Whenever I write a menu, whether for home or work, I agonize over the sauce for the entrée. The sauce not only moistens the entrée, but it also gives the entire dish more character and heightens flavor. If you think about it, the sauce is really the most important part of the meal.
On the first day of Sivan in the year 2448 (Jewish calendar), only seven weeks after leaving Egypt, the Israelites reached the Wilderness of Sinai. On the desert plain around the mountain, they set up camp and watched as Moses set off toward the mountain to hear God’s will.
There is an oft-cited Midrash (Sifrei, Dvarim 343) describing how God offered the Torah to the other nations of the world before He gave it to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. According to this Midrash, the first nation to whom He offered the Torah asked what was in it. When God told them about the law prohibiting stealing, they couldn’t fathom a life without theft. The next nation reacted incredulously to the prohibition of adultery; they were horrified at the idea that God would monitor people’s bedroom behavior! Another nation was unable to accept the prohibition of murder, and so on. When God asked the Jewish people if they would accept the Torah, there were no questions. They declared: “Na’aseh v’nishma” (“We will do and we will listen”).
Dear Rabbi Singer,
Both my parents are very liberal and don’t have much, if any, religious affiliation. However, I decided that Judaism is the right way of life and have considered myself a Jew for the longest time. I intend to perpetuate it by raising Jewish kids and having a Jewish home. Unfortunately, many Jews I know view me as incomplete when they compare me to themselves, which was not an issue and nothing my over-confident character couldn’t handle.
The holiday of Shavuot has three well-known, and well-loved, customs.
Sometimes women are just plain cruel online, right? I mean, why would a beautiful woman on JDate give you her phone number after a great conversation, agree to a phone call, and then not pick up the phone for a date?!
Shavuot, which we begin celebrating Saturday night (May 26th), is the only holiday in the Torah not listed by the date on which it is to be observed. Rather, the Torah teaches that this festival takes place on the day following the 49th day after the first day of Passover (see Counting of the Omer). The name Shavuot, therefore, reflects the fact that this holiday occurs seven complete weeks (shavuot) after Passover. In mystical terms, the number 7 represents the natural order of things, and so, a complete, natural cycle has occurred.
Einstein once said, “One cannot solve a problem on the same level on which it was created.” In order to transform this world, we need to be able to transcend it. In order to live transcendently (being in the world while at the same time operating from a higher level), we need to overcome our fear of death. Our fear of death keeps us earth-bound in the same way that someone who fears airplanes will never be able to fly. When we fear death, everything in this world takes on a distorted significance. Every loss is an ultimate loss, every deprivation is like the end of the world, every blow to our self is a fatal blow. That is because this world becomes all that we have, and that makes us hold onto everything with (pardon the expression) a death-grip.
In 1947, when the United Nations approved the plan to partition the British Mandate of Israel into a Jewish state and an Arab state, they determined that Jerusalem would be an “international city” for a period of ten years. The plan was approved by the Jews, and the day after it came into effect, the new state was attacked by the surrounding Arab states (as the Arabs had not accepted the partition plan).
Carol’s cousin made her sign up for JDate. After two dates, she met Lee!