Article Archive for Year 2010
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.
It has always been noted that the Torah is unique by virtue of the very human terms with which it describes its great heroes. Even the patriarchs and matriarchs are not presented as models of perfection. This is not only true of their actions, but also of them physically. The most prominent example is that of Isaac, of whom it says: “His eyes were too dim to see” (Genesis 27:1).
No matter how much or how little you know, wine is an undeniable conversation starter. Whether you’re looking to heighten your expertise, avoid embarrassment on your next wine bar date, or just happen to have someone cute looking over your shoulder at the moment… crack open a bottle of something light and thought-provoking (a Muscadet Sur Lie comes to mind) and have a go at this quiz.
The leaves are gorgeous and the air has turned crisp. Autumn is in full swing. Can cold and flu season be far behind? No worries if you have this soup stashed in your arsenal.