Article Archive for August 2011
Death is the great equalizer, and once people have passed away it is irrelevant how wealthy, popular or influential they were or were not. Jewish burial customs are particularly sensitive to this issue, as testified to by the burial custom of the modest shroud.
“It was the first and only message like that I had ever received from JDate because that night, I cancelled my membership. I knew this relationship was about to take off!”
Anytime we can’t find or achieve something we really want, it’s hard not to get discouraged. But try to keep some perspective. The average age of marriage for men today is 28 — which means half are older than 28. Also, the more education a person has, the later it is he or she will probably marry. You are still well within the “normal” range that life partnerships happen these days.
On Tisha B’Av, the ninth of Av, one of the ways that the Jewish people demonstrate their mourning over the loss of both Holy Temples is by refraining from Torah study that brings pleasure to those who study it. Therefore, it is considered appropriate to read only the more somber texts, specifically: 1) Talmudic sections dealing with the destruction of the Temples, and the laws of mourning and excommunication (such as those found in the Talmudic Tractate Moed Katan), 2) the Book of Job, 3) the admonitions and rebukes of the Book of Jeremiah, and 4) the Book of Lamentations.
“Turns out we grew up at the same synagogue and attended the same religious school, same summer camp and same college.”
Tonight, at sunset, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar begins. Known as the Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the observances of the day are very similar to Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In addition to fasting (no food or drink) for a 25 hour period from sundown Monday to nightfall on Tuesday, additional restrictions include refraining from washing, using lotions, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.
“I look forward to beginning the next chapter of my life with my new love, Ilana, and our newly extended family.”
This Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon, the Sabbath of the Vision (prophecy), named after the opening word of the Book of Isaiah, the first 27 verses of which are read as the haftarah on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av (the Ninth of Av).
“Eric was one of those guys I kept talking to on JDate but never met for ‘whatever’ reason.”
Today is “Twins Day.” Twins have long been a source of great fascination for many, as demonstrated by the vast number of studies and stories that have used twins as their subject. Twins, however, do not seem to be a subject that fascinates the Torah, but more of a parenthetical note when they occur. In fact, only two sets of Biblical twins are mentioned by name.