Additional Teachings

8 Items

Interfaith: The Biblical holiday of July Fourth

http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/faith-and-values/interfaith-the-biblical-holiday-of-july-fourth_03303428 I’m coming out of the closet to admit I’m a political junkie. From the time I received my first degree at UC Berkeley in political science over 30 years ago until now, I have taken an active interest in elections the way some people do for football games and have been involved in both […]

Explaining Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (Thousand Oaks Acorn)

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CLICK HERE to read the article on the Thousand Oaks Acorn site Every year around this time, Jews throughout the Conejo and Las Virgenes valleys begin to be concerned with something called the High Holidays. But what are these holidays, what are they about, why do they seem to come up at different times every […]

A Fourth of Jew-ly Celebration (The Jewish Daily Forward)

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CLICK HERE to read the article at Forward.com As a young child, I always loved the 4th of July. Fireworks, meat on the grill, picnics, and everyone always seemed so appreciative of being an “American”. As I got a little older, and I learned about the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence; I enjoyed […]

Noah, the “Designated Driver”

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“Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” —Genesis 6:9 What a strange journey it must have been for Noah. He is suddenly called upon by God to build an ark (I’m always reminded of the great Bill Cosby routine where Noah says, “God, what’s an ark?”), collect the animals, […]

Hillel Said: Do Not Separate Yourself From the Community

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Some teachings from our tradition on creating and maintaining a holy community From Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) Shimon the Righteous was among the survivors of the Great Assembly. He used to say: The world depends on three things—on Torah study, on the service of God, and on kind deeds Antigonus, leader of Socho, […]

The Month of Elul: a Time of Intimacy and Preparation

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As we approach the time of Rosh Hashana, our Sages are clear to teach us of the importance of the month of preparation immediately preceding it. This month, named “Elul”, is the time of ultimate intimacy between God and humans… a time when God is closely interacting with us to see how we are preparing […]

Jewish Relationship with Animals

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And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. —Gen 1:26 And God blessed […]

For those who wonder (or have issues) about Yom Kippur actually being a “joyous” holiday

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From Mishnah Ta’anit 4:7 אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל: לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיום הכפורים, שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות בכלי לבן שאולין, שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו, כל הכלים טעונין טבילה. ובנות ירושלים יוצאות וחולות בכרמים, ומה היו אומרות: בחורִ שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך, אל תתן […]