The Torah gives us a paradigm. Each Israelite in the desert contributed a half-shekel to keep a census and maintain the sanctuary.
Maybe I’m just jealous of the free offers being made to young Jews today, but part of me worries that down the road, these well-meaning programs and proposals — like trips to Israel, High Holy Day services, books for children and Shabbat meals — may have a negative effect on a generation that is being coddled and spoiled Jewishly.
We all know that Jews can rock. After all, you only need to listen to Bob Dylan or Gene Simmons of Kiss to know that. But there are also some Jewish singers who are rocking Jewish music... and I don't mean Jon Fishman leading Phish in "Avinu Malkeinu."
Also published in the Jewish Week's Fall Education supplement.
Many 30- and 40-year-olds will remember when a cart with a computer and monitor was wheeled into the classroom and students formed a single line waiting for a chance to use the device for a few minutes. Perhaps it was typing out a few lines of code in BASIC to move the cursor several inches along the screen, or perhaps it was creating an elementary art design.
When it comes to Jewish prayer, there are two schools of thought: keva and kavannah. Keva means "rote" and refers to the fixed prayers that are set forth in the siddur (Jewish prayer book), while kavvanah is the free and spontaneous inner devotion of the individual.