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Tag: Torah

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  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    1 week ago

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

  • The Birthday of the World and Pseudoscience

    By Roger Price

    2 weeks ago

    Soon Jews will celebrate Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year. This year will be 5775 in the Jewish calendar.

    Rosh HaShanah, is sometimes called the “birthday of the world.” The reference is somewhat confusing, though. It does not concern the first day of creation as described in...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Ki Tetze with Rabbi Jennifer Krause

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 5, 2014 | 4:03 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Jennifer Krause, the High Holy Days rabbi at Manhattan's 92nd Street Y. Rabbi Krause received her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, MO in English Literature and Near Eastern Studies, and her Rabbinic Ordination and M.A. in Hebrew Literature...

  • The Other Why Me

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    August 14, 2014 | 5:31 pm

    So my car was smashed, the other day, with me in it.  I walked away.  Why me?


    How did all of us get to be so lucky/blessed on that day?  An out-of-control van drove across lanes of freeway rush hour traffic, breaking cars, and (to my knowledge) no living being was harmed.

    ...

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  • Teaching Torah with videos to appeal to younger students

    By Kylie Jane Wakefield

    August 6, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Rabbi David Fohrman has a passion for teaching Torah to the Jewish people. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, written a book about narratives in the book of Genesis, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll’s Talmud translation project.

    But after a while, he...

  • What Would God Say?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    August 1, 2014 | 10:31 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am so conflicted! The situation in Israel conflicts me. The situation in America conflicts me. The situation in life conflicts me. I seem to be in the midst of conflict in most areas of my life. This week, someone who had sought recovery and then sought...

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Devarim with Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 1, 2014 | 3:56 am

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of the Beth Israel congregation in Waterville, Maine. Rabbi Isaacs was the first openly gay Rabbi to be ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to the JTS, Isaacs earned her B.A. from Wellesley College in 2005, where she was the...

  • Immunity and Impunity: Fear and Loathing in Gaza

    July 25, 2014 | 9:12 am

    “The terrorists are firing rockets from schools, from mosques, from hospitals, from heavily civilian populations. We have to try and are doing our best to minimize civilian casualties. But we cannot give our attackers immunity or impunity.”– Benyamin Netanyahu, on July 24, 2014
    ...

  • Why Vaccinations are Kosher and Required

    By Roger Price

    July 23, 2014 | 10:45 am

    Let’s face it. Sometimes you can deny certain established scientific truths and it does not make much difference. You can, for instance, believe that the Earth was created about 6,000 years ago and life as we know it will still go on. OK, maybe Jon Stewart and certain professors...

  • Commited to Doing Life

    By Beit T'shuvah

    July 11, 2014 | 11:11 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am worried! I am worried about what is happening in Israel. I am worried about what is happening in America. I am worried about what is happening in my work and in my life. I am worried about today and I am worried about tomorrow.

    My truth is that I am...

  • We Need to Make Freedom Ring

    By Beit T'shuvah

    July 4, 2014 | 10:43 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    Today is July 4, 2014—Independence Day in the United States. We are supposed to be celebrating Freedom on this day, yet, are we free?

    I ask this question in light of all of the activities that have happened in this past year and in the past 238 years. I...

  • Torah too R-rated for some Chasidim, so they edited it

    July 2, 2014 | 10:53 am

    For some Chasidim, the Torah is too hot to handle.

    A recently published Bible study guide in use in a Chasidic village in suburban New York omits certain risque passages and entire passages of the Book of Genesis, according to Israeli scholar and blogger David Assaf of Tel Aviv...

  • A new era for Torah-based fertility treatment

    By Danielle Berrin

    June 11, 2014 | 1:04 pm

    As modern couples are marrying later and often postponing having children, the use of cutting-edge fertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryonic genetic testing, is gaining widespread popularity and acceptance.

    But for Orthodox Jewish couples who wish...

  • Father’s Day: From dad’s art studio to the rabbi’s bimah

    June 11, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    I confess. Sometimes when I say from the pulpit, “A great Jewish man once said,” I’m actually just quoting my dad. OK, more than sometimes. Often. I’m embarrassed to say, “My daddy taught me …” all the time. It might make me appear immature and unlearned. However, of all teachings...

  • Capturing the Israeli summer holidays

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 11, 2014 | 9:54 am

    This past month, we celebrated three major Israeli holidays: Israel's 66th Independence Day, Lag Ba'Omer and Shavu'ot.

    Lag Ba'Omer is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the thirty-third day of the counting of the Omer (six weeks from Passover to Shavu'ot.) For most of us secular...

  • Judaism in the time of climate change

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    June 4, 2014 | 11:11 am

    When human life is in danger, Jews stop and pay attention. In fact, we set aside Shabbat and virtually every other law not only when human life is clearly and certainly in danger, but also whenever there is a reasonable possibility that life is threatened. According to Mishnah...

  • Shavuot, when we became who we are

    June 3, 2014 | 8:41 am

    Rabbinic tradition teaches that when God spoke at Sinai, the world was silenced — birds did not sing, breezes did not rustle leaves in the trees. Out of that profound silence came the word, and were the world silent again, for even an instant, we could hear the everlasting echo of...

  • On Shavuot, reconsidering the origins of the Torah

    May 28, 2014 | 10:27 am

    Is the Torah true? 

    The story itself is pure Hollywood (and yes, there have been a few movies): God sends a messenger to free a group of slaves from the superpower of the time, Egypt. When Pharaoh says no, plagues rain down from heaven until he finally relents. The slaves leave...

  • Obligation to Society

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    I am a Dinosaur. I have been looking at myself for many years now and, as of late, I realize how much my upbringing affects me. I have been looking at the world through both new and old eyes. I use the latest technology and cherish old ways of living. I am...

  • Death on Torah on the Trails

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    May 21, 2014 | 1:30 am

    On the third Saturday of the month our Torah Study group, which normally meets in a room at the synagogue, instead goes on “Torah on the Trails.” Usually, this consists of carpooling to a trailhead, taking an easy hike to a gathering place, settling in to study some Torah, then...

  • Gifts of art from the heart

    May 16, 2014 | 11:22 am

    As bar and bat mitzvah celebrations have become more sophisticated and often more costly over the years, so, too, have many of the gifts. While many 12- and 13-year-olds continue to welcome fountain pens or jewelry, it’s not unusual for a celebrant to request an iPod or...

  • The Romantic Hart

    By Milad Doroudian

    May 13, 2014 | 2:27 pm

     

    It is rather unusual to think of Jewish artists as anything but extravagant or puzzling, yet there are always the rare exceptions, which mind you are a welcomed break from the extraordinary pieces we are usually accustomed to. The romantic Solomon Alexander Hart, whose work is...

  • When Will Morality Win?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    May 2, 2014 | 3:24 pm

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    What a week! There is the Ukraine, the Donald Sterling Fiasco, etc. We are living in a time that is rife with Moral Issues and we seem to be making Free-Will IMMORAL choices rather than Free-Will MORAL choices. What is happening? I don’t claim to have THE...

  • Yom HaShoah: The value of memory

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    April 23, 2014 | 11:00 am

    In the Torah, God is constantly remembering, and that remembering is followed by action. God remembers Noah and then stops the flood. God remembers the Israelites and then frees them from bondage. When we speak about the Sabbath, we say “Shamor v’zachor b’dibur echad,” that the...

  • From Pharaoh to Freud: The Bible’s Ultimate Id

    By Jared Sichel

    April 17, 2014 | 10:23 am

    It's up there in the annals of stupidity.

    God had just undone Egyptian society with 10 devastating plagues, striking at the heart of Egypt's various nature gods. Water turned to blood. Animals turned against humans. Light stopped working. Pharaoh's Egyptian experiment, for all...

  • Believing is Seeing (Exodus 33:12-34:26)

    April 16, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    The reading for Shabbat Chol HaMoed, the Sabbath of the intermediate days of Pesach (and Sukkot), describes one of the more exciting moments in Torah: the closest encounter any human has with God.

    Following the sin of the Golden Calf and Moses’ advocacy for the people, he makes a...

  • Acharei Mot: Cleansing Past Misdeeds

    By Beit T'shuvah

    April 11, 2014 | 11:39 am

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    My brother Neal called me this morning and suggested I write about a character from this week's Torah Portion. It is the "Ish Ati," the man who takes the goat for Azazel out to the wilderness. Since I didn't write about it in my weekly Torah Drash, I...

  • Become the sanctuary: Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

    March 12, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Where is God, and what does the Holy One want from us? These timeless questions animate so many of us spiritual seekers. 

    Of course, there are better places to look for an answer than in this week’s Torah portion, Tzav, unless you consider barbecuing as divine service. If you...

  • Women and Torah: Masking words

    By David Suissa

    March 12, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    Especially during this time of year, when many of us disguise ourselves for the holiday of Purim, the idea of masks is usually associated with people. Even in politics and everyday life, we talk of people masking their real intentions or hiding behind a façade.

    But in Judaism,...

  • Purim: There’s something about Esther

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    March 12, 2014 | 11:45 am

    If I were assigned the task of writing a biblical-style script for a play or a movie, the Book of Esther is the last place I would turn for inspiration. The word “biblical” conjures up images of God, prophets, dreams, visions and supernatural miracles — all of which are strikingly...

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