Article Archive for November 2010
The Chair Scare: The feeling of butterflies about going up in a chair a handful of feet above the ground while holding onto a napkin, grinning with clenched teeth through the tight corset of the wedding dress during a series of bounces and hollers from the crowd.
The Bible commands the owner of a home with a flat roof to put up a ma’akeh – a fence – around the roof, so that blood will not be on the owner’s hands (Deuteronomy 22:8). Sefer Hachinukh, an anonymously written book detailing the 613 commandments (13th century) explains the underlying principle of the command to build a ma’akeh (Commandment 546): In our lives it is imperative that we take nothing for granted as far as safety goes.
If you were to strike up a conversation with “JSLeibowitz,” age 47, while cruising through JDate, you might not realize you were talking to one of the most famous Jewish men in the country. Of course, the chances that Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz would be looking for a date are slim, because he’s happily married with two kids, but that’s beside the point. The real question is, why did the man better known as Jon Stewart, who commands some of the highest ratings on television and drew 215,000 people to last weekend’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington, DC, lose the Leibowitz?
I imagine it’s much more difficult to be a Jew on Christmas than it is to be a Christian on Hanukah. You don’t find many Hanukah specials about families getting stranded in an airport learning the true meaning of the menorah.
According to Jewish belief, when people pass away, they move on to sojourn in the “next world,” to hopefully enjoy the spiritual rewards they have earned from their good acts in “this world.”
“All of a sudden I was looking into the most beautiful pair of green, smiling eyes… My heart started beating like crazy and it was love at first sight for both of us.”
Halacha (Jewish Law) can be defined, literally, as “the way of walking” or “the path.” This single word defines Judaism’s unique legal system. Some paths are straight, others bend. So too, most aspects of Jewish law are defined by strictly objective reasoning, while others are determined by employing elements of subjectivity in their implementation.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines subjectivity as “Proceeding from or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world.” One way in which this is reflected in halacha is in the importance of intention. For instance, if one has recited the blessing for an apple (fruit – boray p’ri ha’etz), it is a question of intent whether the blessing must be repeated if a pear is eaten five minutes later. If the person intended to eat both fruits when the blessing was recited, then it is not repeated. If, however, the person intended only to eat the apple, but found that he/she was still hungry, a second boray p’ri ha’etz is recited.
With intent, comes the more challenging question of being honest with one’s self. Thus, if one eats pizza intending it only to be a snack (and eats a limited amount), a m’zo’note blessing for grains may be recited. But, if it is intended as a meal, ha’mo’tzee (for bread or a meal) is said.
One’s sense of honesty comes into play in many contexts. On a minor fast day, the fast may be broken if one feels ill. But what does that mean? Who can measure another person’s discomfort? One has to be honest that they aren’t feeliing ill just because they do not wish to fast. (In that same vein, an ill person needs to accept the fact that he/she is not fulfilling a mitzvah by fasting if his/her health is at risk.)
Jewish law is not just a civil legal code for managing society, but a way of life to allow each person’s soul to truly flourish.
Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.
Dating can be nerve-racking enough, but add in the anxiety of planning your first few date night outfits and the anxiety increases tenfold! I turned to celebrity stylist Sandy Hapoienu to find out what the best possible date night outfits would be for a first meet and greet, meeting at a trendy bar, a dinner date and a night at the gala. I had the pleasure of working with the talented Sandy Hapoienu at Bloomingdales in White Plains NY for the shoot, and Sandy chose her top picks for the following date nights.
“Mazal Tov!” This Jewish expression has, without question, crossed the societal divide and is a well-known phrase throughout the western world. And while many popular entertainers and media figures may mispronounce it, it is no longer considered a foreign phrase to Americans.
A new workshop hopes to teach single men and women the art of flirting. Sounds like a great idea and, at 35 Euros ($48 US), it seems reasonably priced, too. The only problem is that this seminar takes place at a zoo in Apeldoorn, Holland and the tips being offered come from a bunch of monkeys, apes and chimpanzees.