Simchat Torah 5767-2006

"The Evolving Holiday"

One of the most joyous days of the Jewish calendar, Simchat Torah, as it is celebrated today, is a relatively new holiday that became popular in the Middle Ages around the 14th century. The customs and rituals of this holiday have interesting origins, and, in fact, seem to still be evolving and developing in contemporary times.

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Bereshith-Simchat Torah 5766-2005

"P'roo Ur'voo --Jewish Attitudes Towards Procreation"

As we once again begin the Book of Genesis, we learn about the central mitzvah of procreation, "p'roo ur'voo," (Genesis 1:28). Judaism diverges from much of Christianity in its forthright and positive attitude towards sexuality. Not only is bearing children a mitzvah in Judaism, but even pleasure in sexuality is a mitzvah. Furthermore, even those who are not blessed with children can bear spiritual fruit, by becoming teachers of Torah or by supporting the study of Torah.

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