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The Blessings of the Amidah: Accept Our Prayers
The Blessings of the Amidah:  Accept Our Prayers

The nineteen blessings of the Amidah make up the core of the Jewish prayer service. The seventeenth blessing begins the final section of the Amidah, the section in which we express our gratitude to God. This blessing, which may appear similar to the pr…

They Make Us Laugh
They Make Us Laugh

When the recent hit comedy Funny People was released in movie theaters, it was frequently noted in the Jewish press that almost all of the comic actors in the film, including the writer/director, were Jewish. And…

Laughter As Medicine
Laughter As Medicine

Visit the children’s ward in a local hospital. Come with a smile, some jokes, and maybe even balloons.

The Morning Blessings-Blessing #15: Strength To The Weary
The Morning Blessings-Blessing #15: Strength To The Weary

Every morning, a set of 15 blessings is recited to express our thanks to God for all the things that we, as healthy human beings, are capable of doing.

Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai Eh’lo’hay’nu Mel…

For The Dogs
For The Dogs

The domestication of dogs is as old as…well, actually, there are varying scientific opinions. The remains of what seem to be domesticated dogs appear among the fossilized remains of the earliest hunter/gatherers. Interestingly enough, this follows th…

Breslov
Breslov

“To always be happy is a great mitzvah.” These famous words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov have inspired the followers of his teachings to strive to achieve true simcha (happiness) in their lives.

The…

But Mom, You Promised
But Mom, You Promised

Parenting is no easy task. From a very early age, children demand and seek gifts and concessions from their parents. And particularly in our overly-materialistic society, children want a lot of things. Far too often a parent finds him/herself placating a crying or misbehaving child by promising them a special treat or a toy, or some other reward, if they’ll just behave.

Gad, the Son of Jacob
Gad, the Son of Jacob

The patriarch Jacob loved his wife Rachel, but it was his wife Leah who initially made him a father (since Rachel was unable to conceive for many years). When Rachel presented her handmaiden Bilhah to Jacob as a wife, in order that she might serve as a surrogate mother to Bilhah’s children, Leah felt herself put at a distinct disadvantage. While she had already borne Jacob four sons, she had not conceived recently and worried that her children would become outnumbered.

The Company You Keep
The Company You Keep

Immediately following the morning blessings, there is a short prayer that asks God for protection from “arrogant people and arrogance itself, from a bad person, a bad companion, a bad neigbor, a bad mishap, a destructive adversary, a harsh trial and a harsh opponent…”

The Thirty-Six
The Thirty-Six

How many truly righteous people do you know? People who not only dedicate themselves to living religious lives but who really strive to serve God, and succeed.

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