There was a time when talking informally to Hashem was part of the fabric of Torah society.
You think you have a big crowd coming to your house to break the Yom Kippur fast? Not compared to my friend Marsha, you don’t. This September, Marsha and her husband, Brian, along with another couple, will be co-hosting the Ninth Annual Easy Access Break-Fast for the families of her Chicago shul. Marsha lives across […]
This article originally appeared in the fall 2009 issue of Jewish Action. Prayer is the deepest instinct of the Jewish soul. What is notable about most of the prayers recorded in Tanach is their directness and simplicity. The Sages said, “Ein sichah ela tefillah” (Berachot 26b). Today we would translate this as, “Conversation is a […]
Prayer, tefillah, is an essential component of our religion and the centerpiece of the spiritual experience of every practicing Jew. And yet it is a difficult concept to define. Prayer is not one-dimensional, but rather has a different meaning depending upon the particular circumstance and the particular individual. The archetypal set of prayers is the […]
MISCONCEPTION: The Gemara relates that on Yom Kippur, when the Kohen Gadol entered the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies) in the Beit Hamikdash (Temple), a rope was tied to his ankle so that in case he died, there would be a way to extricate his body. FACT: While there was a real concern about the […]
From the Boardroom to the Beit Midrash—And Back Again In the pages ahead, we profile an unusual group of talmidei chachamim; unusual because they combine an extreme devotion to Torah even while immersed in the corporate and business worlds. In Parashat Ki Tavo, the Torah warns that terrible evil will befall the Jewish people “because […]
Some people reclaim the past, while others are reclaimed by it. Bernie Rosenberg has gone both ways. His connection with an illustrious forebear changed his connection to Torah learning. He then used his skills and motivation and paid back a debt of gratitude to someone he had never met, but who had become a key […]
Finally, the rush and tumble of preparations ceased and all was still. Even I was still. I gazed up at her, enchanted. Her dark velvet robe was the cloak of a queen, her hair hidden away in a turban of gold thread. Surely the tensions of the week must have weighed on her, but I […]
Forty-five years ago, when Elihu Levine was an electrical engineer working for ITT Corporation, he was assigned to work on a special project on behalf of the United States Navy. The work involved creating an underwater test range to be installed in the water off Andros Island in the Bahamas. In order to maintain a […]
On April 11, 1909, sixty families held a historic lottery on the sand dunes along the Mediterranean Sea, just a few hundred yards north of the walls that surrounded the crowded alleyways and substandard living conditions of Old Jaffa (Yaffo). Sixty plots of land in this first neighborhood outside Jaffa were assigned via the lottery to the sixty families of Ahuzat Bayit, an organization (whose name means “homestead”) that had been founded three years earlier by Jewish residents of Jaffa.
On the occasion of Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary, Jewish Action explores religious life in one of Israel’s most secular cities. Tel Aviv’s centennial celebrations are in full swing, with parades, concerts, lectures, fireworks and museum exhibitions being held throughout the city. What may come as a surprise to many, however, is that there is much […]
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Maharal’s death, we present several articles highlighting the enormous intellectual and spiritual contribution Maharal has made to Jewish life. The 18th of Elul, 5709 (September 7, 2009), marks the 400th yahrtzeit of an extraordinary figure in Jewish history: the Maharal of Prague, Rabbi Yehudah Loew. Few details […]
Ari Wasserman, 38, a successful Los Angeles lawyer, is leading a double life. He’s traversing both the Torah and corporate worlds with seemingly the greatest of ease, and prospering in both. He has a life many ba’alei batim wish they had the tenacity to get away with. Every day, Wasserman wakes up between 3 and […]
I will never forget old Jake. A likable and generous contributor to our Atlanta synagogue, he was invited one Yom Kippur to mount the pulpit and open the Holy Ark during the recitation of the awesome Unetane Tokef prayer. There he stood right next to me, his rabbi, solemnly intoning the words “Who shall live […]
* The position of 5770 as the 13th year of the 304th 19-year cycle (machzor katan) since Creation means that it is a “shanah peshutah,” a “regular” year of twelve months with only one Adar. It is the second year of the 207th 28-year solar cycle (machzor gadol), and also the second year of the […]