained to believe that the Torah's commandments can bebroken down into two basic categories. These re: the mitzvot we do for God and themitzvot we do for...
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