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Understanding Sinai

S.R. Hewitt | Posted 08.04.2014 | Religion
S.R. Hewitt

The narrative of what occurred at Mount Sinai is not one of the better-known biblical stories. Perhaps, because it is overshadowed by the unfortunate event that happened shortly thereafter...that whole incident with the golden calf.

Pentecost 2014: History, Facts And Traditions

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.04.2014 | Religion

Pentecost marks the end of the 50-day Easter season for Christians and falls this year on Sunday, June 8. History The second chapter of the Book o...

Upon Further Review: Shavuot

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 08.03.2014 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

On the holiday of Shavuot, we read the story of Ruth, which teaches us that hindsight gives us the clarity to interpret prior events and intentions -- for better or worse.

Shavuot: Divine Light and Earthly Vessels

Rabbi Or Rose | Posted 08.03.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Or Rose

In preparing for the celebration of the holiday of Shavuot -- "the time of the giving of Torah," as it is referred to in countless rabbinic sources -- I have been reflecting on a striking teaching from the great Hasidic sage Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berditchev.

Celebrating The Giving Of The Torah

Posted 06.03.2014 | Religion

History Shavuot is a Jewish holiday which celebrates God's giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. It is also known as the "Feast of...

Rolling Stones Accomodate Observant Fans In Israel

Religion News Service | Michelle Chabin | Posted 05.30.2014 | Religion

(RNS) The Rolling Stones will begin their first concert in Israel 45 minutes later than originally scheduled to accommodate religious Jewish fans. ...

Preparing for Sinai: Uniting Earth and Heaven, Words and Wheat

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 07.16.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

From the evening of Tuesday June 3 through the evening of June 5, Jews will be celebrating the festival of Shavuot, which in most of Jewish life today is focused on the revelation and acceptance of Torah at Mount Sinai.

The Torah Of Space Exploration

Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman | Posted 07.17.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman

True learning never stops; it pushes us out ever-farther into uncharted territory. As both space exploration and Torah study show us, each new discovery spurs new lines of inquiry.

The Shavuot Festival Mystery And Its Business Implication

Yaacov Cohen | Posted 07.14.2013 | Religion
Yaacov Cohen

According to Jewish tradition, the upcoming festival of Shavuot is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Oddly though, we find no clear link in the Bible between the Shavuot festival and the giving of the Torah.

Managing Life's Transitions With The Omer

Aviva A. Perlo | Posted 07.14.2013 | Religion
Aviva A. Perlo

When tragedy, illness and accidents occur, our worldview morphs immediately. Stability is shaken as reality turns upside down. The Omer says we must go slowly.

How Is My Learning? Proposing An Annual Jewish Learning Checkup

Rabbi Mishael Zion | Posted 07.13.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Mishael Zion

On Shavuot night, thousands of Jews will place learning at the center of Jewish life, encountering texts and ideas late into the night, across Jewish practices and ideologies. What does it mean to take Jewish learning into the year?

Counting The Days: It Is Time To Close Guantanamo

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster | Posted 07.13.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Right now, the Jewish community is finishing up its annual marking of days, as each night we count the Omer, the 49 days between the second night of Passover and the beginning of Shavuot. Immediately after, we'll mark another set of days, one with only despair and no celebration.

Life, Death And Cheesecake: The Truth About Shavuot

Rabbi Shais Taub | Posted 07.12.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Shais Taub

You would think people would get excited about mass prophecy, but alas, there's no denying: Passover, the holiday of the Exodus, is way more popular than Shavuos, when we received the Torah. Why is it that we are more attracted to drama than to enlightenment? The solution is cheesecake.

Shavuot And The Chosen

Rabbi Marc Schneier | Posted 07.10.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Marc Schneier

Shavuot, holiday commemorates revelation at Sinai when the Jews were chosen by God to receive the Ten Commandments, will commence Tuesday evening. This idea, that the Jews are the chosen people, is one of the most misunderstood concepts in history.

The Revelation Will Not Be Televised

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg | Posted 07.09.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

So many of us are in constant motion, hurtling down the street with smartphone in hand, running from work to social lives to home, running from north to east to south and back again, chasing a truth of some sort and not finding it -- and, perhaps, wondering why we're not hearing God's voice more often than we do.

Shavuot: Wait For It...

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 07.07.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

Is youth wasted on the young? Or is G-d sending us a coded message as we age?

Shavuot: The 'I' Of Sinai And The Nag Hammadi Gnostics

Rabbi Arthur Waskow | Posted 07.01.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Waskow

My sense of the meaning of Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that begins in the evening on May 14, has been deeply transformed by an ancient teaching from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of Gnostic texts.

Intention: Praying with Kavanah

Zalman Schachter-Shalomi | Posted 07.06.2013 | Religion
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Jewish prayer begins with kavanah -- intention. It gives meaning to our rituals of marriage and birth and death. It inspires us to perform a mitzvah on a more conscious and ultimately more rewarding level. It lies at the heart of Jewish devotional life.

Netzach And Tragedy

Reb Ezra Weinberg | Posted 06.17.2013 | Religion
Reb Ezra Weinberg

The story of endurance and eternity is heartbreaking in the wake of the Boston Marathon. There are no satisfiable answers to why these things happen. Just a raging desire to find comfort, any kind of comfort, in the face of a ghastly tragedy.

Understanding the Art of Shavous

Jonathan Greenstein | Posted 06.15.2013 | Arts
Jonathan Greenstein

Over the centuries, there have been many different ways to decorate the Torah. Like all Judaica, there is no particular style of Jewish art. Jews adapted their decoration to whatever surrounding local style they were living in. Here are some examples.

Unicycle Yourself To A Better You

Tzipah Wertheimer | Posted 06.12.2013 | Religion
Tzipah Wertheimer

As we count each of the days of the sefira, we are meant to realign ourselves. The goal is to hold back what needs to be held back and push ourselves into those awkward uncomfortable places that ultimately make us into better people.

Simultaneous Joy And Pain: The Wisdom Of The Counting Of The Omer

Rabbi Wendi Geffen | Posted 06.08.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Wendi Geffen

Will we view life as some sort of diminishing, increasingly limiting count down to the end, or will we see life as opening to an unending fount of opportunity, hope and joy? The Omer tradition, linking Passover to Shavuot, gives us the answer.

Count The Omer With Hope

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 06.02.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

The Omer need not be a time of sadness. The time between Passover and Shavuout can itself be transformational and full of hope.

Counting The Omer: 49 Days Of Jewish Spiritual Reflection

Posted 03.28.2013 | Religion

Why is this liveblog different from all other liveblogs? On Passover, perhaps Judaism's most widely observed holiday, secular and religious Jews a...

Our Current Global Food Crisis and How We Can Feed 17 Million More People

Ruth Messinger | Posted 07.25.2012 | Religion
Ruth Messinger

This year during Shavuot, the Jewish holiday which marks the end of the harvest, I am reminded of my commitment to alleviate hunger.