Shaarei Nechama: Rosh Hashana Machzor on sale at Matan

September 25, 2016

The Shaarei Nechama Rosh Hashana Machzor will be on sale at the Matan Yom Iyun on Monday, September 26, 2016.

shearei-nechama


New from Urim Publications – Shaarei Nechama: Rosh Hashana Machzor

September 21, 2016

machzor ad.jpg


New from Urim Publications – Shaarei Nechama: Rosh Hashana Machzor

September 19, 2016

Shaarei Nechama: Rosh Hashana Machzor
With Commentary of Professor Nechama Leibowitz

Nechama Leibowitz was the most prominent, creative, and ground breaking teacher of Bible and Biblical interpretation of her time. She taught and continues to inspire thousands. In Machzor Shaarei Nechama, we have collected from her wellsprings of Torah, drawn from her writings. You will find them organized under the rubrics: “Gates of Prayer” “Gates of Torah” and “Gates of Repentance.” Enter and experience the new vistas and wondrous insights of Nechama Leibowitz, which will inform and illuminate the high holidays.

 


How Not to Have Too Much Integrity on Yom Kippur: Lessons From Jonah

September 29, 2014

By Rabbi Francis Nataf Redeeming Relevance in the book of numbers

Familiarity with Bible stories often works against us. That’s because we remember simple, sometimes fantastic stories from our childhood and then have a hard time re-reading these stories as adults.

Reading the Book of Jonah as an adult, as I finally decided to do, made me realize that Jonah should be remembered for much more than using a whale (the text only tells us it was a big fish but it is a reasonable assumption to say it was a whale) as the world’s first submarine. A more mature read shows Jonah to be one of the Bible’s most outrageous characters. Such a read has this small book that we read every year on Yom Kippur emerge as one that requires serious thought in order to understand.

From what I make of it, Jonah’s main problem was that he had too much integrity. In fact, he had so much integrity as to even disagree with how God runs the world! That is to say that he felt that it lacked the “higher standards” that he would have expected from God. Read the rest of this entry »


In Memoriam: Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen

July 15, 2014

JewishPrayerWeb2

From the Institute of Jewish Ideas and Ideals.

We record with sadness the passing earlier this week of Rabbi Jack Simcha Cohen. Rabbi Cohen was an energetic community leader, a prolific author, and a respected Talmid Hakham. Over the years, I had the opportunity of working with him on various projects, and I am grateful for our longstanding friendship. He was an engaging rabbi and teacher, a dynamic spokesman for Orthodox Judaism, an Ohev Yisrael of the first order.

Rabbi Cohen wrote a number of articles which appear on our Institute’s website jewishideas.org   In his memory, I invite you to study this article of his which is now posted as a Feature Article on our homepage at jewishideas.org      http://www.jewishideas.org/articles/pulpit-rabbinate-and-halakhic-diversity

May his memory be a blessing and source of strength to his family, his community, to kellal yisrael.


Local women reflect on saying Kaddish

June 22, 2014

by Johanna GinsbergKaddish: Womens Voices

For a long time, E.M. Broner’s 1994 work, Mornings and Mourning, was the lone women’s voice in the literature on reciting Kaddish. Over the last two decades, that has slowly begun to change.

With the publication last November of Kaddish: Women’s Voices, an anthology by Michal Smart and Barbara Ashkenas, the void has been filled by a range of women with different backgrounds, each with a unique story surrounding her commitment to recite the Mourner’s Kaddish, even in communities where some see the act as obligatory for men, and suspect among women.

Two of the entries in the collection, which won a National Jewish Book Award in March, come from local women.

For Rabbi Esther Reed of Highland Park, saying Kaddish for her father involved the conflict between remaining authentic and true to herself, while maintaining sensitivity and respect for those in her charge as senior associate director at Rutgers University Hillel.

As a person in mourning, she needed a daily minyan to say Kaddish. But she did not want to disrupt the daily minyan at Rutgers or cause offense among the Orthodox students who attend. “I recognized that the morning minyan was an Orthodox service, where students were not used to seeing a woman in tallit andtefillin,” writes Reed, a Conservative rabbi. “I didn’t want to threaten students who felt that the Orthodox community at Hillel was their ‘home.’”

She continued, “I wasn’t trying to make a statement. I just wanted to say Kaddish.” In the end, she devised a compromise: praying with the tallit and tefillin in a staff member’s office, with a view of the minyan, before joining the Orthodox worshippers to say Kaddish for her father.  Read the rest of this entry »


Prayers For Our Boys

June 19, 2014

A Statement on the terrorist kidnapping of three boys from Yeshivat Mekor Chaim and Kfar Etzion

by Ha3-Kidnapped-BoysRav Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz Shlita

The kidnapping of our students is a shocking, painful and frightening event. In a time and place that had seemed to us quiet and serene, we have been thrown into an event that we can do nothing to resolve.

Perhaps we are better off than in past times, when we were totally unable even to attempt rescue and deliverance. We are grateful to the Israel Defense Forces for all their efforts.

Still we, the families, the friends and the teachers of the kidnapped boys are standing with “idle hands” (Ecclesiastes 10:18). All we have left now is to turn to our Father in Heaven and plead. We do not despair because we doubt our Heavenly Father. Rather we feel helpless because, “God is in Heaven and you are upon earth” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

Thus, we can never know the extent our pleas and cries reach Heaven – and also have some effect here, on earth. What we can do – and this has been the Jewish way from time immemorial – is to add more holiness and learn more Torah. If we can, each of us should take upon ourselves something additional, no matter how small, especially and explicitly devoted for the sake and well-being of the missing boys:

Naftali Frankel (Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah)

Gilad Shaar (Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim)

Eyal Yifrach (Eyal ben Iris Tesura)

Furthermore, we Jews have always been accustomed to reciting the Psalms, and we certainly ought to do more of this, especially two psalms that seem to me most relevant: Psalms 142 and 143, chapters that literally deal with our plight. We pray also for the safety of those who are working toward their rescue.

May it be God’s will that in their merit, and for the merit of their suffering, together with our prayers and good deeds, we shall soon see our boys returned to us, God willing, safe and sound.

Click here  to read an English translation of Psalms 142 and 143 translated by Aaron Lichtenstein, Psalms in Plain English