Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This arrived in our inbox today and we just had to share it....
"In her radio show, where she gives personal ‘advice’ to anyone who calls said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. In this letter, someone is asking for more.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and SpecialEducation University of Virginia
Friday, August 13, 2010
Did you know Rosh Hashanah literally means "head of the year" or "first to the year", but most of us know it as the start of the Jewish New Year.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sukkot is the ancient Jewish festival celebrated by sitting and eating in a sukkah – a ritual hut.
If you are going to build your own sukkah this year, whether in your back yard, front yard, terrace, or balcony, why not open it to your fellow New-Shulers? Let’s celebrate Sukkoth with a sukkah-sitting pot luck party on Sunday, September 26 at 3:00 PM. Let’s sit, eat, shake lulav, and contemplate the significance of the holiday together.
You can host a party if your sukkah is less than an hour’s ride or drive from Greenwich Village. If you are interested in hosting or attending a party, please answer the following questionnaire and forward it to Sasha Malamud email@example.com
I want to host a party
My sukkah will be located at the following address_______________________
My sukkah can accommodate_____ people sitting comfortably around a table, including my family members
I want to attend a party
My address is_________________________; Or, I live in____________________ (borough, neighborhood);
I can drive to the party if necessary____
There will be___ extra seats in my car
I may need a lift for___ people
Whether you host or attend a party
___ people will attend
I can provide lulav and etrog for communal use___
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Looking for something fun to do tonight?
Join member Aaron Seeskin for.... Torah Schmooze: Parshat Re'eh
The Details: The communal table at Le Pain Quotidien (550 Hudson Street at Perry Street), this Thursday, August 5, from 6:00-7:00 pm. Any and all comers are invited to talk about next week's Torah portion, Re'eh. No special knowledge or expertise is assumed or needed, only a willingness to read the portion in advance (as much of it as possible) and an interest in talking about it, wherever that conversation might go.
You'll find below two sets of links. The first set is to various translations of the portions themselves, in case you don't already own a chumash. The second set points to various sources of commentaries, thoughts and articles about them.
NOTE: It's not expected that participants will have read more than one translation or will have looked at any of the commentaries. I've simply included them for those who might be interested. Also, these lists are not meant to be authoritative or exhaustive. If anyone comes across or knows of other sites, whether for translations of the portion or for commentaries, please let me know and I'll be happy to include them.
Parshat Re'eh: Deuteronomy (Devarim) Chapters 11:26 – 16:17
The text itself:
· English translation #1 (with Hebrew) from Chabad is here (entire portion on one page)
· English translation #2 (with Hebrew) from Mechon Mamre starts here (each chapter is on one page)
· English translation #3 (without Hebrew) from Aish is here (entire portion on one page)
· some views from the Reform movement can found here (see links under "R'eih")
· for some Reconstructionist views, look here
· thoughts/readings/interpretations from the Conservative movement (USCJ) can found here
· for some Orthodox/Chabad perspectives, see here
· a collection of articles from across the ideological spectrum can be found at MyJewishLearning.com here (lots of good stuff here!)
· for a feminist perspectives, see Rabbi Elyse Goldstein's edited volume, "The Women's Torah Commentary: New Insights from Women Rabbis on the 54 Weekly Torah Portions" – click here, then got to page351 (not all pages are included in this Google Books version, however)
· for an animated (!) -- and kind of hilarious -- "Cliff Notes" version of the portion, see here