Space Week

Today, October 10, 2012, is the last day of "World Space Week." The heavens and the stars have always fascinated humankind. They are so distant, so vast and, as so eloquently pointed out…

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Create a Space

In preparation for the first night of Chanukah (tomorrow evening), set up an menorah lighting area that is visible to the street.

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Appropriate Space

When praying or talking to God, try to find a place where you can be expressive.

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Duties of the Heart

The concept of “being spiritual” is often assumed to be a fairly recent one, resulting, perhaps, from the enlightenment’s deconstruction of organized religion.  The idea of…

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Memorial Day Museum

Washington, DC, is a city of museums. Beyond the vast assortment of divisions and galleries at the Smithsonian Institute and the many political memorials, there are also smaller museums…

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First On The Court

Born in 1856, in Louisville, Kentucky, Louis Dembitz Brandeis was the child of European immigrants who maintained a minimal Jewish identity. However, his maternal uncle, Lewis Dembitz,…

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Terumah 5772-2012

"The Outer Altar" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, parashat Terumah, we begin to read a cycle of five Torah portions that extensively describe the building and…

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Entry Point

Although immigrants from around the world came through Ellis Island, the immigration station in the harbor of New York* had a distinctive impact specifically on Jews and on…

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Zmirot (Songs of Shabbat)

Singing zmirot, songs of Shabbat, on Friday night not only expresses joy for the gift of Shabbat, but also offers praise to God. While many of…

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A Math Teacher’s Life

Had Irving (Isaac) Adler not lived during the fervent era of the rise and decline of Communism, his personal story might have been the simple life of a mathematician dedicated to the…

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Do We Attempt to Fool God this Week?

During the Aseret Y’mei Teshuva, the Ten Days of Repentance, Jews are encouraged to improve their actions, with both God and people. Every year Jews endeavor to transform themselves,…

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Kristallnacht

Kristallnacht, literally the Night of Crystal but generally translated as the Night of Broken Glass, was a tragic turning point in the fate of Germany’s Jewish community. The country-wide…

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What Happened in SHUM

While most people know about the horrors of the Crusades, many do not realize that there were, in fact, many Crusades over a period of four hundred years, and that most of these crusades…

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Festive Poems

Take a survey of the most common adjective used to describe the Jewish High Holidays and the word might just be “long.” One reason for the long services is that in addition to the usual…

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Festive Poems

Take a survey of the most common adjective used to describe the Jewish High Holidays and the word might just be “long.” One reason for the long services is that in addition to the usual…

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Festive Poems

Take a survey of the most common adjective used to describe the Jewish High Holidays and the word might just be “long.” One reason for the long services is that in addition to the usual…

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Mikeitz 5774-2013

"What’s in a Name? Zaphenath-Paneach" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and is elevated to serve as viceroy of…

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Say Shabbat Shalom

NJOP stands in solidarity with the Squirrel Hill community in Pittsburgh and expresses its profound condolences to the members and families of the Tree of Life Congregation who lost their…

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From the Balcony

Take a virtual tour of some of the best known historic synagogues and you may notice several common features: an aron kodesh (ark/cabinet) that houses the Torah scrolls, a bimah (raised…

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Searching For Chametz

On Passover, Jews are commanded to get rid of all "chametz" (leaven) which may be in their possession. It is not unusual to begin cleaning and scrubbing the home weeks before the…

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Jewish Buckeyes

In 1817, when a pioneering watchmaker, Joseph Jonas, settled in Cincinnati, OH, from his native England, a permanent Jewish presence in Ohio was established. The Cincinnati Jewish…

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Take Me Out To The Ballgame

In 2006, the month of May was officially designated as Jewish American Heritage Month. And what better way to celebrate Jews in America than with a little bit of baseball? Certainly…

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Carrying On Shabbat

The last of the 39 melachot* (creative works prohibited on Shabbat) is that of carrying between a private and a public space. How is carrying a creative work? The…

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Tu B’Shevat

Tu B'ShevatNew Year for Trees Tu B’Shevat is a rabbinical, not biblical holiday. In fact, it is first…

Tetzaveh 5768-2008

"Clothes Make the Person" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, we read about the priestly vestments--the clothes that the kohanim wore when they served…

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Chol Hamoed

Most holidays in Western society last for a single day, which is often extended into the weekend. And while most people are aware that Chanukah is celebrated for 8 days, many people…

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Four Cups of Wine

Like almost all festival meals, the Passover seder begins with Kiddush, the sanctification of the day. On Passover, however, the first cup of wine is followed by three more mandatory…

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Live Long And Prosper

Every "Trekkie" knows that Spock’s Vulcan salutation is accompanied by a strange hand gesture. What many don’t realize is that Leonard Nemoy borrowed this symbol from his traditional…

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Martin Buber

I and Thou (Ich und Du), the best known philosophical work of Martin Buber (February 8, 1878 - June 13, 1965), was published in 1923. I and Thou presents Buber’s philosophy of dialogue,…

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Will I Forgive You for What!?

An ancient Jewish proverb declares: “Loose tongues are worse than wicked hands.”Truth is, people do the most damage to each other with their mouths. Things done with our hands, such as…

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