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Simchat Torah: Circle dances with the Torah

Simchat Torah: Circle dances with the Torah

LOS ANGELES — Want to dance with Jewish tradition but don’t know the steps?

Ask Simchat Torah to dance. Not a conventional dancer, it’s a star partner who will drag you off the sidelines and teach you the moves.

Simchat Torah, coming at the end of Shemini Atzeret, is a holiday of rejoicing with the Torah, when Jews end the yearly cycle of reading the Torah and begin anew.

The only major Jewish holiday not mentioned in the Torah, Simchat Torah is a night and day of joy and dance unique in the Jewish year featuring seven hakafot, circle dances with the Torah.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:36 )

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Holiday Features

Scoring schach - the sukkah's temporary roof

Scoring schach - the sukkah's temporary roofLOS ANGELES — His 14-foot-long pole saw in hand, Paul Nisenbaum is ready to head out into the great urban forest in a search for schach. The Los Angeles teacher and small businessman is among the many Jews throughout North America who will search their neighborhoods, from wilderness to city center, for a suitable sukkah roof covering. With Sukkot, the holiday when Jews construct and live in fragile, temporary shelters coming a few days after Yom Kippur, the hunt is on. According to Halachah...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:26 )

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Features

Hypocrisy over Israeli conversion bill

Hypocrisy  over Israeli conversion billTHE media has reported the vehement opposition of the American Conservative and Reform movements and Jewish Federations of North America to the conversion bill proposed by Knesset member David Rotem. I find their opposition puzzling. Within the framework of Halachah, or Jewish law, the Rotem bill expands the scope of conversion, prevents application of stringencies unjustified by Halachah, and provides greater convenience, leniency and flexibility in the administration of Israeli conversion cou...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 February 2014 03:40 )

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Holiday Features

The art and skill of shofar-blowing, a mile above sea level

Sounding the shofar on the High Holidays is a major honor. Shofar sounders at Colorado synagogues practice for weeks before Rosh Hashanah to prepare for the rigor of blasting a shofar in front of hundreds of service-goers. Colorado’s veteran shofar blowers include Gerald Sloat at Har HaShem, Betsy Kessler at Bonai Shalom, and Allan Markman, Marshall Tobin and Rabbi Raymond Zwerin at Temple Sinai. Dr. Yitzchak Teitelbaum, EDOS Dr. Yitzchak Teitelbam has been blowing the shofar since 1987. H...

Last Updated ( Friday, 11 April 2014 02:37 )

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Features

Rabbi Refoel Levitt, the go-to guy for Orthodox conversion

Rabbi Refoel Levitt, the go-to guy for Orthodox conversionIN more than a decade as the go-to guy for those seeking conversion to Orthodox Judaism in Denver, Rabbi Refoel Levitt has become quite adept at spotting “the spark.” The spark, the rabbi explains in his clear, slightly edgy, way, is an elusive yet powerful quintessence, a certain something that suggests that someone is Jewish, no matter the exterior appearance. The old Yiddish phrase for it is Pintele Yid — literally, the “Jewish spark.” As a teacher who guides Gentiles into the wor...

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 September 2010 06:24 )

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