The Tragedy of Translation

As we enter the month of Kislev, and the weather turns colder, we start thinking about Chanukah, menorahs, latkes and donuts.  Some of us, of the more nerdy variety, start to think of Philo Judeaus, the Septuagint, Alexandria and Greek tragedies.  One aspect of the Greek opposition to Torah was their objection to the idea that any one people could be “chosen” or have a Divine revelation.  Their campaign against ...

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Jacob's Ladder

Visions of G-d?

In this week’s parsha, VaYetzei, Jacob has a vision of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, on which angels ascend and descend.  At the top of the ladder, in his dream, he “sees” G-d standing over him.  Now, there are many, many prophetic visions in the Torah, and many expressions that seem to assign some type of form or even body to G-d.  We always understand these as allegory and ...

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Cellphones are Fantastic – For 6 days

I did a lot of traveling over summer – I was in Israel, Vietnam, Thailand, Sicily and Southern Italy.  It was incredibly helpful and convenient to my phone with me.  I was able to be in contact with the other people in the group with whom I was traveling; I was able to be in contact with my family, and the office.  I was able to book hotels and confirm ...

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Yahrzeit Candle

Kaddish

I have been saying Kaddish, (a prayer that is said by mourners), for my mother OB”M who passed away about six months ago.  Kaddish  was instituted almost 2,000 years ago and is mentioned in numerous places in the Mishnah and Talmud.  Kaddish is written in Aramaic, the spoken language of the Jews in Israel and Babylon when the Mishnah and Talmud were written.  Kaddish literally means “sanctification;” the theme of ...

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