Technology and Tikkun Olam: In health and medicine, Israel paves the way

A new app — LifeCompass — records incidents and alerts nearby medics and guides them to the scene. (Provided)

Decades have passed since Israelis invented a modernized drip irrigation to maximize limited water supply and make desert bloom, yet Israeli curiosity, drive and ingenuity toward excellence continues to thrive. Israelis are determined to lead in solving some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges. Working on the precepts of tikkun olam, Israel persists at the… Read More

Here’s the Buzz! Bee population has been on steady decline for past decade

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Ale-ks)

The taste of apples and honey at Rosh Hashanah may make the holiday a little bit sweeter, but a few not-so-sweet trends are endangering some of the world’s most efficient and important pollinators. The bee population has been declining steadily since 2006, when the concept of Colony Collapse Disorder surfaced. CCD occurs when a colony’s… Read More

Apples All-Around From rootstock to Rosh Hashanah

(Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/olga_gl)

Jews around the world will bite into succulent apples dipped in honey in the upcoming week, but while Rosh Hashanah only lasts two nights, growing a bountiful apple orchard can take years. Rabbi Susan Grossman, from Beth Shalom Congregation, explained there are several reasons that Jews eat apples on Rosh Hashanah. Aside from the fruit’s… Read More

Shmitah: A Chance to Step Back Agricultural sabbatical year gives Pearlstone and others valuable downtime

Greg Strella, farm director at the Pearlstone Center, stands with cover crops Pearlstone planted to replenish its soil during its shmitah year, which Strella says has been a “rich experience.” (Marc Shapiro)

The Torah mandates that there be a sabbatical year in the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle for Israel. The land is given a rest and agricultural activities — from planting to pruning — are forbidden under Jewish law. In the United States, this shmitah year takes on similar implications, but its message goes… Read More

Let The Wine Flow

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The Rosh Hashanah meal is a festive affair. Traditions abound as to how the evening meal can bring good tidings for the year ahead. While some stick to apple and honey for a sweet new year, others recite a full array of blessings over different symbolic food types, from increasing in numbers like the seeds… Read More

Broken Hallelujah

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The name David means “beloved,” and the Israelite king bearing that name was — and remains — just that. “To this day at almost every celebration, Jews sing ‘David, King of Israel, alive, alive and everlasting,’” writes Rabbi David Wolpe in this brief, lyrical biography of his namesake, Israel’s second king who ruled around the… Read More

What You Need to Know

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TEL AVIV — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shemitah, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course,… Read More

Out of the Woodwork

Schoolteacher Jerry Pepper never dreamed he would sell the lecterns known in the Orthodox Jewish world as shtenders as a side job. As the owner of Pepper’s Podiums, he started retailing solid wood products after meeting an Amish woodworker in Elkton, Ky. Inspired by his work, Pepper opened his own company five years ago in… Read More

A Taste of Honey

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The traditional Rosh Hashanah taste of apples dipped in honey, as well as the challah with honey (instead of salt) taken at meals through the end of Sukkot, invoke thoughts and prayers for a sweet New Year and for the months that follow. “The honey concept is interesting because it’s a contradiction,” observed Rochel Kaplan,… Read More

Dissecting High Holidays Sermons

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  Rabbis literally spend the entire year working on their High Holidays sermons. They keep files, takes notes, collect articles and think in-depth about what timeless topics will strike a chord with congregants. “A Shabbos sermon is usually one note,” said Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Beth Tfiloh Congregation. “A holiday sermon is more of a… Read More