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April 21, 2018 – 11:08 pm | 26 views

We are all familiar with chai, the Hebrew word for life. Chai has a numeric value of eighteen, which is why it is common for Jews to donate to charity in multiples of eighteen. The Talmud tells us that charity saves us from premature death.[1] When we donate in multiples …

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Articles tagged with: Prayer

Vayikra: Coming to Shull

March 14, 2018 – 9:58 am | 104 views
coming-to-shull

When you live in a small Jewish community, you often need to recruit people to attend services at the synagogue just to ensure that you have a Minyan (quorum of ten men for prayer). Many grow frustrated with the process and wonder what value there is in attending only because …

Vayakhel Pekudei: Playing Host to G-d

March 3, 2018 – 9:29 pm | One Comment | 712 views
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A Wise Host
The host of the party was worried that there were too many people and not enough refreshments. He was sure that not everyone had been invited, but he had to identify the crashers. So, he called for silence and asked, “Will those from the bride’s side of the …

Vayikra: The Daily Offering

March 25, 2017 – 10:58 pm | 471 views
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A Little is Enough
If you were a little fly on the wall of the Tabernacle or Temple you would notice a curious aspect of the sacrificial rite, namely the daily offerings. Each morning, at dawn’s earliest light, a sheep offering was made. Every day the same kind of sheep with …

Lech Lecha: Holistic Prayer

November 5, 2016 – 10:24 pm | 726 views
a heart stopping reunion - innerstream

Focused Prayer
Have you heard of the rabbinical student who repeatedly failed his lifeguard test? Again and again, he failed to rescue the dummy from the bottom of the pool. The instructor finally approached and suggested that he consider removing his frock and fedora before trying again.
You can’t swim with coat …

Ekev: Habitude of Gratitude

August 20, 2016 – 10:50 pm | 699 views
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Grace After Meals
If you have even a nominal Jewish education, from day school, summer camp or home, you know that Judaism is a habitude of gratitude. When we awaken, we share words of gratitude, before and after we eat, once again gratitude. Before we go to sleep, some more gratitude.
Yes, …

Vaetchanan: Pay Attention

August 15, 2016 – 11:49 pm | 724 views
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Shema Yisrael
The best known verse in the Torah is the declaration of Jewish faith, Shema Yisrael, “hear O’ Israel, G-d is our Lord G-d is one.”[1] It is part of our liturgy and is recited four times a day. It is the verse with which countless Jews faced their death …

Sukkot: A Time for Unity

October 4, 2014 – 11:55 pm | 688 views
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Alone In Our Thoughts
I sit at my desk late at night and reflect on the day that just passed. It was Yom Kippur today, a day filled with prayer, song, meditation and study. My mind turns to the last few moments of the holy day and I remember standing at …

Pekudei: To Serve Him

February 23, 2014 – 4:17 am | 4,651 views
selfishness - innerstream

Silver Coins
This essay is about silver coins because we will reference it twice in this week’s Torah reading.
The first reference is in the ordinary Torah reading where an accounting is given for the contributions made to the tabernacle. The Torah informs us precisely how much silver was raised and what …