Archive for October 14th, 2009

Book Review: Why Are Jews So Liberal?

Why Are Jews Liberals?

By Norman Podhoretz

Doubleday, 337 pages, $27

Some of you may be surprised to know that shortly before Rosh Hashanah, President Obama made a conference call with more than 1000 rabbis, encouraging them to speak about the health-care reform in their sermons this year. Because of my belief in the separation of Church and State issues, I will respectfully decline. I enjoy writing my own sermons and do not require political assistance from Washington to help craft my holiday ...

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Invocation at the Night to Honor Israel 2009

Many Jews have prayed for the return to our biblical homeland. “And let our eyes behold thy return in mercy to Zion. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who restorest thy divine presence unto Zion.”

Today, we are witnessing one of the greatest miracles of human history–the return of the Jewish people to her ancestral homeland. We are living in an age of miracles; a fulfillment of the biblical ingathering of the exiles spoken in Isaiah. Israel is, as Abraham Joshua Heschel ...

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Creation as Novelty

In honor of the new Torah reading cycle, I thought I would explain some thoughts about the parsha as it pertains to the miracle of Creation.

However, Ibn Ezra is less convinced and contends that the linguistic evidence does not support such an interpretation.[7] The verb בָּרָא’ may also mean to fashion something out of already existing materials (e.g., the creation of man, whose body came from the dust of the earth, and whose soul issued forth from God’s breath).[8] Ibn ...

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Meditations: Rediscovering the Meaning of Rosh Hashanah

Meditations: Rediscovering the Meaning of Rosh Hashanah

As I prepare my thoughts for Rosh Hashanah. I become aware of time. Yes, the New Year has arrived. We are blessed to have received it. It ’s true that for many of us the arrival of any New Year on some level makes us a bit anxious. Why is that?!!Time marches on …. We are all a bit older, but are we necessarily wiser? Rosh Hashanah stresses that while time is fleeting, we ...

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Some say, “A Shabbat elevator is no way for a good Orthodox Jew to go down …”

It has been said that necessity is often the mother of invention. The Sabbath is only one good case in point.  Modern Orthodox engineers developed a special Sabbath elevator programmed to stop at designated floors so observant passengers never have to press buttons.  Similar machines have been developed by the Tsomot Institute for milking cows and operating electric-powered wheelchairs on the Sabbath.

The Ultra-Orthodox (a.k.a. Haredi = “Tremblers,” or “Quakers”) never cease to surprise—even when it comes to the religious sensibilities ...

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