Gimmel Tammuz – Lubavitcher Lore & Holy Days

Today marks an auspicious day on the Chabad Lubavitcher's calendar. Today is Gimmel Tammuz (the third day of the month of Tammuz).On this day in 5754 or 1994 in Gregorian years, the Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away. This dealt a hard blow to the community. He and his wife were childless and he did not appoint a successor. This divided the community, some believing that he was the Moshiach (messiah) and some not believing in that. It is a topic that still divides Crown Heights today.A newly … [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?Tzniut, the Hebrew word for modesty tends to be most commonly translated about modesty in reference to clothing.  I think defining it down on this level does an injustice to tzniut and people w … [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.  I, of course do not have the technical ability to set one up yet.  I shall have to ask my children to teach me, if indeed, they are not too old.  But in the meantime, I thought this month that I would throw a few out there in this format.So please assume that we are twit … [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. I want to just say that this is how it is, no more conversation.But nothing is ever so simple or easy.Here are some basic facts of the issue. I promise you, honestly, I am being as unbiased as possible here.The flotilla … [Read more...]

Lacking Something…

I have been a very, very bad portal manager these past few weeks.It has been incredibly hard for me to focus on our Jewish Portal Blog and for that I apologize. And on that note, I am looking for bloggers. If you are interested in contributing to the Jewish Portal here at Patheos, drop me a line at JewishPortal@patheos.comBeyond 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. The … [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.T introduced the class by commenting on the juxtaposition of what we read on the different days of Shavuot.  The first day we read about the receiving of the Torah.  It is a big, loud and flashy moment, filled with thunder an … [Read more...]

Why do we learn all night on Shavuot?

There is an ages old tradition of staying up all night to learn Torah and Jewish values the night of Shavuot - the holiday which commemorates the receiving of the Torah.  The most commonly shared reason for doing this is so that we can be up and excited to receive the Torah.  Well, I have to be honest - after staying up all night learning, I am so tired - I don't want to even stay at services long enough to hear the Torah read, let alone to be excited for it.  However, every year I feel the co … [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 comes to our food.  The laws of kashrut are so spec … [Read more...]

How to Encounter the Omer, Week 6 – Yesod

YESODThe 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 meaning of emptying.  And … [Read more...]

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

HodNetzah is all about doing. Hod is all about being. We need to be careful in Hod. 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.HESED OF HODIf Hesed is lov … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X