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Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Shemini Atzeret The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, a seven-day period for God.  The first day shall be a sacred holiday when you shall not do any laborious work… The eighth day is a sacred holiday to you… it is a time of assembly when you may do no [...]

By | 2017-10-09T13:58:11+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

Symbolism and Rationale of Sukkot

Five days after the solemnity and intensity of Yom Kippur, Sukkot, the festival of joy and happiness, begins. The Torah describes the festival as follows: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the festival of Sukkot, a seven-day period for G-d: On the first day shall be a sacred holy day when you [...]

By | 2017-10-02T10:07:24+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on Symbolism and Rationale of Sukkot

Fasting on Yom Kippur

One of the best-known features of Yom Kippur -- sometimes the only thing people know about this day -- is the fact that we are forbidden to eat and drink.  What is the meaning and purpose of these prohibitions on Yom Kippur? An anthropologist visiting a synagogue on Yom Kippur might think that since no [...]

By | 2017-09-26T04:04:22+00:00 September 24th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on Fasting on Yom Kippur

A Brief History of Time

According to Jewish tradition, before God created the first human being, a debate took place in the heavenly court.  When the Holy One blessed Be He came to create man, the ministering angels formed into groups, some saying that man should be created, some saying that he should not be created… Kindness voted to create [...]

By | 2017-09-17T11:44:23+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on A Brief History of Time

Is Repentance a Commandment?

“For this mitzvah is not far from you; it is not in heaven that you shall say ‘Who will ascend for us to the heavens...’” (Deuteronomy 30:11) Nachmanides states in his commentary that this verse refers to the positive commandment of repentance. He cites two verses as sources for this mitzvah: Deuteronomy 4:30 “...you shall [...]

By | 2017-09-13T02:30:02+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on Is Repentance a Commandment?

The Month of Elul – Preparing for the High Holidays

We have just entered the month of Ellul, the month during which we prepare for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  One of preparations is the addition of certain prayers to our daily service and also the daily sounding of the shofar.  According to Jewish tradition, before G-d created the first human being, a debate took [...]

By | 2017-08-28T02:42:55+00:00 August 28th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on The Month of Elul – Preparing for the High Holidays

Preparing for the High Holidays

We are beginning the month of Ellul this week, which is the month during which we prepare for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  One of preparation is the addition of certain prayers to our daily service and also the daily sounding of the shofar.  According to Jewish tradition, before G-d created the first human being, [...]

By | 2017-08-21T11:34:49+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on Preparing for the High Holidays

The Need for Prayer and the Mitzvah of Prayer

According to a recent survey, about 86% of Americans say they believe in G-d, while 9 out of 10 Americans claimed to “engage in prayer regularly.” Judaism maintains that human beings have a natural desire to seek a relationship with G-d and to connect with a reality beyond the purely physical. The statistics indicate that [...]

By | 2017-08-07T02:54:31+00:00 August 6th, 2017|Shabbat Blog|Comments Off on The Need for Prayer and the Mitzvah of Prayer