In recent weeks, several celebrities have achieved notoriety for making anti-Semitic slurs. Their slurs were far from original and, thank God, far from potent. Indeed, such attacks against the Jewish people are hardly new. Even the authors of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, however, were not original in their intentions.
With Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant as a launch partner, JPicks’ very first deal, offering $50 worth of deli-licious sandwiches, soups and salads for only $25, good for redemption at either of the deli’s two locations (Northridge or Westlake Village), sold out completely before lunch.
Biblical scholars study his Torah commentaries, poets read his verse, grammarians look to his linguistic work and a lunar crater is named in his honor. Meet Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra.
In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying:
On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel represents the positive forces and one angel represents the negative forces. When the person arrives home and finds the candles lit, the table set and the house in proper order [in other words, a house prepared for Shabbat], the positive angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The negative angel must affirm this and say “Amen.” If, however, the house is not ready for Shabbat, the negative angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The positive angel must affirm this and say “Amen.”
The number seven plays a significant role in Jewish thought. There are seven days of the week, with the seventh day being the holy Sabbath. The holidays of Passover and Sukkot are each celebrated for seven days. In ancient Israel, every seventh year the land is to lie fallow (shemita) and every seventh cycle of seven years was* a Jubilee year (Yovel).
After the soul departs, it journeys to the gates of heaven where it must present its case for entry. The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states, “When an individual is brought before the Heavenly court for judgment, the person is asked:
1. Did you conduct your [business] affairs honestly (literally – with faithfulness or trustworthiness)?
You might do it in a dimly lit bar, or in the harsh fluorescent light of your office’s break room. It happens in coffee shops and cafes, over turkey at Thanksgiving and lox and bagels at Yom Kippur break fast. Wherever it occurs, schmoozing, or the art of small talk, has embedded itself into the American Jewish way of life.
As history moves from the age of the Industrial Revolution into the age of technology, the western world has become a service based society. Yet as much as we depend upon the services we receive (someone delivering our groceries, laundering our clothes, preparing our coffee, etc.), the modern age has created a society of individuals, many of whom feel entitled to the services they receive.
Last night’s big Oscar winner was The King’s Speech, the true tale of how King George VI learned to overcome his stutter before ascending the throne after his older brother’s abdication.
The observance of Shabbat is the fourth of the Ten Commandments, listed in both Exodus and Deuteronomy. One would expect to find no difference in the wording of the Ten Commandments from one Biblical Book to the next. However, the wording of the Fourth Commandment differs in two major ways.