Gimmel Tammuz – Lubavitcher Lore & Holy Days

The Rebbe’s yahrtzeit is a time for self-reflection and action. How are you Jewing today? Read more

Modest is Hottest?

There is a catch phrase which for awhile I loved, but now sits unwell with me: “modest is hottest.” Well, if it is hottest, doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of being modest? Doesn’t acknowledging it on that level take away some of the inherent subtlety of modesty, in the grand scheme of things? Read more

From Where I Sit – By Reb Bahir

Twitter and tweeting is all the rage nowadays. I am not sure that I understand it, the mechanics of it. And I suspect that it might have something to do with our collective A.D.D. But I thought that I would try it out. Read more

How do you find the words when they are spit back in your face?

I am emotionally exhausted. Since the boats with “peace activists” heading to Gaza was intercepted I have fought and fought this issue round and round with my friends and acquaintances. Emotionally, I am drained. My head hurts. I can’t think of the permutations any more. Read more

Lacking Something…

I have been a very, very bad portal manager these past few weeks. Beyond being busy with Patheos work and my personal thesis for my Masters, there have been a couple other things going on. This year the Omer was particularly poignant. Read more

Different Days, Different Relationships

As you are aware by now, last week we celebrated Shavuot and had a chance to do some great learning. One of my favorite discussions, and one I thought our readers would appreciate, came from a session early in the night with my Rebbetzin, T. The class was on Megilat Ruth. Read more

Why do we learn all night on Shavuot?

While it may seem difficult to learn all night, or even to make it to one learning session mid-week with other obligations at home – we must. We have to learn Torah, just as we have to have food and water. Read more

Are Kashrut and Health Mutually Exclusive?

It often seems that to those who keep kosher, healthy eating is left to slide.  Meanwhile, those on the outside, often think that Kashrut (the practice of keeping kosher) is inherently healthy.  So which is right? Can both be accurate?  I like to think so…. I have long been interested in the melding of kashrut and healthy eating.  I think that Judaism places such an emphasis on the value of human health, and too often we forget that when it… Read more

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 6 – Yesod

YESOD The process of Yesoding is emptying and filling that part of our soul that connects Nefesh (our physical part of the soul) to Ruah (people-interactive part of the soul) and Neshamah (the part of our soul that is our private G link). Eastern religion and philosophy speak of emptying ourselves.  They speak of no-mind.  The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness, goes the Zen proverb.   Since we Jews are a Middle Eastern religion and philosophy, we too speak of the… Read more

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 5 – Hod – To be or not to be, what a question!

Hod is beyond thought, it is beyond action, it is beyond. Some think that Hod is about “doing nothing.” But doing nothing is still doing. Hod is not about doing nothing, its about being everything and being nothing. Confused, then you have a handle on the Yin Yang of Netzah/Hod. If we dissect Hod into its 7 Omer parts, we just might begin to understand its gentle power. Read more