Archive for 'Heart-Centered Judaism'

The Power of a Handshake: When Obama shook hands with Raul Castro

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Human behavior and animal behavior resemble one another in so many interesting ways. When an animal approaches the territory of another, it is commonplace for one creature to growl or make noise whenever it perceives its space is invaded. A dog will characteristically bark whenever it hears another dog walk by its territory. Cats will hiss when a new kitten is introduced as a new family pet. Species of ...

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Nelson Mandela: A Man who Embodied the Spirit of Joseph & Moses

Nelson Mandela

Parshat Vyigash

Did Joseph really forgive his brothers? The biblical text strongly indicates that he did, one notable 18th century scholar, Hayim Ibn Attar (Ohr HaHayyim) argues that he didn’t. He explains that based upon Noahide law, anyone who had kidnapped or robbed is guilty of the death penalty. Although the victim could forgive the criminal, the law demands that the penalty be carried out.

  • So it was not really you but ...
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Why Do We Celebrate Hanukah?– A Potpourri of Judaic Perspectives

One of the famous and most important questions asked about Hanukkah reads: What is Hanukkah? [i.e., “Why do we celebrate Hanukkah?”]. The question strikes a modern reader as odd. Surely, the Jews must have known about the holiday’s significance for several centuries! On the surface, one could argue that the question is purely rhetorical in nature. It serves to help provide the rabbinical teachers with a new interpretation of the famous Maccabean ...

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Conservative Judaism’s Struggle for Self-Definition and Authenticity

 This past week, I went to the local sushi bar for some Nova Scotia sushi rolls. While I was there, I noticed the large screen television featuring a bout that took place at Wrestlemania. Despite some of the usual shtick, the bad guy won fair and square using a very clever wrestling trick. The scene reminded me of Jacob’s wrestling match with a mysterious and supernatural opponent in this week’s Torah portion—Parshat ...

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Remembering Rabbi Akiba Greenberg: A True Rebbe of Our Generation

Photo: Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet... Our Rebbe, Our ZAYDI, our teacher and Maggid, Rabbi AKIVA GREENBERG has passed away. He was a Baal Niggun and brought the Kossov niggun back to Kossov; planted it, where it took root and nourished our community for 2 decades.<br /><br />Our hearts are broken.

One of the most remarkable people I met in Brooklyn of 1969 was a man named Rabbi Akiva Greenberg. He was not your typical ...

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