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...]

Remembering to not Repeat

I think my seventh grade history teacher must have been Jewish.  On the first day of class, she had written on the chalk-board (large enough to take up most of it) the following:"Those who do not learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it in the future"At the time, it seemed slightly contrite, but over the years I have truly come to appreciate the truth behind this statement.  It is often quoted in many different forms with many different attributions, but the point is always the same. If w … [Read more...]

Mikvah Mania Month

Mikvah* is becoming quite a hot topic lately in the Jewish blogosphere, and I am proud to be a part of that.  The comments to my recent post, spurred other posts, and eventually greater awareness and involvement of the trials women face in observing this great mitzvah. In fact, a prominent Jewish Tweeter commented today that is seemed to be "Mikvah Month" - my response - Great! Its about time!The blog posts, comments, and tweets which have abounded on this topic lately have really shown a l … [Read more...]

Zachor — Remember

Yesterday we commemorated the Shoah, the Holocaust.  We reiterate time and again as we commemorate the Shoah the word Zachor, remember.  What does this really mean?My Rabbi began his sermon before Yikzor (the memorial service) on the 8th day of Pesach (Passover) by speaking about the commandment to remember our slavery and the exodus from Egypt – as if anyone that lived through it could forget.  Maybe that’s the point though, while those who lived through such an intense experience would fore … [Read more...]


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