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The Best and Most Important Television Show You Have Never Heard Of

Posted on 05/09/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
While I am by no means a big television watcher, this has been an exceptional time for fans of Israeli TV. Shows like Fauda and Shtisel (both on Netflix) allow audiences to get a glimpse of what life is like...

“Peace” as a Key Jewish Value

Posted on 05/09/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
Some are presently contending that Judaism in general, and the Jewish people in particular, in their pursuit of autonomy, respect in the eyes of the world, and an independent state, are overly militant and...

Counting Our Blessings as We Mourn

Posted on 05/02/2019 by Jacob Schwartz in Beliefs and Practices
B”SD Since the shooting last Shabbat, there has been much mourning among the Jewish people - mourning for the loss of the beloved Lori Kaye, may the memory of this Tzadeket (righteous woman) be for a...

Why Be Jewish? (Part 3) -- Roots and Beyond

Posted on 05/02/2019 by Rabbi Ben Hecht in Beliefs and Practices
In our opening discussions on this topic (please see Why Be Jewish? - Defining the Question and Why Be Jewish? - The Forces Within and the Forces Without), we effectively described the tension that exists...

I Knew What A Jew Was. Of Course I Did.

Posted on 04/30/2019 by Rivkah Lambert Adler in Beliefs and Practices
When my daughters were little, we had a cassette tape called Reggae Passover by Alan Eder that we played repeatedly in the weeks leading up to Passover. The album includes traditional Passover songs and...

Meritocracy or Not?

Posted on 04/17/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
Many of the fierce debates within our current political atmosphere could be reduced to a very simple and fundamental question: Do you believe that our society is a meritocracy or not? A meritocracy is the idea...

BLAMING CAIN: AN EXAMINATION OF THE JEWISH CONCEPT OF JUDGING L’KHAF ZEKHUT (Benefit of the doubt)

Posted on 04/07/2019 by Rabbi Dan Ornstein in Beliefs and Practices
Here is an ancient legend about Cain and Abel, which I’ve embellished: The fourteenth of Nisan, Passover eve, was quickly ending in nightfall. Adam the first man, wasn’t looking up at the sky, he...

“Reverse Anthropomorphism”

Posted on 04/07/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
A Talmudic passage describing God in a dialectical manner. At the end of each Shabbat, a lengthy prayer, beginning with the words, “VaYetein LeCha…” (“And may He Give you…) is...

So You Have a Jewish Father: A Guide to When Dad is Jewish but Mom is not

Posted on 04/05/2019 by Moshe Daniel Levine in Beliefs and Practices
So you have a Jewish father. You may identify as Jewish. And you may not. You might say that you are half Jewish, or you could just be confused. Any of these answers are completely understandable. You may have...

Finding Simchat Adar in Sefer Vayikra

Posted on 04/05/2019 by Jacob Schwartz in Beliefs and Practices
In this happiest month of the Jewish calendar, the month of Adar (well, second Adar, to be specific), we begin the third book of the Torah - Vayikra, or Leviticus. The Sages tell us that “when we enter...
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