Psalm 27 is read twice daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through the holiday of Sukkot in order to help each Jew develop a beautiful relationship with the Divine.
Astronomy plays an important role in Jewish life because it is the means by which we calculate the months and, therefore, the holidays-based on the cycles of the moon.
Nothing is more enjoyable on a Shabbat afternoon than a leisurely stroll with friends and family. Certainly those who are Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant) and attend synagogue spend a great deal of time walking – so how does general Shabbat observance incorporate what is written in Exodus 16:28-30: “And God said to Moses: … He [God] gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day” (Exodus 16:28-30)?
Across North America, most parents are either frantically preparing for, or have just settled into, the new school year. Returning with the yellow buses and the pile of books is the perennial debate about homework: too much or too little? Does it serve no real purpose, or is it an important review tool? etc.
“Courage is a special kind of knowledge: the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared and how not to fear what ought not to be feared.” -David Ben-Gurion
Community day schools have played a vital role in maintaining Jewish life in America, particularly in communities outside of the major Jewish population areas. The graduate of such schools owe a debt of gratitude to the memory of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz (1888 – 1948).
No other beginning is quite as profound as the one we face annually at Rosh Hashana. On the Jewish New Year, God gives all people the chance to face His judgment and wipe their slate clean.
According to the wisdom of the sages, there is no way to “over-spend” on Shabbat. As it is said, “One who lends to Shabbat, Shabbat repays him!”(Shabbat 119a). “Lending to Shabbat” does not mean going into debt to purchase fancy foods or decor, but rather that one should borrow from his/her weekday budget in order to make Shabbat more beautiful.
At most yeshivot, the primary focus of study is on the Oral Law (as compiled in the Talmud and later legal compendiums), leaving the study of the written Tanach (the five books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings) as secondary. Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (known as the Netziv), who headed the Volozhin Yeshiva from 1854 until its closure in 1892, gave a daily lecture on Tanach after morning prayers.
The Malabar Jews of Cochin*, India, claim to have existed as a community since the times of King Solomon’s trade missions for ivory and silver. It is most likely, however, that their ancient community “only” dates back to the destruction of the Second Temple. The most important artifact recording the Jewish presence in the area is the “Sâsanam,” a set of copper plates on which it is recorded that Joseph Rabban was granted a small principality.