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Article Archive for March 2010

First Date Mistakes: He-Friendly Tips from Today’s Top Experts First Date Mistakes: He-Friendly Tips from Today’s Top Experts

While many men say they can do it in five seconds, statistics show that it takes anywhere between ninety seconds to four minutes for someone to properly size you up. So gentlemen, you better be all buttoned-up and on your toes on that first date. You don’t need to be a Casanova to impress a woman but you should be mindful of the mistakes that can spoil your chances of success.

Kitchen Gold
Kitchen Gold

When I promised my husband that I would provide a steady supply of “Kitchen Gold” I think he was expecting something completely different than what he found in the freezer, refrigerator and sometimes balcony.

JDate’s Rabbi of the Month – Rabbi Ethan Franzel of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania JDate’s Rabbi of the Month – Rabbi Ethan Franzel of Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

“JDate, it’s simply something that is a part of the fabric of the modern Jewish world – for Jews across the generations, which is something I love! JDate Success Stories are inevitably fascinating because they are so varied – everyone has a story about how long they were on JDate, their successes and failures, the sometimes surprising relationship between an online profile and the person in real life, etc.” – Rabbi Ethan Franzel

Cut Off
Cut Off

“…Be as scrupulous in performing a ‘minor’ mitzvah as a ‘major’ one, for you do not know the reward given for the respective mitzvot. Calculate the…reward of a sin against its cost” (Ethics of the Fathers 2:1). While we do not know the full reward and punishment for each mitzvah in the Torah, there are some actions that are so severe that God Himself informs us that they are punishable by the dreaded Kareit.

Kareit, often defined as excision, is extremely hard to comprehend. In fact, the sages of the Talmud even debate what this punishment is. Many sages and rabbinic leaders have also noted that kareit may have a different effect on people today than it did in the days of the Holy Temple.

Kareit is often translated as being cut-off. It is believed that, in times when our connection to the spiritual realm was more tangible, kareit was actual death. (Not instant death, but rather death at a young age–under 60–accompanied by a lack of further offspring.) But, kareit is also understood as a spiritual excommunication, in which one’s soul is cut off from God.

There are 36 crimes for which one might receive kareit, but only if one purposefully committed the transgression and did not repent for the act. Some offenses for which one is punished by kareit are: incest, eating blood, and consulting ghosts or spirits.

Almost all of the sins for which kareit is a punishment are prohibitions. However, there are two positive commandments for which kareit is the punishment when they are not fulfilled. These are (1) to have oneself circumcised (if not done when a man was a baby) and (2) to offer the Paschal lamb (when one is not in a category allowing for exemption).

Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

Nine Tips to “Give Good Phone” Nine Tips to “Give Good Phone”

In online dating, first impressions are crucial: usually people focus on having a good photo or writing a clever profile. But have you ever thought about what kind of first impression you make by telephone?

The Chassidim of Ger
The Chassidim of Ger

While the Holocaust destroyed numerous chassidic communities, some of the surviving sects maintained their significance and impact after the war. Such was the case of the Ger Chassidim.

The first rebbe of Ger (aka Gur) was the Chiddushei Ha’rim* (Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter – Poland, 1799-1866), a disciple and brother-in-law of the Kotzker Rebbe, (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern – 1787-1859). When the Kotzker Rebbe died, in 1859, his followers asked the Chiddushei Ha’rim to become their new spiritual leader. Shortly after accepting the position of Rebbe, the Chiddushei Ha’rim was appointed the Rav and Av Beit Din (head of the religious court) of the town of Góra Kalwaria (known in Yiddish as Ger).

Ger chassidut is known for its focus on Torah learning and self-development. This exceptional scholarliness is reflected in the succession of Rebbes of the Ger Rabbinic dynasty. Each Rebbe in the Alter family is considered an intellectual giant.

The Chiddushei Ha’rim was succeeded by his grandson, the Sfas Emes (Rabbi Yehuda Leib Alter, 1847 – 1905). He was succeeded by the Imrei Emes (Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, 1866 – 1948), who opened a Yeshiva (named Sfas Emes after his father) in Jerusalem in 1926. The presence of this school turned out to be fortuitous, for the Ger yeshivot in Israel helped to revive the community after it was decimated in the Holocaust. (The Imrei Emes survived.)

The Imrei Emes was succeeded by : (1) the Beis Yisrael (Rabbi Yisrael Alter 1895 – 1977), (2) Lev Simcha (Rabbi Simcha Bunim Alter 1898 – 1992), (3) Pnei Menachem (Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter, 1926 – 1996), and (4) the current Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter (born 1939).

Through their many schools and yeshivot, the Ger Chassidim have not only succeeded in revitalizing their community, but gained a reputation for excellence in Torah learning.

*The Rebbes are referred to by the names by which they were best known, which was usually by the name of their most popular published works.

Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

Lisa and Seth Lisa and Seth

“Little did I know that it [JDate] wouldn’t take much more than a week to yield positive results.”

10 Ways Aunts Make Great Dates 10 Ways Aunts Make Great Dates

The same Jewish tradition that encourages our education and worldliness is also central to our sense of family. Many Jewish women struggle with wanting to have it all. While we are just as likely as our brothers to work in management, business and professional/technical positions (59% vs. 60%), we are also responsible for American Jewish continuity since we’re the ones who birth baby Jews…

How Social Media is Changing the World of Online Dating How Social Media is Changing the World of Online Dating

Recently at the Mashable holiday party, I spoke with good friend and fellow blogger David Berkowitz about the intersection between social media and online dating.  I proposed a new social network that would allow you to “rate” your dates similar to a Zagat® guide.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that David had actually met his wife on JDate and scored an exclusive interview with him on his top dating tips for the lonely hearts out there.

Dawn and Lewis
Dawn and Lewis

“…although I had yet to meet ‘The One,’ I was confident that I would because my sister and best friend both met their husbands through JDate.”

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