Archive for December, 2013

Visual Aids for Hassidim in Prayer

 Hasidim praying opposite Victoria's Secret 112-2013

 

Hassidic literature teaches that one of the reasons given for Hassidim swaying in prayer is based upon the analogy of the movement that occurs in the act of love making. Prayer is like  “making love to the Shekhinah.” The Baal Shem Tov  is purported to have taught:

  • Prayer is zivug (coupling) with the Shechinah.’ Just as there is motion at the beginning of coupling, so, too, one must move (sway) ...
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Duck Dynasty, Free Speech, and the American Collective Unconscious

After some reluctance, I decided it was important for me to weigh in on the Duck Dynasty controversy involving Phil Robertson and his off-the-cuff remarks regarding gays and African Americans. Robertson’s equation of homosexuality to bestiality is incorrect. The biblical passages dealing with homosexuality pertain to (1) homosexual rape, or (2) the sexual exploitation of male minors. The Bible has nothing to say about loving homosexual couples whatsoever. Such a social reality ...

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Santa Claus, Nitel Nacht and Chabad

Chabad Florida Tefillin Santa closeup 12-2013

 

This past week, a newspaper featured a picture of a Lubavitcher rabbi putting tefillon on Santa Claus. It reminded me of a story from Eli Plaut’s  book, Kosher Christmas. Once mentions how an old Ukrainian Jewish immigrant dressed up as Santa Claus and spoke Yiddish. When speaking to Alan King, he quipped, “Men Mahk a leben,” which means, “A man has to make a living!” (p. 135).

Chabad ...

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No Barbara, Obama is not the Messiah

 

 

An interesting conversation took place been CNN host Piers Morgan and Barbara Walters that caught my attention.Morgan asked Walters an important question.  “You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009 [sic, 2008]?”

  • BARBARA WALTERS: Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. He made so many ...
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Rabbi Akiba’s Hidden Love Life

(Picture: Madam Turnus Rufus probably looked something like Hedy Lamaar!)

One of the most illustrious sages of the Talmudic era is Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef (ca.40-ca.137 CE). His life-story has inspired many legends and in many ways Rabbi Akiva’s approach to the interpreting the biblical text has become the foundation for many of the mystical interpretations that have evolved over the centuries. For R. Akiba, the Torah is a love letter from God; ...

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