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Sep 16th
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We are all kabbalists

We are all kabbalists

KABBALAH means receiving. It means taking in the spiritual energy coming down. It means doing nothing active.

This week’s Torah portion presents the purest opposite: creating something from nothing. Via a neder (“vow”), a person can actually create a piece of Torah. A neder is doing something active to the highest degree. Here, we must expel “vow,” the best available translation of neder — but not good enough.

To unfold all this, we turn to the Torah commentary of Shlomo Carlebach.

The revolutionary of Jewish music, Carlebach is lesser known as a scholar. In fact, he was a master interpreter of the Torah, albeit in his unscholarly idiom. Another singer, Shlomo Katz, has begun to publish Carlebach’s Torah commentary, with two volumes out on Genesis (Urim).

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Conservative Lens

Israel now: A free state vs. a police state

LET’S drop the names “Hamas” and “Israel” and make a list of the characteristics of two imaginary warring entities. We’ll call them Entity A and Entity B. Entity A: • Declares that its raison d’etre is to annihilate Entity B. • Sends missiles to explode in the most populated parts of Entity B in order to kill as many civilians as possible. • Uses families and individual civilians as human shields to protect its own leaders from attack. • Tortures and kills domestic pol...
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View from Central Park

Life vs. Death

While here in Colorado the sky has recently sparkled, be it with colorful fireworks of all shapes and sizes celebrating our freedom on The Fourth, or the other night’s powerful thunderstorm with claps of thunder so strong and white electric threads of lightening so bright. Israelis’ heads are looking to the sky, too. Not for celebration or to revel in the glory of nature. But for war. The Iron Dome, as it does its thing — intercepting flying rockets — lights up the sky, sparkling for ...
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View From Denver

Did Pinchas the Zealot win or lose?

Did Pinchas the Zealot win or lose?IN this country we have learned that it is not enough to win the war. Did we win the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or South Korea? For my purposes here, that’s moot. “Wars” are too big to comprehend. Individual soldiers are not. Even if they were heroes, even if we did win the wars in which they fought, individual soldiers may have lost. Today we speak of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD.
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View From Denver

What’s with the number seven?

What’s with the number seven?EVERYONE knows that the Sabbath falls once every seven days. Did you also know: David, King of Israel, was the seventh son of Yishai. Seven weeks divide Passover from Shavuot. Moses was the seventh generation after Abraham. Genesis describes the creation of the world in seven days. The seventh generation after Adam was Henoch, the only person described in all of scripture to be “taken by G-d” due to his righteousness. The Land of Israel is to lie fallow once every seven years (shmita)....
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Israel falls to Argentina in relocated Davis Cup match

Marcy Oster Israel lost in the Davis Cup to Argentina in a match that was moved from Tel Aviv to Florida due to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza. ... [Link]

Belarus museum opens exhibit about native son Ariel Sharon

Cnaan Liphshiz The National History Museum of Belarus inaugurated an exhibition about Ariel Sharon. ... [Link]

Auschwitz guard, now 93, charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder

Marcy Oster German prosecutors have charged a 93-year-old man with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for his service as a Nazi SS guard at Auschwitz. ... [Link]

Limmud volunteers listed among UK’s top Jewish movers and shakers

Marcy Oster Volunteers for Limmud UK were among the top 10 on the Jewish Chronicle’s Power 100 list of movers and shakers in the United Kingdom. ... [Link]

Imperiled U.N. peacekeepers leave Syrian Golan for Israel

Marcy Oster All United Nations peacekeeping forces and support staff have been relocated from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to Israel. ... [Link]

5774: Top 10 Jewish entertainment moments

Anthony Weiss Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and the power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z (we’re not kidding) are among those on the list. ... [Link]

Ahead of historic vote, many Scottish Jews wary of independence

Ben Sales Scotland’s intense criticism of Israel’s recent war with Hamas has pushed some Scottish Jews to support remaining in the United Kingdom. ... [Link]

Philly kosher butcher shop vandalized with swastikas

Marcy Oster A kosher butcher in Philadelphia was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. ... [Link]

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