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Shavuos Youth

Modern sports promotes bullying

Modern sports promotes bullying

Bullying as a social ill to be resisted largely came to the forefront of American consciousness after the Columbine massacre of 1999, when it was alleged and widely believed that its perpetrators may have been motivated by bullying they experienced at the Littleton high school.

That might explain why a former Denverite, Randy Nathan — who grew up in Denver’s Jewish community — authored this clear and thought-provoking study of the umbilical link between bullying and modern sports.

Nathan, who now lives in New Jersey, is uniquely qualified to write on the subject. Educated in social work and non-profit management, he is a leadership trainer, motivational speaker, camp director and, perhaps most important in the context of this book, an athletic coach.

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 May 2014 03:22 )

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‘To you, G-d, silence is praise’

‘To you, G-d, silence is praise’ I had never heard of the biblical verse, “To You, G-d, silence is praise” prior to this assignment, but it immediately appealed to me. I felt like I stumbled upon a poetic line that simultaneously puzzles and clarifies. I was hooked. When I began asking people to reflect on this counterintuitive statement, they expressed excitement, even gratitude, for being included. It’s hard to turn down a chance to investigate a haunting conundrum. Although I am a novice at analyzing Biblical ideas, ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 May 2014 03:27 )

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Finding your place in the Torah

Finding your place in the TorahLOS ANGELES — On Shavuot, we celebrate the revelation of the Torah by reading from it. But first we need to find the place. How do we find our place in the Torah? Newbies to the ways of a Torah scroll will soon realize that unlike the mass-produced technological marvels that bring order and wonder into their lives, this handmade inspiration comes without an operating manual. I discovered this the first time I tried to find my place amid the perfect columns of scribed, unvoweled Hebrew. It ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 May 2013 11:40 )

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The agricultural side of Shavuot

The agricultural side of ShavuotAMERICAN Jews typically associate Shavuot with the Book of Ruth, late-night Torah study sessions and eating at least one generous helping of cheesecake. No matter where you reside, we’re fairly certain you won’t find Jews dancing in wheat fields, escorting tractors like royalty or making mountains out of hay. But for Israelis who glimpsed their first sunrise on a moshav or currently toil on kibbutzim, this pilgrimage holiday and harvest celebration tops the list in terms of cherished memor...

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 May 2012 06:27 )

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First graders talk about the Torah

First graders talk about the TorahI attended first grade at Blackberry Lane Elementary in St. Louis. It had a fair number of Jewish students, including me. I remember the exploits of Dick and Jane, and fumbling with addition and its arch nemesis, subtraction. For religious instruction, I went to Shaare Emeth, a huge Reform Jewish synagogue on Delmar and Trinity. Our rabbi took out a large velvet-covered scroll on Friday nights and the High Holidays. As we stood, the silver ornaments shivered their lovely tinkling accompaniment...
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