With the period of The Three Weeks looming next week, it seems timely to review the essence of the period. From the Fast of the Seventeenth of Tamuz (this year, Sunday July 24) through Tisha B’av (this year, Saturday night August 13 and Sunday August 14 until nightfall), we mourn the loss of our innocence, the loss of our sovereignty, the loss of our land, and the loss of our sanctity as a Nation in whose midst G-d literally abode. ...Continue Reading → Share
It was said of Lev Bronstein, a revolutionary in post-Czarist Russia, who — to dissociate himself from his Jewish roots — changed his name to Leon Trotsky: “It’s the Trotskys who make the revolutions, and the Bronsteins who pay the bill.”
We are 5 million Jews in America, and ten percent of us are Orthodox. So: 500,000 Orthodox Jews . . . 5 million American Jews. There are one or two of these crook situations each and every year. One ...
The Meaning of Tisha B’Av. On Wednesday night –Tisha B’Av — we mark the fall of the First Holy Temple (Churban Bayit Rishon) at the hand of Babylonia and the second Holy Temple (Churban Bayit Sheni) at the hand of Rome. The Talmud lists and discusses several tragedies that happened to the Jewish People on Tisha B’Av. It initially was the night when the Jews in the Wilderness, having heard the Evil Report of 10 Spies who told them that ...Continue Reading → Share
Interesting, how people journey — almost aimlessly — yet en route encounter their kismet
“And G-d said to Abram: ‘Go forth, for your [best interest], from your land and from the place of your birth and from the house of your father to the land I will show you.’”
— Gen. 12:1
Our Torah reading this week begins with G-d bringing Abram to an unknown destination, leading him away from the security of his childhood home, family, and ...Continue Reading → Share
Ginny Thomas and Anita Hill are at it. This is quite a story.
Justice Thomas’s wife, Ginny, calls Prof. Anita Hill at her Brandeis University office and leaves a voice mail that apparently says, according to ABC News:
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“Good morning, Anita Hill. It’s Ginny Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to ...
England has a TV show comparable to “American Idol” – you may even recognize one of the panelists . . . – called “Britain’s Got Talent.” One or two years ago they had a plain-looking middle-aged cell-phone salesman on, and everyone in the audience got ready for a good laugh, the lesser side of the societal bell curve. And then he sang:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEo5bjnJViA
Recently, a 47-year-old “plain-Jane” got on the stage, and you again perceive the audience and panel gearing ...Continue Reading → Share
Actually, of course, the toilet paper thing starts with the principle of not tearing. Tearing is (although sounding destructive) inherent in the construction process. Thus, tearing is not done on Shabbat.
There are exceptions, primarily with the permissibility of tearing food. Food packages may be torn open. On a related principle, toilet paper may be torn if there is no alternative. Human dignity is paramount. For example, one may tear toilet paper in a public facility (say, a hotel) while attending ...Continue Reading → Share