Sunday, August 2, 2015 Av 17, 5775

YITRO, Exodus, 18:1-20:23
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, JE Feature
This week's portion, Yitro, which is named after an elder who was not a Jew, includes the first recitation of the Ten Commandments. Throughout the centuries, Jews have debated how Moses' father-in-law Yitro, or Jethro, came to be identified with the first articulation of the basic laws that have guided so many for so long. Jethro joins Moses, Aaron and...
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By:
Edmon J. Rodman, JTA
Los Angeles Celebrating Tu B'Shvat this year on an alien moon called Pandora? Why not? As seen in "Avatar," the 3-D, billion-dollar grossing movie, it's definitely a place where trees are revered. In the film, bluish people called Na'vi worship ancient trees. Here on earth, a Jewish people who have a "navi" or two of our own (navi in Hebrew...
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By:
If there's any upshot at all to the misunderstanding that grounded a small aircraft last week in Philadelphia -- and that most likely scared the wits out of two Jewish teenagers -- it's that the general public might now know a bit more about tefillin. A 17-year-old Orthodox Jew donned his phylacteries to recite morning prayers during a Jan. 21...
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Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Geometry tells us that the shortest path between two points is a straight line. A glance at the geography of the Mideast shows us that the quickest route from the fertile plains of northern Egypt to Israel follows the Mediterranean shore. But this week's Torah portion opens with a curious detail: Instead of seeking the fastest way out of a...
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It's what all Haggadahs, old and new, have in common
By:
SPEAKING VOLUMES Every Passover, publishers unveil a string of the "newest" Haggadot, most of them capitalizing on a current societal trend that seeks to make the ancient book "more relevant" for a contemporary audience -- or, at the very least, more accessible. Over the last half-century or so, there have been Haggadot geared to the traditional family, the interfaith family,...
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