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Sensitivity session with local police concerning Sabbath and modesty practices

Sensitivity session with local police concerning Sabbath and modesty practices

A police officer asks an Orthodox man to sign papers on Shabbat. He refuses. An observant woman trips on the sidewalk and a passing policeman offers to help her. She won’t take his hand.

The above behaviors are not intended to be disrespectful. The  Orthodox do not sign papers on Shabbat. Obeying the laws of modesty, an Orthodox woman may only touch her husband, male blood relatives and women.

But what if law enforcement officials observe only the behaviors without understanding the motivation?

Earlier this month, Rabbi Tzvi Steinberg of the West Side’s Zera Abraham was one of the speakers at a diversity training session at the police academy to put any misconceptions in their proper context.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 12:21 )

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Mountaineer Mintzes

Mountaineer MintzesFor a cheeseburger in paradise Makin’ the best of every virtue and vice. ASPEN — The Jimmy Buffett song, though Anot exactly kosher, glorifies a “cheeseburger in paradise.” Rabbi Mendel and Lieba Mintz have learned how to live in paradise quite well without cheeseburgers, but also without the kosher amenities that many Orthodox Jews take for granted. The Mintzes are Chabad emissaries (shluchim) in Aspen, an idyllic ski and summer resort nestled in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:30 )

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Spiritual markers on the journey of Avrohom and Sorah Larimer

Spiritual markers on the journey of Avrohom and Sorah LarimerMove over, Cotopaxi. Your tenure in Denver Jewish history began oh so recently, in the 1880s. Once you were king of the hill. The founders. The legends. The people whose descendants can look back more than 130 years later and say: That’s when traditional Judaism in Denver began. Technically, that’s still true. But did we mention Denver? How did the city get its name? For that matter, Larimer Square — where did that name come from? And Larimer County? Enter Avrohom and Sorah Larimer. ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:25 )

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A Torah teacher

A Torah teacherIt’s early morning at the Denver Community Kollel on Xavier Street. Men place their black hats on top of the coat rack inside the closet. Large Hebrew books line the shelves in the partially closed study area. An ambience of serene activity permeates the place, even at this hour. Computers hum. Smart phones ring. Still, one suspects that amid the frenzy, Torah is the centerpiece. Rabbi Mordechai Fleisher, who joined the Kollel in 2007, enters the busy room vigorously. His desk is occupied,...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 12:13 )

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A Sephardic presence

A Sephardic presenceNiso Aharonian lives in Denver, which is a long way from where he was born and raised, Herzliya, Israel, and even further away from where his parents came from, which is Iran. He loves it here, says Aharonian, a soft-spoken and articulate man of 31 who works as a locksmith and limo driver in Denver, to which he moved a decade ago with his wife. In virtually every respect, he has found Colorado the perfect home for him and his family, which now includes a young daughter, but there was one thing...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:26 )

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Shabbat Times

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