It’s Night and Day

With the long winter nights now starting so early, I have started to think about day and night and their significance in Jewish thought.  We know that in secular law, the calendar day starts and ends at midnight, however, in Jewish tradition the day starts the evening beforehand. So for example, Shabbat, starts Friday evening around sunset and it ends on Saturday night when the stars come out. So both ...

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Aquariums and Ikarim

I am reading “Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology” to prepare for my upcoming Torah Safaris of the Camden Adventure Aquarium and the Atlanta Aquarium.  The author, although putting the word “design” in quotes, keeps using the word when talking about the incredible senses, anatomy and structure of fish that are perfectly designed, oops, adapted for its aquatic environment.   Now, to me reading about the creatures of the sea (about 30,000 ...

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Jacob and Esau

One of the most fundamental principles of Judaism is the belief in human free will. No one is born righteous, and no is born evil; it is the person’s choice to be good or evil. Morality, reward and punishment, and indeed the entire purpose of creation, are all predicated upon free will.  In this week’s portion, Toldot, the Torah describes Esau as a “man of the field, a cunning hunter” ...

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