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Editorial & Opinion | Musings

11/19/2012 - 19:00 | | Musings

When the cantor repeats the Amidah, there is one prayer the congregation must say for itself — the Modim, the prayer of thanksgiving. One statement in the Talmud teaches that in the time of the Messiah, all the sacrifices will be abolished save one — the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Even in the perfect age, there will be a need to offer thanks.

11/12/2012 - 19:00 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Musings

The first mention of love in the Torah occurs in Genesis 22 when God tells Abraham to offer up Isaac, “whom you love.”

Why should The Torah choose this improbable moment to mention love for the first time? For a moment let us set aside all the other questions involved in the very difficult story to ponder why love is introduced here.

10/31/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings

Prioritize your values. Decide what matters most to you and will matter most to those who will follow.

10/22/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings

“All kinds of wood from all kinds of trees may be used to build the fire on the altar, except for the wood of the olive tree and the vine, because olive oil and wine are used in the sacrificial service. Hence, the fruit have saved the trees.” (Pesikta Zutra, Lev. 4b).

Although the Talmud gives additional reasons for not using these two woods, Rabbi Norman Lamm uses this midrashic text to teach a beautiful lesson. First, there is the tenderness of reckoning the wine and oil so beneficial as to preserve their source from the fire of the altar.

10/15/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings

“Love cannot live where there is no trust.” Those are the words of renowned writer on mythology, Edith Hamilton. From her study of the steady currents in human myth making, she recognized that for love — as for friendship or any deep relationship — trust is essential.

10/09/2012 - 20:00 | | Musings

In Judaism the oral Torah was intended to be just that — unwritten. That way teaching would be more fluid, represented by human beings and not pages alone. But when catastrophe struck the Jewish people, the oral Torah was compiled and fixed in the Mishna and Talmud so it would not be lost.