Each Of Us Deserves To Imagine Our Future: Lessons From Lech Lecha

The difficulty of paying attention while praying is so well known that it is a source of mirth. Tom Sawyer squirms until the minister's "Amen," after which he feels free to capture an annoying insect. Our sages were well aware of the mind's tendency to wander.  They rarely made concentration during prayer absolutely mandatory. One exception is the end of the first paragraph of the Amidah (silent devotion): "Blessed are You, Lord, the Shield of Abraham." The origin of the prayer perhaps explains the need to concentrate during its recitation.

The Akeidah: Faith And Trust

10/14/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 5:52 p.m.
Torah: Genesis 18:1-22:24
Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37
Havdalah: 6:51 p.m.

Editor's Note: 5774 will be a special treat for online readers of "Sabbath Week." The Jewish Week is thrilled to bring our weekly Torah commentary together with artist Archie Rand's "Chapter Paintings:" one accompanies, illustrates and illuminates every Torah portion. The art will be available first on the Jewish Week's homepage slide carousel, and then on our Arts page carousel... that is, until the next week, when the next portion, painting and dvar Torah take their turn. Read more about the artist and his work here.

Fred Ehrman

Abraham And The World War

10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Candlelighting, Readings:
Shabbat candles: 6:03 p.m.
Torah: Gen. 12:1-17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:-27-41:16
Havdalah: 7:02 p.m.

Sandra Rapoport

Guarding The Public Trust

06/06/2013 - 20:00

The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Though the Torah is, by anyone’s definition, an ancient document, its “cast of characters,” if you will, often portray sensitivities that are strikingly relevant to contemporary concerns.   One area in particular in which this is evident is in the responsibility of those in leadership positions to be worthy of the trust that others put in them, particularly with regard to fiduciary duty.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

How Do We Relate To Morally Difficult Texts In Jewish Tradition?

02/26/2013 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

We have all become familiar with the tactics of bigots who distort our religious beliefs or make up horrible lies to advance their hatred. Fortunately, most people in our pluralistic society recognize and reject these tactics.

But how would we respond to a skeptic who points to the morally troubling verse, “When...the Lord your God delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must utterly doom them to destruction: grant them no terms and give them no quarter” (Deut. 7:1-2)?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

From Loss, Understanding

04/30/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Why does God command Abraham to sacrifice his son, only to countermand the command at the last moment?

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