A Song Of Hope In A Time Of Despair

A national anthem written more than 50 years before the birth of the state for which it was composed, “Hatikvah” has served as a source of hope and inspiration for Jews who have found themselves in the most dire of circumstances. During the darkest hours of the Holocaust, Jews defied their tormentors by singing the… Read More

How Kemach Is Tackling Israel’s Socioeconomic Problems Head On

“The people demand social justice!” was the cry heard throughout Israel during the summer of 2011. Israelis took to the streets, placards in hand, and protested the injustice that they believed was present in Israeli society. From the price of cottage cheese through to inflated governmental taxes, Israel was angry.

Yom Hashoah’s Necessary Story

This is a season of remembering. Last week, during the holiday of Passover, we remembered one of the defining events of Jewish history — the Exodus from Egypt. On Sunday, our community will gather to remember one of the defining events of our time — the Holocaust, and the effort to annihilate European Jewry some… Read More

A Measure Of Torah

From reading the Book of Ruth to eating cheese blintzes Shavuot is the holiday commemorating God’s giving of the Torah to the ancient Israelites at Mount Sinai. It also is known as the Feast of Weeks and is observed on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. The festival is one of the… Read More

Shavuot—A Festival of Milk And Honey

Shavuot marks the anniversary of the “giving of the Torah.” It was at this time that God revealed himself on Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The Torah is said to be “as nutritious as milk and as sweet as honey,” because so many foods consist of dairy dishes and perhaps a touch… Read More

The Ten Jewish Values Of Shavuot

In the 16th century, the mystics of Safed revitalized Shavuot observance with a brilliant form of adult education – an intellectual seder called “tikkun layl Shavuot.” They put together a selection of the entire Jewish tradition that could be studied in one night. In an age of sound bites, an all night test is too… Read More

Milky Way

In addition to being a singer, and imagining himself an actor, Elvis Presley spent a great deal of time serving as his own interior decorator. At his Memphis home, visitors are invited to admire (if you’re an Elvis fan), or just tolerate (if you’re not), his “jungle room.”

Countdown to Shavuot

From the second night of Pesach (Passover) to Shavuot, the next festival, there are exactly fifty days, seven full weeks linked by a ritual called S’firat ha-Omer, Counting the Omer (named for an offering brought to the priests as the Temple in Jerusalem at this time of year). In a sense, then, Pesach is not… Read More

On Shavuot, An Exploration Of Contemporary Issues Surrounding Conversion

Next week, Jews celebrate Shavuot. The holiday, which falls this year on May 15 and 16, commemorates God’s giving of the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. On Shavuot, it is customary to read The Book of Ruth.  Therein, Ruth the Moabite, also known as a “righteous convert,” tells… Read More

Torah navigation leads to new journeys

On Shavuot, we celebrate being given the Five Books of Moses by opening the gift and reading from the scroll. But first we need to find the place. How do we find our place in the Torah?