Hiddur Mitzvah: Color and Spice–and Everything Nice

Hiddur Mitzvah: Color and Spice–and Everything Nice   The extensive descriptions of the sanctuary in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible),[1] and the descriptions of the appointment of the priests and their vestments is filled with color, artistic skill, and an emphasis on beauty. The ancient Sages spoke of hiddur mitzvah,[2]...

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The Passion in Compassion

From the Rabbi’s Study   The Passion in Compassion As a member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, Cantor Isaac Goodfriend[1] joined his colleagues in a tour of a number of concentration camps and other sites. During the tour he visited the Polish farmer who had hidden him and...

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Let’s Place Our Bets Carefully

From the Rabbi’s Study   Let’s Place Our Bets Carefully The man sitting on the park bench facing the synagogue was a picture of dejection. His shabby clothes looked as if he had slept in them, and his tired face was covered by a heavy growth. Overcome by pity for...

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Taking a Look at Ourselves

From the Rabbi’s Study Taking a Look at Ourselves  The story is told about a gung-ho drill sergeant who always demanded the highest and best from his soldiers. One day he stared in pained disbelief at a sloppy squad of new recruits wearing their uniforms for the first time. For...

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Cleaning Our Temple from the Idols We Worship

From the Rabbi’s Study Cleaning Our Temple from the Idols We Worship Two seasoned sailors heard the chaplain preach on the Ten Commandments. When the sermon was over, one sailor muttered to his friend, “Well, at least I never made any graven images.” That sailor, like most of us, looked...

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Indispensable in Our Small Parts

From the Rabbi’s Study  Indispensable in Our Small Parts  Humans seem to have evolved from common ancestors. Scientist point to homo habilus.“handy man,” and others that are part of the homo grouping, known for their brain size and structure, and their use of tools. Homo habilus existed between 1.4 million...

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Seven Reasons to Come Back to Shul

Due to the global pandemic, the Jewish values of piku’ach nefesh, saving endangered lives, and sh’mirat hanefesh, protecting our own lives, rightly predominated. As a result, we’ve held services and classes on Zoom. As it turned out, Zoom was quite a blessing, enabling us to meet with one another, to...

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