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January 13, 2018 – 10:39 pm | 48 views

Names are instructive, they tell us a lot about the things that they describe. When Jewish custom and history settles on a name for a Torah portion, the name bears a connection to the general theme of the portion. The name of this portion is Bo, which means to enter. …

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Articles tagged with: History

Passover: Chad Gadya

April 5, 2017 – 12:49 pm | 316 views
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A Conflagration
Although the Chad Gadya is not part of the Chabad tradition, the melody holds universal appeal. In fact, one of my earliest Passover memories is learning this classic. My Bubbie’s Haggadah had beautiful illustrations and I spent many hours pouring over the pictures of the kid, cat, dog, stick …

Vayakhel Pekudei: To Carry Forward

March 19, 2017 – 1:40 am | 288 views
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To Raise a Child
If we look back on our upbringing, we will note that we are an amalgam of a huge family. We carry traits from our mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Some of our values were taught by our mothers, some by our fathers, and some by our grandparents. Some …

Shabbat Zachor: Memory Is A Bridge

March 5, 2016 – 8:49 pm | 659 views
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Remember
Can you imagine driving down the street and suddenly realizing that you forgot where you are coming from? If you don’t know where you are coming from, you can’t know where you are going or why. Severed from the past, the present has no bridge to the future.

Ki Tisa; Don’t Fix It

March 3, 2016 – 12:27 pm | 602 views
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If It Ain’t Broke
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, is a pithy saying from the American South The idea is that if something has a track record of success, don’t tinker with it.
Over the last few decades, the words ‘Jewish continuity’ has become a catchphrase. What can we do …

Toldos: The Secret of Jewish Survival

November 10, 2014 – 9:04 pm | 606 views
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Survival Throughout History
Blaise Pascal, French theologian and philosopher, wrote at length about the marvel of Jewish survival. Powerful kings have tried to destroy them, yet the Jews survived whereas the nations of Greece, Italy, Athens and Rome have long perished. It is said that when King Louis XIV of France …

Simchat Torah: Festival Of Transformation

October 12, 2014 – 12:28 pm | 526 views
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The Million Dollar Question
Everyone wonders about this. Why do we rejoice with the Torah at the end of the High Holiday season if the Torah was given in the late spring, on Shavuot? Should we not dance and rejoice over the Torah on the day it was given?
The obvious answer …

Bo: Hebrew Months

December 29, 2013 – 4:32 am | 2,278 views
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First Month
The Jewish calendar is confusing. The Hebrew months have names, but they are Persian in origin. Why do Hebrew months have Persian names? Another question: These names are not employed by the Five Books of Moses or the Books of the Prophets, when were they adopted into our culture?

Pinchas: Moses is You

June 25, 2013 – 1:49 pm | 3,349 views
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 The Past
There is a large cemetery in the annals of academia in which the past lies buried. This cemetery takes the form of history books monuments and museums. We visit our past, research and teach it, but we don’t live it. The past is simply, in the past. Judaism is …