In reading the Haggadah, we envision the vast crowd of Israelites who experienced the Exodus first hand. We identify with them and feel part of their peoplehood. At the same time, though, we envision the unique talents and aspirations of each member of the family and community. The goal is to raise all of us to a high level of understanding, solidarity and love.
Like many of you, I have worked hard for many years to make a living. I have always paid my taxes in full; I have always repaid my loans in full; I have never asked or received government help to pay my bills. Are we honest citizens a vanishing breed?
Why on Earth are we so very obsessed with time during prayer when we should consider ourselves to be in a place beyond time and space?
Modern technology makes it quite easy for people to post hostile remarks against those with whom they disagree. These ad hominem attacks gain lives of their own, being forwarded to readers who then forward them to others etc. People feel that it’s fine for them to vent, to call names, to discredit others. In their self-righteousness, they don’t realize the gravity of their transgressions.
Hanukkah reminds us that the Jewish People have long faced enemies of all kinds…but that we have been able to prevail! With the help of the Almighty, and with our own personal commitment, we will continue to bring light, love and kindness to our world.
If it’s possible to sit in synagogue all morning and not feel God’s presence, then something is wrong. If the rabbi’s demeanor and sermon don’t evoke God’s presence, then something is desperately wrong.
A Jerusalem District Court on Thursday recognized Orthodox conversions to Judaism performed outside the Chief Rabbinate for the purposes of citizenship, though not religious recognition, in what is nevertheless considered a potentially precedent-setting ruling.
We certainly should draw on the wisdom and scholarship of others, and we should give them due credit when we learn from them and quote their words. But we should not shut off our own brains, nor feel unable to express an opinion without basing it on an earlier source. A thinking Judaism makes us better Jews…and better human beings.
In our time, like throughout history, there are those who seek to manipulate crowds in dangerous, murderous and hateful ways. There are those who play on the fears and gullibility of the masses. But there are also those who resist the crowd instinct and maintain the personality instinct. These are the stars who will form a new kind of crowd, a crowd that will bring human beings together in harmony and mutual respect.
During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel regained control of East Jerusalem. This was a historic event that returned the ancient holy sites of the Old City to Israeli sovereignty. Yom Yerushalayim has become a day of religious and national commemoration. This year it occurs on Sunday May 29.