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Sukkot: Palm Frond

September 20, 2018 – 9:12 am | 39 views

The Palm frond is the tallest and most visible of the four species that we waive during the festival of Sukkot. So much does the Palm frond stand out that it is perceived as the signature piece of the four species. When referring to the four species, one often describes …

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Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish Calendar »

Rosh Hashanah Shabbat Shuva: On Credit

September 9, 2018 – 12:56 am |
on-credit-innerstream.,ca

A Year on Credit?

Everyone knows that the last festival of the High Holidays season is Simchat Torah when we dance around the Bimah with the Torah in a ceremony called Hakafot. But did you know that hakafot is not only the mark Simchat Torah, the last holiday of the High Holiday season, but also the mark of Rosh Hashnah, the first holiday of the High Holiday season?

Hakafot in Hebrew means to circle, and the Simchat Torah dance is called hakafot because we dance in a circle around the Bimah. But hakafah in Hebrew also means to loan something on credit, which is the name of the game on Rosh Hashanah. Read the full story »

Nitzavim: Democracy in Israel

September 2, 2018 – 5:37 pm | One Comment | 
democracy-innerstream.ca

Is Israel a democracy or a theocracy? Here is the story:
The Tel Aviv municipality and the Ayalon Highway Company plan to build a new pedestrian and cycling bridge that would cross the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, one of the country’s most congested freeways.
The Ayalon Highway Company planned to shut …

Ki Tavo: Onward to Israel

August 25, 2018 – 9:53 pm |
israel-innerstream.ca

Israel is our homeland. It is a holy and G-dly land on which G-d keeps a very careful eye. Our sages taught that the very air one breathes in Israel makes one wise to the ways of Torah. Our sages used to bend to kiss the stones of Israel when …

Ki Tetze: No Big Deal

August 18, 2018 – 11:40 pm |
no-big-deal-innerstream.ca

It’s just one small infraction, no big deal.
This is a common argument that we hear often, but only in our own heads. We would never be brazen enough to justify our infractions to others with this argument, but we say it to ourselves.
Suppose, you are leaving a hotel and want …

Shoftim: City of Refuge

August 11, 2018 – 11:00 pm |
refuge-innerstream.ca

The Torah tells us that in the messianic era when the land of Israel will expand beyond the borders enjoyed by our ancestors, it will become necessary to designate three more cities of refuge to provide sanction for inadvertent killers. When a Jew killed another inadvertently, the Torah allows the …

Re’e: The Missing Festival

August 4, 2018 – 11:47 pm |
festival-innerstream.ca

The festival of Sukkot falls on the fifteenth of Tishrei, two weeks into the new Jewish year. Accordingly, the Torah tells us, in Exodus 34:22, to celebrate Sukkot at the turn of the year. However, there is a discrepancy. Eleven chapters earlier, Exodus 23:16 told us to celebrate Sukkot at …

Ekev: Do You Have A Boat?

July 29, 2018 – 1:16 am |
boat-innerstream.ca

Jackie Mason claims a Jew only buys a boat to show it to others. In fact, if the boat is missing an engine the Jew wouldn’t even know it. Because a Jew doesn’t need a boat. He buys a boat, to show it to you.
King David and the Baal Shem …

Vaetchanan: The Link

July 22, 2018 – 9:48 pm |
the-link-innerstream.ca

The link between past and present is critical to Judaism. Without a past, we don’t have a present, and won’t have a future. Judaism exists today only because every past generation chose to absorb its predecessors’ teachings and transmit it to their successors. Had only two or three successive generations …

Devarim: Too Clever

July 15, 2018 – 12:59 am |
too-clever-innerstream.ca

Sometimes we are too clever for our own good. One such time occurred in the second century when Rome decreed that Jews in Israel may not study the Torah on pain of death. Yet, the Talmud relates that Rabbi Akiva continued to offer public Torah lectures.
When questioned by Papus Ben …