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Torah

Confessions Of A Free!aholic

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 07.27.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I confess! I am a freeaholic. What is a freeaholic? I am addicted to offering things to other people for free. But there is no such things as a free lunch, so it is time to look at my own behavior.

Why I'm Skipping Shavuot

Rabbi Laura Baum | Posted 07.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Laura Baum

I'm a rabbi. But I won't be observing the Shavuot holiday this weekend. Not because I don't have the time. It's because the traditional message of Shavuot doesn't speak to me.

I Was At Mt. Sinai: A Personal Revelation Story

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 07.25.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

Never has the spiritual force of revelation affected me more than it did on the early morning of May 31, 1998.

Jewish Female Scribes Receive The Torah

Josh Fleet | Posted 05.25.2012 | Religion

Some say her work is forbidden. Some might say it's a complete waste of time. Others remain silent. But Julie Seltzer, one of a few women in history t...

Thinking Outside The Book: Shavuot And The Great Torah Download

Eitan Press | Posted 07.24.2012 | Religion
Eitan Press

Many people associate the word "Torah" with the Five books of Moses, but according to Jewish wisdom, the Torah and what was given at Mt. Sinai was much more than a book.

The Paradox Of The Honey Bee

Kevin Bermeister | Posted 07.21.2012 | Religion
Kevin Bermeister

Honey is the only kosher product that comes out of a non-kosher producer. So what were Israel's greatest scholars and mystical thinkers trying to convey as to uniquely regard it in Jewish law?

When Is Idealism Idolatry? Leviticus 25:1-27:34

Yehuda Kurtzer | Posted 07.15.2012 | Religion
Yehuda Kurtzer

I fear sometimes that in our efforts to create more just societies, we can become self-righteous, indulging in the idolatrous practice of worshipping our own ideals.

An Unorthodox Cure For Insomnia

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 07.13.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I know so many people who have all the pillows they need and yet have trouble sleeping at night; they walk through their lives sleep deprived. What many don't realize is that the Torah already told them why they can't sleep.

Obama, Gay Marriage Equality And Lag Ba'Omer

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 07.11.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

For gays and lesbians who have fought for marriage equality, Lag Ba'Omer 2012 was an epic day on which a plague ended.

An 'Eye For An Eye' And The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It's Not What You Think

Rabbi Melissa Weintraub | Posted 07.08.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Melissa Weintraub

Sadly, many of us here in America reproduce this conflict's us-and-them ethos from 7,000 miles away, and so have thrown ourselves in on the side of escalation rather than resolution.

Holiness After The Death Of 6 Million

Arnold M. Eisen | Posted 07.07.2012 | Religion
Arnold M. Eisen

Holiness is meant to pervade all of daily behavior, not to inhabit the high points of experience only. Love means reaching out toward neighbors and the world with the same care, regard and generosity we normally reserve for ourselves and those closest to us.

God's Challenge

Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D. | Posted 07.07.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D.

It is a simple yet profound challenge -- be holy, imitate God in our own lives. It is the fundamental lesson that for Jewish civilization, the ultimate goal of life is not "happiness," it is "holiness."

The Mezuzah Needs Federal Protection

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld | Posted 07.06.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

All too often Jewish residents are intimidated into not putting up a mezuzah even though it is their right.

Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim: Don't Try This At Home (Or Anywhere Else)

Josh Fleet | Posted 07.03.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

God tells Moses to tell Aaron not to come before the Holy of Holies regularly -- so that he will not die like his sons Nadab and Abihu -- because the Divine Presence appears there as a pillar of cloud always.

WATCH: Table Top Rhythms for Jewish Singing

Joey Weisenberg | Posted 07.03.2012 | Religion
Joey Weisenberg

In traditional synagogues, many Jews refrain from playing instruments on the Sabbath. I treat this instrumental limitation as an opportunity to creatively explore the musical and spiritual possibilities that exist outside of instruments.

Keep Your Mask On

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 07.03.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

While it might seem "authentic" to parade around one's flawed inner world, not only is it not inappropriate to mask these character deficiencies, it is rather part and parcel of the healthy growth process of an actualized person.

To Stand Or Not To Stand Your Ground: Leviticus 19

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann | Posted 07.01.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Lehmann

While the right to self-defense is a principle deeply rooted in Jewish biblical and rabbinic sources, this week's Torah portion actually calls on us to think about how not to stand our ground as we respond to the needs of others.

Why Does G-d Allow Children To Be Born With Disabilities?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach | Posted 06.30.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

We Jews protest and remonstrate against suffering. We don't excuse it. We don't justify it. We don't find beauty in it. We don't find spiritual purpose it in. We fight it and, to the best of our ability, cure it.

Jesus And The Torah

Greg Carey | Posted 06.26.2012 | Religion
Greg Carey

Did not Jesus occasionally but intentionally violate the Torah? In a word, no.

Leviticus 12-15: Whom Do We Send Outside the Camp? Israel Past and Future

Rabbi Arthur Green | Posted 01.04.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Arthur Green

Leviticus essentially creates a primitive quarantine system. The idea is that the "camp" of Israel -- the tribes still wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt -- is to be kept pure.

Why Count The Omer In Sadness?

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 06.17.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

This year, I will be counting the Omer and working to prepare myself for Shavuot. But I will harness, rather than abstain from, the joy that inspires so many of my reflections.

Strange, Inconceivable Fire: Leviticus And Holocaust Remembrance Day

Judith Rosenbaum | Posted 06.17.2012 | Religion
Judith Rosenbaum

As we prepare to commemorate, Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is almost sickening to read how "the flesh and the skin were consumed in fire" (Leviticus 9:11), and even more so to consider these words and acts something God would command.

Passover's Freedom Is Control Over Time

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks | Posted 06.14.2012 | Religion
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

Religious ritual is a way of structuring time so that we, not employers, the market or the media, are in control. Life needs its pauses, its chapter breaks, if the soul is to have space to breathe. Otherwise, we may not be in Egypt, but we can still be slaves.

WATCH: Faith in Action DC: Rabbi Bruce Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation

Jack Gordon | Posted 06.11.2012 | Religion
Jack Gordon

Rabbi Bruce Lustig shares a lesson from the Passover story regarding the imperative to work for social justice for all God's children, and how young people in his community at his congregation are taking this to the next level.

Tiferet Of Chesed: Jump Into The Moment, Listen For The Command

Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder | Posted 06.10.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder

There are so many ways to be present for someone, and different situations require us to show up in a wide variety of ways.