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Torah

Bal Tashchit: The Three Rs

Friday, January 1st, 2016

To till and to tend: one of the first mitzvot given to us by God in the Torah. Truly, we are the caretakers of this earth and of all the living things. (Including each other! but that’s for another day…) Bal Tashchit is the mitzvah that says, Do Not Destroy/Waste. It [...]

The Torah compared to a Fig Tree

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Why is the Torah compared to a fig tree? The fruit of most trees – the olive tree, the vine, and the palm tree – is collected all at once, while that of the fig tree is collected a bit at a time. So, too, regarding the Torah. Today a person learns [...]

How Do You Wake Up?

Monday, March 24th, 2014

This year for Pesach, what will YOU do to wake up and open your eyes to the miracles in your life? 
     When the people of Israel crossed through the Red Sea, they witnessed a great miracle. Some say it was the greatest miracle that ever happened. On that day they saw a sight more [...]

Taste the Rainbow- A mystical Shavuot art project and lesson

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Make a “Portrait of the Divine” based on the Zohar… 
Teacher Review
Exodus 24: 9-11 (translation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan)
9Moses then went up, along with Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, and seventy of Israel’s elders.
10They saw a vision of the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a sapphire brick, like the essence of a clear [blue] sky.
11[God] did not unleash His power against [...]

Into the Wilderness and Up The Mountain – A Shavuot lesson and project for ages 2-5

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

A little messy, a lot of fun.  A hands-on Shavuot art project and lesson for ages 2-5.
* This holiday is sponsored by the numbers 7 and 10*
Teacher Review
Exodus 19:14 -17 Moses climbs up the mountain, the people prepare, the mountain shakes with excitement
Exodus 20: 2-18  Ten Commandments
For the art project
Supplies:  sturdy paper, glue, glue bowls [...]

Halachah

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Ha-la-CHAH is the collective body of religious Jewish law. This includes biblical law (mitzvot), Talmudic and Rabinnic law as well as customs and traditions.

Mitzvah

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Mitz-VAH is Hebrew for commandment. Usually mitzvah is translated as “a good deed” which is generally true, but not entirely the same as a commandment from Torah. There are 613 Mitz-VOT (plural) in the Torah.
I like to think about mitzvot as our Rules for Good Living.  The thing about mitzvot, is that we do them [...]

K’tuvim

Monday, February 26th, 2007

K’tu-VIM is the third and final section of the Tanach. The Hebrew word k’tuvim means, “writings.” This section includes the Psalms, Proverbs, and the book Song of Songs. It includes the stories of Ruth, Esther, and Job as well as Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Ecclesiastes. Additional books in K’tuvim are the Chronicles and [...]

Mishnah and Talmud

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Mish-NAH and Tal-MOOD
Mishnah is the kernal of Talmud, the main post-biblical Rabinnic writing. The Mishnah is a compilation of Jewish practice up until the end of the 2nd century. According to the Rabbis there were two Torahs delivered at Sinai. One to be written down (the Five Books of Moses) and one [...]

The Rabbis

Monday, February 26th, 2007

The term, “The Rabbis” was an academic title for scholars or experts of the Oral Torah. The term was used for the first time after the destruction of the holy Temple, 70CE. The Rabbis made it their work to explain the laws and the ideas stated in the Torah. Led by Rabbi [...]