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Torah nutshell from kolel.org
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Interesting quotes from famous Jews
My father never lived to see his dream come true of an
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up. They have no holidays.
Look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable. So, for every ten Jews beating their breasts, God designated one to be crazy and amuse the breast beaters. By the time I was five I knew I was that one.
The time is at hand when the wearing of a prayer shawl and skullcap will not bar a man from the White House, unless, of course, the man is Jewish.
Even if you are Catholic, if you live in New York, you're Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you are going to be a goy even if you are Jewish.
The remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil!
Even a secret agent can't lie to a Jewish mother.
My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.
It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.
Don't be humble; you are not that great.
I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in fourteen days I had lost exactly two weeks.
-Joe E. Lewis
A spoken contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.
Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Too bad that all the people who know how to run this country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair.
A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.
I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.
Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done.
When I bore people at a party, they think it is their fault.
"DAILY JEWISH WISDOM" is found @ Beliefnet.com
Fear builds walls to bar the light. - Baal Shem Tov
Engage in Torah and charity even with an ulterior motive, for that habit of right doing will lead also to right motivation. - Talmud: Pesahim, 50b
The sword comes into the world because of justice delayed and because of justice perverted.- Ethics of the Fathers 5:8
Ever since Rabbi Akiba used the Passover seder to plan a revolutionary struggle against the Roman occupiers, the Jews have used the seder to begin concrete work on tikkun (healing and transformation).
- Rabbi Michael Lerner, the Tikkun Magazine Passover supplement 2006
To work out ends of righteousness and love are you called; not merely to enjoy or suffer.
- S.R. Hirsch, "Nineteen Letters," 1836
“Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.” Golda Meir
The worship of God, though desirable as an end itself, can somehow never be in the right spirit, unless it impels one to the service of man. - Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan
Concentrate on three things and you will not fall into the grip of sin. Know from where you came, where you are going, and before Whom you will have to give account and reckoning.- Pirkei Avot 3:1
We cannot learn from general principles: there may be exceptions. - Johanan, Talmud: Kiddushin
A truly generous man is he that always gives, whether it be much or little, before he is asked.- Orchot Tsadiqim
The best security for old age: respect your children.- Sholem Asch
A Jew can be Jewish with God, against God, but not without God.- Elie Wiesel
He who promotes his own honor at the expense of his neighbor's has no portion in the world to come.- Judah b. Hanina, Genesis Rabbah
Even if all the world tells you, "You are righteous," consider yourself a sinner. - Rabbi Simlai
Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism and falsehood. The liturgical movement must become a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision.- Abraham Joshua Heschel, "On Prayer"
Lose with truth and right rather than gain with falsehood and wrong.- Maimonides, "Tzavaah"
Seek the good in everyone, and reveal it, bring it forth.- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1811), "Likutey Moharan"
Just as we love ourselves despite the faults we know we have, so should we love our neighbors despite the faults we see in them.- Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov
A man should never impose an overpowering fear upon his household. - Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 6b
If you add to the truth, you subtract from it.- The Talmud
Love unaccompanied by criticism is not love....Peace unaccompanied by reproof is not peace.- Genesis Rabbah 54:3
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High Holy Days 5776
Rosh HaShanah Changes 5776
Changes always changing ever changed.
Flows of Life take us forward to the strange,
The beautiful, and the challenging.
Yet what goals have we at this time of year?
We are told to atone; “Do better, Dear,
At fixing the World while we dance and sing.”
How can we achieve these goals?
How can we redeem our souls
As we are buffeted along rocky shoals?
What is the cost to open wide our hearts?
Can we put together the broken parts?
Are words enough? Can they say we repent?
Or – do we need actions with good intent?
Can we enjoy the obligations of Law
While trying to repair each blemish and flaw?
So open wide to the Words of Torah.
Feel the flow of Life.
Maybe then we will find complete happiness
Full health, and no strife!
Update continued for Yom Kippur:
Before the Almighty we stand in stark relief.
We bare our souls before the throne, our joys, our grief…
We ask for clear guidance in our deeds and beliefs,
Never sure we’ll be sealed in the Books of Good Deeds,
Happiness, Good Life, Income, Good Health, well met needs…
May we all be sealed for a wonderful life in 5776! Don’t forget to beat the willow to cast away the last of your sins at the end of Sukkot! ... or at least picture it as a beautiful, poignant part of our heritage and lives! Shana Tova Tichateimu!
Hi again! It has been a while since last I wrote an update…
5775 was a year of changes. Lots of folk moving around. Prescott Valley people moved to Prescott. A Chabad “house” was established in Prescott as of last November. Some people never before involved with Judaism in this area have come out looking to return in some small measure.
Home, email, and telephone visits have become more frequent for the elderly and the infirm. A de facto shofar by phone program has been started. It is a great joy to see more people affirming their Judaism through one platform or another.
Yet Torah makes it clear that the High Holy Days are not just for Jews, but for everyone. We all are imperfect. We all have reason to repent. We all should be trying to make amends with others where needed. We all should strive to forgive and be forgiven.
Added joy has been with us in the form of weddings. Two this past year and at least one planned for this coming year. Also, despite the odds, I made it to the SW Region Chaplaincy Corps Staff College for Civil Air Patrol. To my great joy I found considerable encouragement to apply to be Chaplain as well as learned of a four year program to modernize the culture towards diversity and away from religious bigotry as per the Air Force rules and regulations. All the little sidetracks during the year seem insignificant in comparison: a little minor surgery, new glasses, the loss of our oldest cat to colorectal lymphoma, being adopted by an outdoor kitten at that same time, etc.
Not insignificant are the ongoing challenges to provide a couple incarcerated folk with access to Jewish prayer and Tanach [bible] materials, proper health support, dietary accommodations, etc. Bigotry is, unfortunately, an equal opportunity vice at every level of our lives.
What will this New Year hold for us? We can never be sure. Yet we now gather together to reflect on how best we can go forward, doing what is right in the hopes that the path we will then follow will lead us to happiness, health, and fulfillment. May we be sealed in all the Good Books for 5776!
Sukkot 5776 Guests and Joy, No Magic
Guests and Joy, No Magic
Therefore please remember to come and celebrate Sukkot Sept. 27 thru Oct. 6 in the Rabbi’s Sukkah. Shake the Lulav and Etrog, sing and dance to festival appropriate songs, eat good food, learn about the customs of the festival, and enjoy the presence of guests live and otherwise. May this season, having started in atonement and fasting, end in joy and love!