Lag B'Omer - R E S P E C T !

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by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on May 18, 2022
Lag baOmer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer (which falls on the 18th of the Hebrew month of Iyar), is a strange, somewhat mysterious minor festival on the Jewish calendar. The counting of the Omer itself is a biblical commandment, mentioned in both Lev. 23:15-16 and Deut. 16:9: 49 days from when the first of the barley crop (the earliest ripening crop in the Land of Israel) is harvested, at the time of Passover, and culminating in the holiday of Shavuot on the 50th day. But there is no mention of any one day of the count being more significant than another. Read more...

The Secrets of Motherhood

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by Rabbi Myra Meskin
posted on May 5, 2022
Jewish tradition holds many stories of mothers and those seeking to be mothers, of step-mothers and mothers-in-law, and even of adoptive mothers. One challenge for those of us seeking the tradition from a female-identified perspective is that while there exist stories about us, these stories are rarely interpreted by us. Therefore, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a modern midrash – a mode of biblical interpretation originally utilized by the rabbis which has now been reinvigorated by modern women. Read more...

Remembrance and Freedom

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by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on May 2, 2022
The new state of Israel declared its independence on the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyyar. The partition of Palestine was determined by a narrow vote of the United Nations on the 29th of November, 1947. Independence was declared seven months later, at a time eight hours before the end of the British Palestine mandate on May 15, 1948. Hence the date was determined by the exigencies of international politics. Read more...

Why Is This Yom Hashoah Different From All Others?

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by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
posted on April 27, 2022
Perhaps it is a hangover from Passover but as we observe this Yom Hashoah I find myself asking, “why is this Yom Hashoah different from all others? As in the Haggadah, let’s deepen the question. On most other years, the shadow of genocide did not loom so large, on this year, it looms very large in the deeds of President Putin and of the Russian Army, in the killing fields of Ukraine and in the mouth of President Biden. Read more...

And Moses Went Out to His Brothers...

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by Dr. Robert Wexler
posted on April 15, 2022
The Torah provides very little detail about the early life of Moses. In the first ten verses of Exodus, chapter 2, we quickly learn that he was born to Hebrew parents, was saved from death by the ingenuity and courage of his mother and sister, and was adopted by the daughter of Pharoah who raised him as her son. Read more...