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S.R. Hewitt
SR Hewitt is the writer of the popular daily email/blog, and the Publications Coordinator for NJOP. Raised in Pennsylvania, S.R. is a graduate of the University of Maryland @ College Park (English and Jewish Studies) with a Masters in Education from Brooklyn College. The mother of four, S.R.resides in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Entries by S.R. Hewitt

Learning Unity From a Lulav

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 6:45 PM

This past summer, Jewish activists and journalists touted the incredible sense of unity among the Jewish people. It was first seen in the desperate hope shared by so many that three young men would be found alive, and it endured through the tragic discovery of their terrible fate. Still in...

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Understanding Sinai

(3) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 6:41 PM

This is the week when Jews are meant to go back to Mount Sinai. Not literally, of course (especially as there is a debate over exactly where Mount Sinai is), but spiritually. During the celebration of Shavuot, the Jewish people are meant to connect with the significance of the giving...

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10 Fascinating Facts About The Ten Commandments (The Movie)

(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 2:13 PM

Watching Paramount's The Ten Commandments is, for many, an annual part of the spring holidays. While there have been other film versions of the story of the exodus, none have the epic staying power of the 1956 classic. Indeed, many have now grown up with the image of Charlton Heston...

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Eight Reasons for Thanks

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 6:48 PM

This Thursday, as Americans gather together to eat turkey and sweet potatoes, a small percentage of us will do so near the flickering lights of our Chanukah menorot. Many people have written about the convergence of these two holidays, which has cutely been dubbed "Thanksgivvukah."

This year, as we give...

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Attention American Jews: Let's Not Be Afraid

(6) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 2:52 PM

It is time to stop being afraid!

Afraid? Haven't you read the Pew report, "A Portrait of Jewish Americans"? American Jews aren't afraid. They are proud. They are happy to be Jewish... at least those who acknowledge that they are Jewish are proud of that fact.

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Whose Lot Is It, Anyway?

(15) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 11:36 AM

Wanting to be a good and moral person is an excellent ideal that, it probably would not be outlandish to say, is the end goal of most people. At the same time, most people do not wake up each day and make a commitment to be either moral or amoral....

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What's Judaism Without Brisket?

(2) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Does Jewish law discourage a vegetarian lifestyle? One might assume so from the fact that the Talmud states that "When the Temple was in existence, there could be no rejoicing save with meat" (Talmud Pesachim 109a) and some of the most famous Jewish culinary dishes are chicken soup, brisket and...

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It's About the Relationship

(14) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 8:58 PM

Every year on Rosh Hashana, the shofar is sounded like the trumpets of a royal herald. The shofar is made from the hollowed-out horn of a kosher animal, most preferably a ram. The ram's horn is symbolically connected to the story of the "Akeidah," the binding of Isaac,...

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Earth Day, Arbor Day and Judaism's Environmental Ethic

(3) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 12:19 PM

Hug a Tree! Celebrate Earth Day! No question, concern for the environment is a vital issue today and a critical one for tomorrow.

While there are many appropriate themes with which the Torah could have begun (Abraham, Mt. Sinai, etc.), it begins instead with a day-by-day description of the creation...

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New Year's Resolutions and Jewish Thought

(1) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 12:50 PM

As we prepare for the new calendar year, it is interesting to look at the Jewish nature of some of the most common New Year's Resolutions:

1. Lose Weight/Start Exercising/Eat Healthy Food

The mitzvah of saving a life (pikuach nefesh) is so great that it precedes most other mitzvot and...

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The Jewish Messiah and the End of Days

(5) Comments | Posted December 19, 2012 | 4:32 PM

The question of whether or not Dec. 21 will be the end of the world has been a hot topic in the media. These speculations are based on the Mayan calendar coming to an end. This is not, however, the first time that the world has worried that the end...

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Rejoicing on Sukkot: Then and Now

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 2:48 PM

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810) declared: Mitzvah gedolah lee'yoht b'simcha tamid -- "To always be happy is a great mitzvah." The commandment to be happy is not included among the positive commandments of the Torah except during the holiday of Sukkot.

The Feast of the Tabernacles, as Sukkot is...

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Can You Forgive? Can You Be Forgiven?

(5) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 3:32 PM

Asking for forgiveness is an admittedly difficult task. After all, no one likes to admit to their own faults or shortcomings. However, asking for forgiveness is an essential aspect of teshuva, repentance.

Teshuva is actually a process of self-evaluation and self-improvement. The Rambam (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, a 12th...

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Jewish Wisdom for Worker's Rights

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 4:31 PM

Are workers' rights a modern invention born out of the trials and tribulations of the industrial revolution? Everyone's heard of the horrors of the sweatshops, child labor abuses and other workplace issues that, sadly, sometimes still take place today.

It should be known, however, that workers' rights were a concern...

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For Jews, It's Always Back to School

(3) Comments | Posted August 23, 2012 | 12:08 PM

September looms, and children all over have either just begun school or will be starting shortly. Judaism has always been a culture focussed on learning. The Torah commands parents to teach their children, but since many parents are not capable of fulfilling the role of teacher, schools have become a...

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Fascinating Jews

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 1:37 PM

With over three thousand years of history, there is no question that the Jewish people have had their share of fascinating individuals. While some of these incredible people focused their energies on their own Jewish world, others changed the very framework of society. A significant number of these Jews made...

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Remembering a Great Warrior on Shavuot

(3) Comments | Posted May 21, 2012 | 12:00 PM

Although there are many grumbles about the barbeques and sales, Memorial Day is still dedicated to honoring the memories of those soldiers lost in battle. But this year, Memorial Day poses an interesting conflict with the Jewish calendar as it overlaps directly with the holiday of Shavuot.

The Feast of...

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Defining Freedom For Jews

(16) Comments | Posted March 28, 2012 | 4:40 PM

What is freedom? Ask anyone on the streets and they might define it as the ability to do what one wants. Others might say that it is the state of having full control of one's life. In the last year, the Jewish world has been offered several fascinating discussions on...

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Foods of Shabbat: Come for the Kugel

(2) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 10:54 AM

What is there to love about Shabbat? It's a day to rest? It's a day to sleep? Or perhaps, like thousands of of men and women profess after their first full Shabbat experience, it's the food! Challah and fish, chicken and kugel, perhaps chocolate cake for dessert. What's not to...

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Hanukkah and the Greeks' Grudge

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2011 | 10:07 AM

The basic story behind the holiday of Hanukkah is fairly well-known. The Selucid (Syrian-Greek empire) oppressed the Jews. The Jews fought back under the leadership of the Maccabees (particularly Judah). The underdog Jews won and, in the process of rededicating the Temple, found only one flask of oil that miraculously...

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