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Bring Brightness To Your Sabbath Table

The sacramental blessing over wine on the Jewish Sabbath is fundamentally what sanctifies the day, turning an ordinary Saturday into the Jewish holy Sabbath. Routinely, the wine for that blessing is contained in a beautiful cup that honors the moment of sanctification and allows people…

Weekly Torah Portion: God and Israel at War

This week’s Torah portion begins with the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt and ends with the war against Amalek.  And war is a theme that runs through this week’s portion in a very interesting way.  The portion begins with an explanation of…

Music Review: From Great Loss to Unimaginable Joy

The stories of Noah and Ruth and Naomi are quite different, yet have similar underlying themes.  Impending doom exists at the beginning, then faith and action are needed.  The stories take a dive into sorrow and back into relief and deliverance in the end. According…

Colorful and Creative: The Work of Tamar Messer

  Anyone who has been to Israel – or has even seen pictures – knows that the Land is renowned for its beauty and vibrancy. There’s something about color in Israel: it’s just brighter, deeper and more real. From the verdant forests, grassy peaks and…

Weekly Torah Portion: Pinchas and Your Inner Hero

Pinchas was a hero. Previously he had been a virtual nobody, but when the situation warranted it he became a somebody. The rewards for doing so were tremendous, including becoming Eliyahu HaNavi, the prophet who will eventually herald the Final Redemption, may it happen soon,…

VIDEO: Torah Scroll Dedicated to WWII Heroes

To honor the memories of 250,000 Jewish soldiers killed while fighting for the Allies in World War II, the Conference of European Rabbis donated several Torah scrolls to Israel, including one to the Knesset and one to the Western Wall. 1.5 million Jewish soldiers fought…

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ztz”l: Four Vignettes

Lessons from a Giant He was considered to be one of the greatest rabbis of this generation. His complete mastery of the entire gamut of Torah and Talmud reflected a level of proficiency that is possessed by only a few in this generation. His PhD…

The Holiday of Unity

Shavuot (Pentecost), the holiday that unifies the Jewish people is to be celebrate beginning this Saturday night. Judaism teaches that from the time of Pesach (Passover), until the time of Shavuot (Pentecost) the Jews shall count. The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion…