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3 Steps to Hitbodedut: Talking to God on Your Own Terms

Posted on October 15th, 2018
BY: CHRIS HARRISON for ReformJudaism.org


Although we associate prayer with liturgy that our rabbis and sages developed over the centuries, the act of unscripted prayer is equally important and authentic to the Jewish experience. 

Hitbodedut (self-isolation), a style of prayer first popularized by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, is the act of open, spontaneous, and direct communication with God, and is accessible to all, regardless of how deeply one is engaged in Judaism. 

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Are Jews the Chosen People?

Posted on October 8th, 2018
BY MJL


And what does chosenness mean anyway?


The idea that the Jews are the “chosen people” and have a special relationship with God is ubiquitous in Jewish sources. However, the nature of this relationship is not without complication and ambiguity.


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Equality on Simchat Torah

Posted on October 1st, 2018
From MeaningfulLifeCenter.com


On Simchat Torah we rejoice with the Torah. We celebrate the joy of being a Jew—the joy of a life defined by and permeated with the divine wisdom and will communicated to us at Mount Sinai.

But where is the Torah?

Where is the all-embracing wisdom of the Five Books of Moses, the inspiration of the Prophets, the music of the Psalms? Where is the brilliance of the Talmud, the guidance of the Shulchan Aruch, the mystique of the Kabbalistic writings?

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John V. Lindsay Builds a Sukkah

Posted on September 24th, 2018

For more articles, recipes, crafts, and Sukkot ideas visit Jvillage Network's Sukkot & Simchat Torah Guide.
 


By Jeffrey F. Taffet for Tablet Magazine


How a liberal mayor learned to embrace Jews’ international and cultural concerns to court their vote, and changed New York City politics


On the eve of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, with the 2017 New York City mayoral contest already in full swing, it is instructive to reflect on the impact that a similar coincidence had on a mayor’s race nearly 50 years ago, and on the nature and influence of the solidly Democratic yet independent-minded Jewish political base that proved decisive in that election. In 1969, New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay needed Jewish voters to win his reelection bid. But in the months before the election, survey and anecdotal evidence suggested that Jewish support at the polls would not be forthcoming. Many Jews had come to believe that Lindsay had not been effective and, more importantly, that he had little interest in supporting their particular interests.

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Finding Faith in Sukkot

Posted on September 17th, 2018
 
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Sukkot & Simchat Torah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

By Adam Rosen for Tablet Magazine 


After reading Ecclesiastes, I realized Sukkot is the perfect holiday for a spiritual skeptic like me


When Sukkot begins this week, I’ll visit a sukkah. For many Jews, this is simply an ordinary part of the holiday every year. But for me, it will be the first time I’ve been in a sukkah in more than 20 years.

I’m not really much of a believer. I don’t know if I technically qualify as an agnostic or atheist or heretic; I like “skeptic.” Aside from the occasional last-minute trip to synagogue on a high holiday, I gave up strictly observing Jewish holidays many years ago. But a recent experience I had with one of the books of the Bible has me rethinking my lack of interest in them.

In fact, Sukkot seems like the perfect opportunity to reconnect with my past and find meaning in a Jewish holiday—because it’s the perfect holiday for skeptics.

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Giving to Temple Beth Israel

Giving to Temple Beth Israel

Giving tzedakah (making donations) to Temple Beth Israel enables our community to come together to pray, celebrate, socialize, and learn. In addition, your tzedakah to Temple Beth Israel provides teachers for our children’s Jewish education, supports adult programs, assists our holy work of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), organizes members to visit the sick and comfort mourners, and much more.

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