Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, at the end of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and the holiest of Jewish holidays. Israel came to a standstill for 25-hours during the high holiday of Yom Kippur when observant Jews fast and Israelis are prohibited from driving. Photo by Flash90

Faith And Fasting: A Look At The Practice Ahead Of Yom Kippur

BY MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN of JNS Food abstention and restrictions are ancient practices whose purpose and benefit span across the three Abrahamic faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Fasting is the most commonly known Yom Kippur ritual. According to a 2016 Pew survey, 40 percent of American Jews and 60 percent of Israeli Jews fast on the Day…

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Adam and Eve had two sons. They named them Cain, the oldest, and Abel. When the boys grew up, Abel became a shepherd and Cain became a farmer. One day the two sons brought sacrifices (gifts) to the Lord. Cain’s offering was something he had grown. Abel’s was a lamb. The Lord was pleased with Abel’s offering. But he was not pleased with Cain’s. This made Cain very angry. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you so angry? If you had done the right thing, I would have been pleased with you as well. Sin is trying to get the best of you, be careful!” Cain paid no attention to the warning of the Lord. One day while Cain and Abel were out in the fields, Cain attacked Abel and killed him. The Lord said to Cain, “Where is your bother Abel?” “How should I know?” Cain replied angrily. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” But the Lord said, “Cain, I know you have murdered your brother. Because of that you will not be able to get the ground to grow anything. You will be a homeless wanderer!” Cain cried, “This punishment is too much! I won’t be able to stand it. I have to go away from this land and from you—whoever sees me will kill me!” So the Lord put a mark on Cain so no one would kill him. Then Cain went away and lived in the land of Nod, which means “Wandering.” Thus Cain was punished for his sin. After Cain killed his brother and was sent away, Adam and Eve had many other children.

Weekly Torah Portion – The Ultimate Redemption

Parshat Chukat: Numbers 19:1-22:1; Judges 11:1-33. One of the most profound mysteries of the Bible is the rite of the red heifer, called a chok (statute) because it belongs to the group of Divine decrees that human logic cannot penetrate. We must be mindful of the fact that all other impurities other than a death…

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LGBTQ+, LGBTQ, LGBQI+ pride flag rainbow flag

Laying Out The Welcome Mat

Shaarey Zedek reaches out to LGBTQ+ community. Congregation Shaarey Zedek is making a concerted effort to reach out to marginalized communities, starting with those who identify as “LGBTQ+”: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer and any sexual or gender minority that doesn’t yet have an initial. Rabbi Aaron Starr announced the initiative in his May 26…

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Jerusalem, Israel

A ‘Gut Punch’

In the name and the spirit of the Prince of Peace, Jesus our Lord.” Thus did Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, end his opening prayer at the dedication of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Did Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Jews in the audience respond with “Amen?” Oh,…

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All-Night Studying

Tikkun Leil Shavuot has evolved over the last decades as a holiday ritual. Since Jews stopped bringing sacrifices, the festival of Shavuot has looked like a generic Yom Tov, without distinctive rituals. Shavuot had an unusual sacrifice (Leviticus 23:17-20), but now another ritual has emerged. The prayer book identifies Shavuot as “the season of the…

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Young woman holds a hand on the shoulder of a senior citizen.

Weekly Torah Portion – Embodying Empathy

Parshat Emor: Leviticus 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31. Our actions in the world can either bring sanctity (kiddush HaShem) or desecration (chillul HaShem) to God’s name. In portion Emor, the Torah is clear that how we act in the world has a direct effect on the level of holiness present in each of our relationships. In Leviticus…

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The Laws Of Impurity. Torah Portion. Parshat Tazora/Metzora: Leviticus 12:1-15:33; II Kings 7:3-20.

Weekly Torah Portion – The Laws Of Impurity

Parshat Tazora/Metzora: Leviticus 12:1-15:33; II Kings 7:3-20. As we open the Torah this week, we find ourselves reading the double portion of Tazria-Metzora. As the natural continuation of last week’s animal purity laws, Tazria-Metzora continues describing the laws of impurity for humans and our surroundings and then provides the path toward a return to a…

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