In this book, Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. discusses the issue that in the earliest version of Genesis there is no creation story or flood. Abraham appears out of nowhere in Canaan. Isaac is killed for his father’s sins and Jacob and his seven sons are the founders of Israel. The brothers don’t sell Joseph down to Egypt and Judah doesn’t exist. Genesis: Israel’s Origins traces the slow development of this uniquely divergent account into the canonical text of the Book of Genesis.
"Yom Kippur is an exhausting day. By the end of the day, we’re tired, we’re hungry, and we’re just ready to be done. But traditionally, even if you’re exhausted, there’s a mitzvah to fulfill the next day: on the day after Yom Kippur, you’re supposed to build your sukkah.What’s fascinating is that the day after Yom Kippur was also seen as the first day of building for the two most important structures in Jewish history—the mishkan (home for the Ark of the Covenant), and the First Temple in Jerusalem.
This week, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard announced that she will be ending her life on November 1. Maynard has an aggressive form of brain cancer and has received a terminal diagnosis. Rather than putting her family and herself through the ordeal of a painful and drawn-out death, she has chosen physician assisted suicide, which is legal in Oregon. “Sometimes, like in the case of Brittany Maynard, it may be that choosing to end one’s life is actually in its own way an affirmation of life itself,”
"I recently had the privilege of serving on a Beit Din (Rabbinic Court) for an individual who was converting to Judaism. It was, as I have found all prior instances, a powerful and deeply moving experience. Listening to this individual explain his Jewish journey and the reasons he wanted to convert nearly moved me to tears...But there was one aspect of my conversation with the individual that troubled me.
"...Many people believed that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – like “Bring Back Our Girls” from May or “Kony 2012” video two years ago – was a form of “slacktivism.” People could click “Like” or share a video, and feel good about “doing something to help the world,” but in reality, they would not be making that much of an impact.
"When you think about what it means to be spiritual, find spirituality, or anything remotely approximating those experiences, what do you think of? Do you find your attention turning to experiences and images of relative solitude? Of solitary walks on the beach or perhaps, lonely mountain peaks? That is certainly one spiritual type. But not the only one...."
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"You don't have to be Jewish to find meaning, especially this year, in Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which begins Friday at Sundown. You simply need to appreciate that we live in challenging times and that there is real wisdom to be found in the Judeo-Christian tradition — wisdom that can help guide us through such times. Here's how:
"TWD contributor, Amy Shouse wrote a recent post about how we rush to judgment and that "until we know a person's whole story and take a moment to think what it might be like to 'climb into their skin,' we'll miss out on discovering the empathy we have within ourselves..." She was right on. This insight is taken radically and unnervingly further on Yom Kippur, the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar, which begins tomorrow evening...."
During a recent NFL game Kansas City Chiefs Safety, Husain Abdullah hit the headlines when he was penalized after performing a traditional Muslim prayer after scoring a touchdown. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield links this incident with the upcoming Holt Vs Hobbs case at the Supreme Court and considers whether our institutions are hostile to Islam, or religion in general?
"Chrysalis — a hard shell surrounding a young moth in the process of maturation. From the greek, chrysos, meaning gold. Chrysalis is also the name of TEDxFultonStreet’s 2014 conference, and like the name, included people with stories and ideas of how, after a bit of maturation/protection, and the willingness to break out of the shells which often surround us/our hearts/our minds, we can discover golden opportunities...."