The Significance of Aesthetics in Judaism

Headshot of Elliot Dorff
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by Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD
posted on October 2, 2020
We appreciate our Jewish heritage for a long list of reasons. Among them are these: 1. It is ours, giving us a sense of identity. 2. It links us to our community, past, present, and future. 3. It spells out what is moral and motivates us to act morally. 4. It marks events in our lives, including the passing of each day and of the days of the week and year, and the life cycle events in our lives, thus giving a sense of differing meanings to those times. 5. It gives us a sense of God, that is, the transcendent aspect of human experience. Read more...

Our Day In Heaven

Photo of Pinchas Giller
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by Rabbi Pinchas Giller
posted on September 25, 2020
In general, Jews expect to maintain a becoming agnosticism about metaphysics. They tend to observe the admonition of the second chapter of the Mishnah in Hagigah, namely that “whoever considers these four things, better that they should never have come into the World: what is above, what is below, what came before and what will be after.” Hence, it is considered slightly tasteless to speculate about Heaven, or the afterlife, or even the nature of the soul, in conventional Judaism.  Read more...

"We Can Learn From Our Trials"

Rabbi Bradley Artson
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on September 18, 2020
How life teaches us! We read books and attend lectures and we think we are ready for what life brings. Armed with our learning, we venture into the world only to discover that the formulas of the brain do not help bind the wounds of the heart. Read more...

All in a Days Work

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
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by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on September 7, 2020
At the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, the average American worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week just to earn a basic living. People of all ages- children and adults and especially the poor and recent immigrants - labored in factories, mills, and mines earning small wages and working in what were often unsafe working conditions, with no fresh air, bathroom facilities or breaks. Labor activists demonstrated, advocated, and battled for better conditions, including days off for workers. Read more...

The 10th of Av or What Happens Next

Photo of Michael Berenbaum
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by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
posted on July 30, 2020
The Jewish Calendar does not change, we do. As we observe Tisha B’av with fasting and lamentations this Thursday, I am flooded with the memories of other places that I have been when this summer sacred fast day occurred, memories of Camp where, as the lone summer sacred day – we cannot say holiday – the whole camp was Tisha B’av. Read more...