Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Back then (at 13) I was unsure of if I was truly going to stick with Judaism and I was unsure. Now over the years I have come to love being Jewish. It’s very important because now compared to when I was 13. I was much less mature and sort of just did Hebrew school because I had to. Now I do it because I understand Judaism much better and look forward to going to temple and learning something new or to sing a song or to help in the Hebrew school.
I want to confirm the fact that I will be Jewish for the rest of my life. I also want to confirm that I will get my kids Jewish. “No matter what”
I would like to be a Jew for all my life because I like being Jewish. So much, in fact, that I will get confirmed which makes it so I will be Jewish for the rest of my life.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Well, it finally happened. I'm out. I wrangled as many Torah thoughts as I could. But we have 6 days left so if you are following this blog, send in your idea or cajole a friend. But we've had over 700 hits, lots of people thinking about Torah as we march towards Sinai. We are almost there! Here are some photos of us marching not quite in the Sinai but in the Arava. Thanks to Lev, we greeted the sunrise.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Counting the Omer Day 42
The following are the kindergarten class's response to 'What Torah means to me..."
...Doing mitzvot and giving poor people money - Lauren S.
...Giving poor people money who don't have food - Paris L.
...To put tzedukah in your piggybank - Sam R.
...Giving people money to buy their own house - Zachary D.
...The story of the Jewish people - Noah R.
...Blessings - Emily K.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Counting the Omer Day 41
In my line of work, I routinely see people behaving poorly towards family and friends. It is easy to be critical of others, but sometimes harder to remember that we are more alike than we care to admit-generally, we all want the same things for ourselves, our families and loved ones.
I look to the Torah as a model of good behavior and kindness in how I (in saner moments) try to interact with others. It is a general guidepost, sometimes far off, sometimes close by, that often keeps me moving in a positive direction.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Counting the Omer Day 36
It is hard to describe in words what Torah means to me. In a certain way, Torah is like music. It has tremendous spiritual power that works in a transcendent way. To me it is much more than a life guide, history, code of moral and ethical laws that our very life is derived from. It is even more than story about creation that leads us to Adonai, the only first source of the universe and our own being. It is more than all our lifetime situations and all the basic knowledge of every science which humankind progress achieved so far. The Torah is our Holy text that has many layers to it. To me, the chanting of Torah has always been a crucial way to understand the sacred text and to come a little closer to the transcendent.
It is a way to interpret the ancient text that connects us to Second Temple time through Middle Ages and continues to grow and change by our modern interpretation. In some sections of the Torah, special melodies are used to interpret the text in a unique way. “The song of the Sea” portion has many different traditions of artistry of Cantillation: the tradition that I learned is when a special melody is used for each phrase in the song that has God’s name in it. This melody does not follow the rules of chanting as my path of life changed when I studied this Torah portion which led me to my final decision to become a Cantor. It has been a very long way from Russia via Israel to America. It is hard to fit my life story in a paragraph, however, when I was a mom of two children, had my successful career of choral conductor, my decision of becoming a Cantor was not an easy one. Before I came to HUC to chant my first Torah portion, I had a dream – the sea was splitting, it was a night, and then it was a day when Torah changed my life forever. It all became together – my God, my passion of music, my love for Israel, my Judaism, and my family freedom – suddenly all at once…
Monday, May 3, 2010
The Torah means a lot to us. What it means will now be revealed. The Torah is the Jewish way of life for most people. It’s also the record of the Jewish people. It means God left us the Torah so he wouldn’t have to tell everyone in the world about his love.
To me Torah means that it’s an honor for it to even get out of the ark. It also means that the Torah is the most holiest detail in the Temple. The last thing is that the holiest of the holiest thing is to even hold the Torah.
Torah is the way of life for many Jews. The Torah is the way of life for me because it teaches how God made the Earth and the things God made each day for 7 days.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Torah means that everything I learn in religious school isn’t fake and that it actually happened. Danielle C
Torah means to me respecting God. Arianna C
Torah means and represents the people and our people in history who went through whatever they could to be Jewish. It shows our early history and important times where something affected the whole Jewish tradition. Chloe S
Torah is all about being Jewish. It includes everything we learn about. In the Torah everyone learns their religion and how it got its ways and traditions. It says how all the Jews overcame all their challenges. That’s what Torah means to me. Gabriel G
Torah means holiness. David S
Torah to me means my religion, who I am, and what I stand for. Sarah F
To me, Torah represents my heritage, and my faith. It means that all of the stories we’re told are true and that they actually happened. Torah means that being Jewish is both important and special, so I should hold on to it. Leah R
To me Torah means religion, heritage and a way of life. Really it’s the only thing connecting all of the Jewish people as a whole because not all Jews celebrate holidays and speak Hebrew.
Torah means that God is there. The Torah gives hope to those in need. It is holy and ancient. If the Torah can last thousands of years, so can the Jewish faith.
God gave us the Torah. By giving us this holy object, He has showed us that He thinks we are special. Without it, we would not know most of our past.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Today is the 33 day of the counting of the omer. In Hebrew, 33 is represented with two letters, the lamed and the gimel. They are pronounced lag. So Lag B'omer is the 33rd (day) of the omer. In Israel there are bonfires all over the place in memory of an ancient rebellion (that didn't really succeed but that's another story) as well as children playing with bows and arrows, the weapon of choice of that rebellion.