Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was a twentieth century Jewish theologian whose intense commitment to social action brought him to the heart of the Civil Rights movement.
While there are some mitzvot that are obligatory on all people (e.g. the seven laws of Noach), the observance of Shabbat is not one of them. It therefore seems entirely natural that if one needs a forbidden creative labor done on Shabbat, one could simply call on a non-Jew to do it for them.
In the age of “Reality Television,” it is easy to forget how magical the very early television programs were. Many of these series had originally been successful radio programs and therefore brought pre-existing audiences with them when they transferred media. One of the most successful of the early sitcoms was The Goldbergs, which aired its first television episode on January 17,* 1949.
The Israeli flag was specifically designed with stripes to recall the image of a tallit - the Jewish prayer shawl. Its top and bottom blue stripes are reminiscent of the sky and the sea. While some tallits (tallitot) have blue stripes, others have black or white or a veritable rainbow of colors. We need to ask: Why the stripes, and is there any significance to the colors?
Jewish law prohibits the consumption of insects, referring to them as sheratzim, that which swarm. One might think that this dietary restriction is easy, as most people do not generally have a desire to eat ants or spiders or flies. In fact, traditional Jews are extremely careful to avoid consuming insects and make certain to wash and check their produce to remove small bugs that may feed upon it.
Inevitably, the holidays, weekly celebrations (Shabbat) and monthly celebrations (Rosh Chodesh) of the Jewish calendar sometimes overlap.
Years ago, a popular ad for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups showed a person with a bar of chocolate accidentally plunging the chocolate into someone else’s open peanut butter container. The result turned out to be the delicious Reese’s Peanut Butter c…
Rabbi Joseph Breuer (1882 – 1980) was 57 years old when he and his family arrived in New York City from Europe. It was 1939, and the grandson of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch immediately set about rebuilding the German Jewish community in New York City.
The Pharaoh of the Exodus was a cold-hearted man whose fear of losing power to the growing minority of the Israelites led him to enslave them.
The concept of “being spiritual” is often assumed to be a fairly recent one, resulting, perhaps, from the enlightenment’s deconstruction of organized religion. The idea of spirituality – how to create, live and grow in a relationship with t…