Rambam’s Principles

Rambam cautions us against drinking water within the meal except a little mixed with wine.  All Asian medical systems advise against drinking during meals. While they do drink tea prior to a meal, the size of a Chinese teacup is miniscule. Drinking water during a meal dilutes digestive and juices necessary for proper digestion. It causes […]

Parenting Corner: Lashon Hara in the Family

We usually think of lashon hara as speaking evil about someone behind his back.  However, lashon hara is also using the gift of speech to hurt people.  And those who are most vulnerable to such talk are our own family members.  No one can hurt us the way a close relative can.  And that’s where […]

NOT MEANT FOR ANGELS- A Midrash for Shavuot

Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi told this Midrash. When Moses went up to heaven, the angels said to God, “What is a human being doing here?” God said to them, “He has come to receive the Torah.” The angels asked, “Is it the precious hidden treasure which you hid nine hundred and seventy-four generations before the […]

Learning on Shavuot night

On the first night of Shavuot (this year Tuesday night, May 18, 2010), Jews throughout the world observe the centuries-old custom of conducting an all-night vigil dedicated to Torah learning, and preparation for receiving the Torah anew the next morning. One explanation for this tradition is that the Jewish people did not rise early on […]

Shavuot 5770 / 2010

In addition to the regular festival prayers on Shavuot morning, there are three special highlights.  First, the Torah reading on the first day is the Revelation of the Ten Commandments.  The second is the reading of Akdamot, liturgical poems of the loyalty of the Jews to the Torah.  Third, on the second day of Shavuot, […]

Bamidbar: Why Give the Torah in the Desert?

One of the all-time classic questions has been: Why give Torah in the desert? Aside from all the meanings accorded to Mt. Sinai, and all the lessons we can learn from the fact that G-d came down over this “humble” mountain and gave His Torah here, still, a holy Torah ought to be given in […]

Shabbat with the Baal Shem Tov

“When your brother becomes impoverished, and cannot support himself in the community, you must come to his aid.” (Behar 12:3) The Baal Shem Tov sent a group of his closest Chassidim on a mission to a distant town. On their arrival, they went to pay their respects to the Rabbi of the town, who was […]

A Set of Dishes – A Transforming Story

By Velvl Greene   Even before we met Rabbi Moshe Feller in 1962 we would have been considered active and even committed Jews. Most of our friends were Jewish, our families were Jewish, our interests included Jewish “things”, and our outlook was certainly Jewish. We read books published by the JPS, we listened to Jewish […]