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November 12, 2017 – 8:17 am | 34 views

Although hunting is not as common as it used to be, it remains a popular sport around the world. This essay explores why hunting has never been considered a Jewish sport.
Hunting
A Jew once asked Rabbi Yechezkel Landau, the 18th century chief rabbi of Cracow, whether hunting is permissible. Rabbi Landau …

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Chukat: Unchanging Torah

June 22, 2014 – 3:51 am |
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Tablets and Torah Scrolls
Why is the Torah so unchanging? Why are religious Jews so resistant to change? Doesn’t our tradition promote questions and provocative thought?

Korach: Kindness or Weakness

June 16, 2014 – 4:01 am |
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The Debate
The recent decision by the US Government to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in return for five- hardened Taliban terrorists has sparked debate. Those in support hail President Obama as a decisive leader, who made the courageous choice to save a life. Those who oppose …

Shlach: Boots On The Ground

June 9, 2014 – 1:37 am |
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Ritual
I’m often asked how to make ritual exciting. It’s sad, but true that many Jewish children are raised with a ritualistic form of Judaism that lacks spirit and it is difficult for them to be inspired by meaningless rituals that feel repetitive and redundant. My answer is always the same. …

Shavuot: Torah and Golf

June 2, 2014 – 2:41 am |
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The Parallels
A number of my friends are avid golfers. Over coffee one day they tried to explain to me some aspects of the game’s attraction. At first I didn’t get it but as I listened to them I noticed that at times their voices carried almost spiritual undertones. Suddenly, I …

Naso: Self Imposed Confinement

May 25, 2014 – 11:44 am |
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Isolation
We live in self-imposed confinement. Our world is confined to ourselves and to the people we love. Tell us about a tragedy elsewhere in the world, we cluck our tongues and move on. For some, the world is even smaller. It extends only to themselves. At every turn they ask …

Bamidbar: Positive Thought

May 18, 2014 – 3:38 am |
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Is Optimism Naive?
Are you confident about the future? There are those who are frustratingly optimistic. No matter what the present, their faith in mankind, destiny and G-d’s basic commitment to goodness is unshakable. Others are more jaded. They look at the current state of affairs and take a dismal view …

Bechukotai: Active Listening

May 11, 2014 – 3:56 am | One Comment | 
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Sight
Do you practice Active Listening?
I remember standing on a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean in Central California, gazing down at the blue waters, shimmering waves and bright sunlight. I was transfixed, utterly and completely absorbed by the scene. Having lost all critical thought, I was aware of only one …

B’har: Jewish Pride

May 4, 2014 – 4:37 am |
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Sense of Self
Is pride a dirty word? It’s often listed alongside lust and greed, but is it really bad? I suppose it depends on what you are proud of. If you have Jewish pride, if you take pride in your Jewishness, it isn’t altogether bad, but if you take pride …