One ancient and ongoing philosophical question is: If God is perfect, and God created the world, can anything that God created be inherently bad? We all know that there is evil in the world, that there are things that appear to be bad. But when one takes the world as a whole, we realize that while the bad is usually unpleasant, difficult to understand and, in truth, terrifying, it is also necessary as a contrast to the incredible good we are given.
It is often noted by commentators on the Torah that whereas Abraham was a charismatic leader, his son, Isaac, was an introvert who spent much of his time studying. This same comparison could be made between the founder of the Chassidic movement, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (aka the Besht), and his successor, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch (c. 1704-1772).
The plaintive cry of exasperation, “Don’t roll your eyes at me!” that parents often address to their children is one that each person should consider saying to him/herself, omitting, of course, the concluding words “at me.”
Just in time for the holiday season, Spark Networks®, owner and operator of JDate®, is spreading a little holiday cheer to the victims of 9/11 and their families. Spark, is donating more than $32,000 to Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit organization committed to serving those impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and terrorist incidents worldwide.
Employees at Spark Networks®, owner and operator of JDate®, fed their souls while helping the hungry to kick off the holiday season. About 50 employees gathered at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank the day before Thanksgiving for a day of service.
The Book of Jonah is one of the best known stories in the Bible and is read on Yom Kippur because of its powerful message of repentance:
God instructs Jonah to go to the Assyrian city of Nineveh and warn them that Nineveh will be destroyed unless the people mend their ways.
There are many ways to thank God for saving your life. Many people donate extra tzedakah (charity) as a means of demonstrating their gratitude. In situations that were particularly harrowing, some people host a seudat ho’da’ah, a feast of gratitude. There is even a special prayer that is recited in synagogue for people who survive life-threatening events; it is known as birkat ha’gomel.
On the first six days of creation, God created (Day 1) the heavens and earth, light as separated from darkness; (Day 2) the firmament to separate the water (Day 3) dry land, a bringing together of the waters of the earth, plant life (Day 4) the sun and…
Born in 1859 in Vienna, Bertha Pappenheim was acutely aware of the advantages given to boys. She wished that she could receive the same education that her younger brother received. Instead, she spent her late teenage years at home doing needlepoint and waiting to be married. The waiting was cut short when she suffered a strange illness with symptoms such as paralysis of the extremities, disturbances of vision, hearing, and speech, and hallucinations. She was treated by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud, who gave her “talk therapy” for what they termed to be hysteria.*
The concept of forgivable bankruptcy–declaring one’s self legally destitute and thereby being forgiven of one’s major debts, is a recent development in history. Until the mid-1800s (in the United States), those unable to repay their debts were sent to debtors’ prison.