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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Reaching our Creator in every generation

By Rabbi Dov Fischer




Connecting in the present has everything to do with understanding -- and respecting -- our past



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Since the first word of Genesis, every week we have been reading about one exciting historic event after another. There was: The world's creation, the Flood and its diluvial ramifications, the stories of our matriarchs and their husbands, the Great Exodus from Egypt that brought us — with no apparent exit strategy — to the Sea of Reeds, and then Mount Sinai, where G0d Almighty, amid thunder and lightning, revealed Himself to our nation of millions by declaring the Ten Pronouncements, which later would be engraved in stone as a memorial.

Last week, in the reading of Mishpatim, the Torah slowly transitioned from narrative history toward legal codification. Now, with this week's reading, Terumah, the Good Book sets forth, in the most punctilious detail, how to build the Mishkan, the portable temple that will accompany us through the last 39 years of our Sinai peregrinations before finally finding a resting place for 369 years in the City of Shiloh in the Promised Land (Zevachim 118b).

In those years, Jewish worship focused around one central holy place, the Mishkan. In time, a more permanent structure would be constructed in the city G0d would choose to rest His Shechinah: Jerusalem eternal. And Judaism would center for centuries more around that holy site, where Kohanim performed their sacrificial service, Levites mounted their platforms and Israelites stood at their stations.

We did not have synagogues and temples in those days. It was a time when all the world found "spirituality" — that intangible warm feeling of connecting with the Infinite — through animal sacrifice to their many gods, a world of religious pageantry and altars and offerings. So G0d in His lovingkindness provided His people with a way to reach Him directly, compatible with their milieu. Even so, Judaism dramatically would differ, by declaring that there is but One G0d, our G0d, and by sanctifying the animal-sacrifice rite as the Torah commanded. But it also was a time before Guttenberg and printing presses, so a time before prayer books. The kind of temple service to which we are accustomed today — prayers from the Psalms, petitioning G0d in the thrice daily Amidah prayer composed by the Men of the Great Assembly, the contemporary davening experience — was not practicable. David had not yet entered history to write Psalms, and people could not have amassed, awaiting a page announcement, to recite the correct one in unison.

In time, after the Romans destroyed our Temple, we found ourselves exiled. Soon we were dispersing across the globe, a bit by choice, mostly in panicked refuge from one or another vulgarian's hordes. And through those centuries, particularly once books could be mass printed, new forms of worship took hold, redefining "spirituality." We became daven-ers.

Sometimes, when we look back at the Age of Terumah — at the Judaism of yore — some of us cannot relate.

"I don't get it, rabbi. What kind of Judaism is that? Where is its spirituality? How can we pray for a return to the Holy Temple, so that we can again 'perform the rite of our required offerings, the continual [korban tamid] offerings in their order and the additional [musaf] offerings according to their laws'? Is that spirituality?"

And yet I wonder: When the Righteous Messiah comes, speedily in our days, and ushers in an era that sees the resurrection and return of the millennia of Jews who lived during the Mishkan and Temple centuries before Guttenberg, will they be asking their rabbis in Jerusalem: "Why do those 'Post-Exilics' all huddle in corners, turning pages by rote, mumbling in buzzes? Here, we have restored the pageantry and magnificence of the Kohen in his precious garments, the Levites and their gorgeous choirs, and these Post-Exilics just alternately rise and sit, rise and sit. Where is their spirituality?"

Spirituality is subjective. It is within us to connect, different ways in different generations, according to the Torah laws and customs of our times. And so we conclude our every Amidah, 22 times each week, with this supplication: "Our G0d, please desire your nation Israel and their prayers, and also please restore the sacrificial service to your Holy Temple. Please accept with love and desire both the sacrificial fires and the recited prayers, and may the services of your nation Israel always be favorable to you."

And as we respect those generations who worship from a different milieu, and as they do towards us, may G0d look down on that great day and say: "This mutuality of respect and unity of purpose among Jews who differ, is spirituality."

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JWR contributor Rabbi Dov Fischer is an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and serves as the rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County.


Previously:


Always the Jews --- not: Give the maniac credit for what he is

In the end, it will all finally make perfect sense
When will justice come for the Justice?
On gin joints and Divine destiny
To be alone
Give Your Rabbi a Break

© 2010, Rabbi Dov Fischer