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Apr 21st
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Shavuos Youth

Finding your place in the Torah

Finding your place in the Torah

LOS 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 seemed like a phone book without page numbers in a foreign language.

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


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 )


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...

Protecting our children: a passion of Rabbi Yitzchok Eisenman

Protecting our children:  a passion of Rabbi Yitzchok EisenmanTO all outward appearances, Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman fits easily into the comfortable stereotype of an Orthodox rabbi — the long black coat and broad-brimmed hat, the full beard of red gradually surrendering to gray, the “yeshivish” accent, spoken in the quiet tones of a contemplative and modest man. Outward appearances, however, can be deceiving. While all accurate, the descriptions above reveal only part of the man. Although they hint at the Torah that inspires him, they say nothing...

Family spiritual countdown

Family spiritual countdownLet’s be honest, self-reflection is tough. Given the choice of mulling over the virtues and vices of the latest American Idol contestants or pondering those of ourselves, we’d pick the former without skipping a beat.But we Jews are not about to get off so easily — especially since the second night of Passover officially kicked off the Omer, the 49-day countdown that will culminate with the celebration of Shavuot, (May 22-24), when we commemorate G-d’s gift of the Torah to the ancient Isr...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 May 2009 10:43 )


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