Article Archive for August 2011
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.
With [two days off of work/Rosh Hashanah] over, it’s time to look forward to Yom Kippur. And as always, that means [apologizing for stuff that isn't my fault/penance], because [God says I have to/it's always good to take stock of where things stand with our loved ones]. So I am writing to set things right with [you jerks who crowd my space/my family and friends]. Since I [can't be bothered to do this in person/couldn't reach out to all of you in time], the mass communication method seems like the [best cop-out/most practical way to go].
Death is part of life, and Jewish law provides guidelines both for dealing with death and for avoiding the spiritual diminution associated with death. When a person mourns another’s death, that person’s soul is deeply affected. During the 22 years that Jacob mourned the death of Joseph (who was not actually dead), it is said that he had no ruach hakodesh, Divine inspiration.
The assumption that every Jewish adult has had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration is presumptuous. The assumption that every Jewish adult (other than a convert) has become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is logical. After all, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah means only that a man or woman has passed the age of 13 or 12 (respectively), and is therefore recognized as having reached the age of personal religious responsibility.
“My world was about to turn upside down because the eternal bachelor inside me was finally being kicked out to make room for the loving relationship I had always dreamed of!”
The months of the Jewish year are called in the Torah by number only (the first month, second month, etc.) Over time, during the exile, the months assumed the names given to them by host cultures and thus “Jewish” months as we know them today are actually Babylonian in origin. These names were so common, that 8 out of 12 are mentioned in the later books of the prophets.