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Cantor vs. Rabbi: Who Should Join You Under the Chuppah?
June 22, 2011 – 11:57 am
Cantor vs. Rabbi: Who Should Join You Under the Chuppah?

By Jewish law, all that’s required to make a marriage official is a ketubah and a couple of witnesses. A Jewishly knowledgeable person who steers the wedding rituals can “officiate” the chuppah ceremony and oversee the ketubah ceremony. Also according to Jewish law, you need two kosher witnesses, who, depending on your Jewish affiliation, can be either men or women, related or not to the bride and groom, and practice varying degrees of Jewish observance including the laws of kashrut (eating and keeping kosher). If you have a family rabbi, this would be something to clarify before the wedding day to make sure you’re following correct laws and traditions. As long as your ceremony officiate is ordained by your state, he or she can guide the ceremony for it to count Jewishly and civilly. The ceremony, if it is religious-based, simply requires a license that is filed with the secular authorities (your state) and it ends up fulfilling both secular and Jewish law.

The Missing Ark
June 22, 2011 – 7:19 am
The Missing Ark

Mention the Ark of the Covenant and most people think of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the 1981 movie starring Harrison Ford. The real Ark of the Covenant, created concurrently with the other vessels of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), was placed in the Holy of Holies of the First Temple by King Solomon. The question of the present location of the Ark is debated by the sages. When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, was the Ark taken into captivity by the Babylonians or was it hidden?

Marisa and Jared
June 21, 2011 – 1:37 pm | One Comment
Marisa and Jared

After an incredible seven hour first date, Jared sent me a text message first thing in the morning, letting me know he had a great time and would love to get together again.”

No Sin For The Humble
June 21, 2011 – 6:37 am
No Sin For The Humble

Unfortunately, it would not be difficult to write a list of powerful men whose careers have been toppled by the scandal of adultery. Alas, we often say, sarcastically, what more can one expect of politicians, sports stars, celebrities, etc? The connection between wealth and power to the vice of adultery is, sadly, nothing new. “Rabbi Hiyya Ben Abbas said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: Every man in whom is haughtiness of spirit will in the end stumble through an [unfaithful] married woman” (Sotah 4b).

Angela and Derek
June 20, 2011 – 11:59 am | One Comment
Angela and Derek

On the same day that Derek and I had our marathon first date in Orlando, his sister Alexis had her first date with Andrew in NYC. By coincidence, they had also met on JDate.  Alexis and Andrew married last November on almost the same date we will wed this year!

Don’t Wake Dad
June 20, 2011 – 3:05 am
Don’t Wake Dad

You receive a telephone call offering you ten million dollars; all you have to do is go upstairs and wake your father from his mid-day nap. Who’d hesitate?

Zucchini Blossoms
June 17, 2011 – 2:01 pm
Zucchini Blossoms

Firm and fresh blossoms that are only slightly open are cooked to be eaten, with pistils removed from female flowers, and stamens removed from male flowers. The stem on the flowers can be retained as a way of giving the cook something to hold onto during cooking, rather than injuring the delicate petals, or they can be removed prior to cooking, or prior to serving. There are a variety of recipes in which the flowers may be deep fried as fritters or tempura (after dipping in a light tempura batter), stuffed, sautéed, baked, or used in soups.

Eat Your Vegetables
June 17, 2011 – 6:22 am
Eat Your Vegetables

In Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers 3:21), the sages declare that without flour, there can be no Torah. In Jewish texts, “flour,” meaning bread, often refers to material sustenance. However, the sages were also aware of the importance of vegetables: “Rabbi Huna said: No scholar should dwell in a town where vegetables are unobtainable” (Eiruvin 55b).

Meeting Someone Online: Luck or Work?
June 16, 2011 – 11:05 am | One Comment
Meeting Someone Online: Luck or Work?

Online dating isn’t easy, which many people don’t realize.  They think they can just throw a profile up there and wait.  No way, Jose.  That’s like walking into a bar and just plopping yourself on a stool without even trying to make conversation with anyone.  It’s just not going to work.  I also realized that many people do not want to put in the work, which is what led to starting my own business, A Little Nudge.  I give people a little nudge in their online dating lives because I truly think it’s the way to meet.

Zebulun, Son of Jacob
June 16, 2011 – 7:09 am
Zebulun, Son of Jacob

Throughout her life, Leah suffered from the terrible insecurity of knowing that her husband loved her sister Rachel more than he loved her. Each time she bore a child, the statement she made before naming him, reflected that sentiment (Simeon: “Because God has heard that I am unloved, He has given me this one also.” Levi: “This time my husband will become attached to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Issachar: “God has granted me my reward, because I gave my maidservant to my husband”–Genesis 29:33, 34 and 30:18).

According to the Midrash, Jacob and his wives knew that he was destined to have 12 sons. Therefore, when Leah gave birth to her sixth son, she joyfully announced: “God has endowed me with a good dowry, now my husband will dwell with me because I have born him six sons” (Genesis 30:20). The Hebrew word used for dwell, yizbelayni, infers, according to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, a “home that completely corresponds to all the purposes, wishes and demands of the one for whom it is designed.” Because Leah felt that she had finally created a place where Jacob could feel so at home, she named her son Zebulun.

Almost nothing is known of the life of Zebulun other than his name. However, something of his personality can be understood from the death-bed blessing that he received from his father: “Zebulun will live at a haven of seas, he himself will become a haven for ships, and his extreme province will reach Sidon” (Genesis 49:13). According to the sages, Zebulun and his descendants were merchants of great skill, who used their acquired wealth to support Issachar’s study of Torah.

The referral to Sidon, according to Rabbi Hirsch, teaches us further that Zebulun was, in fact a modest person who did not go farther than the great, near-by seaport in order to acquire even more riches.

Copyright © 2011 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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