Much of Jewish life is built around community. Jews often live close to each other, often with a synagogue or synagogues at the center of their neighborhoods. As important as living in a community is, Judaism has always put a premium on maintaining individual privacy.
I visited Sonoma County for the first time this year. Until then, my idea of a California wine was audacious and obtrusive, like that guy or girl (we all know one) who gets to the party and hijacks the conversation. Never before have I been so happy to be wrong.
While Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak 1040-1105) is considered the premier commentator on the Torah and the Talmud, he is also noted as the grandfather of Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir (1100-1171). Also known as Rabbeinu Tam (our teacher, the complete*), Rabbi Yaakov ben Meir was one of the most important of the Talmudic scholars known as the Tosafists and a leader of his generation.
For 400 years prior to World War I, Palestine was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. Although the Turks generally allowed Jews to live in peace, by the late 19th century, the government of Palestine had grown inefficient and corrupt. And while they permitted the sale of land to Jews, these lands had been controlled by absentee landlords who had generally stripped their properties of their natural resources. Taxation was exorbitant. Local officials and Arab marauders often harassed Jewish settlers.
Historic references to David Salisbury Franks (c. 1740-1793) do not mention anti-Semitism. Franks had a far more serious cloud hanging over him–the unfortunate honor of serving as an Aide-de-Camp to General Benedict Arnold.
The first Jewish settlers in the area now known as Quebec (but which was referred to as “Lower Canada” by the British) arrived with the British soldiers during the “French and Indian War” (1754-1763). (Jews and other non-Catholics had not been permitted in New France.)
One of the lessons I learned from my (similar) breakup is that a big piece of success in any relationship is timing. In addition to having chemistry, and shared life interests and values, both people also have to be “ready” for the kind of long-term challenge marriage ultimately is about.
On June 30, 2008, the first Jewish Treat was posted to Jewishtreats.org. There were less than 50 people on the subscription list. Today, we are proud to say, over 2,500 people receive Jewish Treats in their inboxes every day, and hundreds more read Jewish Treats via links on Twitter and Facebook. The feedback that Jewish Treats has generated over the last three years is a source constant encouragement.
“Five days after we met, just after our second date, I took out a notepad and wrote her a song called ‘Looking for You’… I was sure I had found The One.”
“Behind every great man…” So who were the women who gave their support to Moses and Aaron, the leaders of the Jewish people?