You Shall Live in Booths

Sukkot in Jerusalem is really a sight to be seen. There are sukkahs on top of sukkahs. Every restaurant has one on the street (why? because men especially must eat all their food in a sukkah, if that is your minhag [tradition] and if a restaurant wants to be open during sukkot, they have to have a sukkah for these guys) and walking home at night, you see these beautiful booths lit up on every street.As soon as Yom Kippur is over, it is tradition to start building your sukkah. Some people just … [Read more...]

Yom Kippur in Israel

All of the holidays in Israel are somewhat of a surreal experience. This is especially the case for any of us who come from towns, cities, or places where we aren't surrounded by Jews constantly. If you live in Crown Heights or Boro Park or Williamsburg or even the Pico/Robertson area in LA... you are surrounded by Jews. You don't feel like a minority but in Vero Beach, Florida or Broomfield, Colorado... you would be hard pressed to find someone "like" you. And so has been my existence. Judaism … [Read more...]

The Laws of Sukkah According to Dr. Seuss

The Laws of Sukkah According to Dr. SeussYou can build it very small 1 You can build it very tall 2 You can build it very large 3 You can build it on a barge You can build it on a ship 4 Or on a roof but please don't slip 5 You can build it in an alley 6 You shouldn't build it in a valley 7 You can build it on a wagon 8 You can build it on a dragon 9 You can make the schach of wood 10 Would you, could you, YES you should Make the schach from leaves of tree but shouldn't bend it at … [Read more...]

We have to walk?! Where?

Here's something you need to know about Jerusalem. Other than people park/drive on the sidewalks so be careful.It's actually a smallish town. And public transportation and the shops close down for the sabbath. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, here is a crash course. On the sabbath, otherwise known as Shabbat or Shabbis or Shabbos, G-d gave us some prohibitions. Since G-d rested on the 7th day, so are we supposed to. This irons out to 39 types of work that a … [Read more...]

The saddest day on the Jewish calendar

Today marks the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It is Tisha B'Av.Tisha B'Av means literally, the 9th (tisha) day of the month of Av. There were many tragedies that happened on this day in Jewish history and commemorate them and remember the sadness, today is a fasting day. We began fasting last night around 8:20 (well, that is Denver time) and the fast will end 25 hours later at 9pm (again, Denver time).The fast of Tisha B'Av commemorates 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish people … [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...]

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...]

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...]

Week 5 of Counting the Omer, Keep Up!

I really love the Omer... okay, rather, I have a love hate relationship with counting the Omer. I love the spiritual lift I get, but I sometimes get annoyed at one more thing to do before sleep... hence why I need to count the Omer nightly.I use a wonderful book that asks you questions and gives you great thoughts for each day that relates to the sepherot (like the chakras). Here is their online version for week 5 - Meaningful Life. The book is called “Counting the Omer – A … [Read more...]


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