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From time-honored traditions to modern synagogue life, your hub for Jewish learning, holidays and text.

On Shavuot, Reverse the Paucity of Ideas

Israelis celebrate Shavuot more than any other Jewish community in the world. On erev Shavuot, religious, secular and traditional Jews from all over the...
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Counting the Omer: Spiritual Prep for Torah

Shabbat morning we begin reading from Bemidbar, the book of Numbers. This year, on Saturday night, we celebrate the giving of the Torah on...
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Jews by Choice and Shavuot

  Shavuot, or "the festival of weeks," is Erin Souza's favorite holiday, epitomizing for her Judaism's focus on study and intellectual examination.There's another reason the...
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Torah a Bellwether for Economic Equality

This week's Torah reading has a special Philadelphia connection. It contains the words inscribed on the Liberty Bell: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land...
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Making Distinctions Between Clean, Unclean

Having just come off of some intensive Passover/Spring cleaning, it's amazing to me that my house is a mess again. We have a problem...

Can We Understand Messages From God?

 Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10 In Jewish tradition, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out God's will. We study the words of the Torah...

Softening Hard Hearts? Portion Provides a Clue

We live in the space between birth and death, between death and birth. For some, the span between our entrance into and our departure...

Chosenness: Doesn’t It Imply Superiority?

"If you will obey Me faithfully and keep My covenant you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples. Indeed, all the earth...
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The Opposite of Slavery Is Freedom of Naming

This Shabbat, we begin the book of Exodus -- Shemot or "Names" in Hebrew. Exodus is filled with drama: Moses demands freedom from Pharaoh,...
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What Constitutes True Nature of Freedom?

People tend to think of freedom in terms of negating a pre-existing condition. So they talk about freedom from coercion, from tyranny, from oppression,...