Article Archive for August 2010
After their camp’s 75th year reunion was cancelled, seven campers who spent many summers of their youth together decided to take the party elsewhere. The former bunkmates, each of them single and in their mid 30’s, quickly discovered that they had developed a much more sophisticated taste for adventure since those glory days of childhood.
You and your groom got through the ceremony. The glass is broken. You spent time alone. The guests are enjoying cocktails. It’s time for your grand entrance. You’ll probably show off your first dance. And most likely, right after, you and all of your closest family and friends will gallop onto the dance floor and the Jewish instinct kicks in “Fiddler on the Roof”-style: you and your wedding guests grapevine your way into a festive hora dance.
The Talmud in Bava Metzia (102a) states: “Our Rabbis taught: If one rents a house to his neighbor, the tenant must provide a mezuzah. But when the tenant leaves the house, the tenant must not take the mezuzah, unless it was leased from a non-Jew, in which case, the mezuzah should be removed when the tenant leaves.”
It happens to the best of us. We go into relationships with the best of intentions. We fall in love. We talk about the future together. We get engaged. We get married. Sometimes our relationships end abruptly through death or betrayal. Sometimes they just run their course.
Giving charity is one of the best known precepts of “religious” life. Making loans, however, is not. The Torah instructs (Deuteronomy 15:7-8) that if there is a needy person within your gates, “…you shall surely open your hands to him and shall surely lend (v’ha’a’vayt ta’a’vee’tenu–literally “lend, you shall lend him”) him sufficient for his need in that which he wants.”
I try to use the stage to spread love for the Jews, both with positive Jewish humor, and by simply being a Jewish guy the crowd likes. I am often the first Jew a lot of people meet, which is a ridiculous responsibility. To counteract prevalent stereotypes, I have to make sure to tip well, avoid klezmer music, and never eat the blood of Christian babies. Or bacon.
This day in history: 501 C.E., the coastal city of Acco (Israel) was destroyed in an earthquake.
One of the blessings recited every morning is: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who spreads the earth above the waters.” This blessing expresses our gratitude to God for making the ground beneath our feet firm.