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Just A Half Shekel
Just A Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shekalim, the Sabbath of Shekels. The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read as the Maftir portion after the regular weekly Torah reading has concluded. It refers to God’s c…

What’s in the Book – Malachi
What’s in the Book – Malachi

The Book of Malachi is the last of the Twelve Prophets, and there is no reference to its historical period in the text other than the fact that sacrifices are once again being offered in the Temple.

Waiting For Ice Cream
Waiting For Ice Cream

According to the Talmudic sage Mar Ukva, his father waited an entire day between eating meat and eating dairy in order to avoid transgressing the prohibition of eating milk and meat together.

NJOP – A History
NJOP – A History

It all began in December 1975, when Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, then the Educational Director at Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, launched the now acclaimed “Beginners Service.”

It’s A Segulah
It’s A Segulah

segulah is an action that is reputed to lead to a change in one’s fortunes.

Is It Almost Spring?
Is It Almost Spring?

Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Groundhog Day, when thousands breathlessly wait to see if the groundhog is scared into six more weeks of hibernation by the sight of his shadow. This tradition reveals one constant truth, the universal desire for spring.&nbsp…

The Tribe of Asher
The Tribe of Asher

As the forefathers of the tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob impacted on the history and behavior of the tribe members who descended from them.

Have You Found the Purpose of Your Life?
Have You Found the Purpose of Your Life?

How would your life change if you found its purpose, and if every minute of it was full of meaning? All dissatisfaction would disappear. All depressive feelings and all fatigue would vanish. Fear would be replaced with courage and determination. Are you looking for greater purpose in your life?

Take Two Tablets
Take Two Tablets

Most artistic representations of the Ten Commandments present two rectangular tablets rounded off at the top. As pleasing to the eyes as this rounded design may be, tradition suggests that the luchot (tablets) were “six handbreadths in length, six in breadth and three in thickness” (Baba Batra 14a). To clarify, the luchot were large, thick and square (and incredibly heavy).

Character List
Character List

Throughout the Talmud there are numerous lists of character traits that are good, bad and otherwise. While some of these lists appear to be simple assessments of what would now be called basic psychology, in each list there is something more to be learned about a person’s ability to connect with the Divine.

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