Sukkot poses a hard problem for me. Torah commands me to gather my harvest, to bring it to the temple and present an offering of thanks for all the abundant fruits and crops I was able to produce this season, sharing them also with the Levites and the servants. My problem is simple: I am not a farmer! I don’t have fields, and I don’t harvest any produce; there are no Levites around me anymore, and fortunately there are no more people subjugated to me in servitude.
On Rosh Hashanah the tashlich ritual states: throw pieces of bread into running water in order to get rid of your transgressions. Although surrounded by spiritual meaning, a problem emerges from this act: the transfer of personal waste, even if symbolic, to a place in nature that belongs to everyone. In this sense, what would be the consequences if everyone tried to get rid of what bothers them, disregarding the collective concept so emphasized on Rosh Hashanah, when we remember the creation of the world?
Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a new cycle. The festive moments invite us to engage in reflection and, from there, to rethink our daily practices. In Jewish thought, time is circular, not just in yearly cycles. Historical time is a process of improvement and reparation that fits between Paradise and Messianic Time, two mythical ideas of perfection, of absolute good.
Once the students invited their master, Ben Azzai (2nd century, Israel) to share a good teaching about “Megillat Kinot” (the Biblical Book of Lamentations/Eichah that is read every Tisha beAv).
The Pride Month is coming to a close, but the celebration of diversity in our communities lasts all year! We’ve prepared some material to help you and your community to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ pride this month or in any other.
The Reform Rabbinical Institute and the UJR-AmLat present the Workshop on Anti-Semitism by Rabbi Joseph Edelheit.
In its biblical sources, the holiday of Shavuot is characterised by the moment of the year in which it happens (50 days after Pesach, when the wheat was harvested) and by the offerings made to God, be it animal sacrifices, bread or the first fruits. Except for the moment of the holiday itself, the other biblical dimensions all referred to agricultural practices in the Land of Israel. Following the Jewish diaspora, with many communities outside Israel, these aspects of the festival lost their relevance to a large part of the Jewish world.
The domination of the Roman Empire in Judea in the first century of the Common Era was one of the most terrible chapters in the history of the Jewish people. From the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the Romans faced a series of sporadic revolts, in their majority badly organised and without success. In the second century of the Common Era, the leader Bar Kochba started a series of organised revolts, spiritually supported by Rabbi Akiva, one of the most renowned sages in the Jewish world, and the Jewish people saw a brief light of hope, of liberation, before the great oppressive force.
Yom HaZikaron Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of the Wars of Israel and Victims of Actions of Terrorism Yom…
It’s almost time for the Passover dinner and your assembled guests are shifting their interests from Seder to soup. At this moment, you point to the Passover symbols: Pesach, matzah and maror, and sort of begin the meal with what was considered in ancient times “the appetizer”.