Aish HaTorah

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Aish HaTorah last won the day on April 22 2016

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About Aish HaTorah

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  • Birthday 10/27/1976

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  1. Aish HaTorah

    Can you decipher this limerick?

    There person who makes it does not use it. The person who buys it does not need it. The person who uses it does not know it. What is it?
  2. Aish HaTorah

    Looking beyond the Mark.

    Very much so, I thank you.
  3. Aish HaTorah

    Looking beyond the Mark.

    Pardon the intrusion, but your comment (as well as others on the idea of a "satisfactory" or "satisfying" answer when petitioning G-d is deeply fascinating to me. Do you think it is possible that G-d gives ambiguous answers to those who inquire even after deeply important matters? In reading the New Testament (Acts 15), there was a time that the Apostles seemed to receive an answer from G-d that was not clear or distinct but rather it "seemed good." The occasion was in considering whether Gentiles (non-Jews) could, in fact, follow a Jewish Messiah (Jesus), and, if that was a possibility, what would that look like in practice. I find their response after "much disputing" very interesting: Notice the bold/italic portions above. My question to all of you as believers in Jesus and the Holy Ghost, do you believe that G-d will be, at times, deliberately ambiguous about important matters in order for men to make their own decisions? Not sure if I'm making any sense, but there you have it. Be well, my friends.
  4. Aish HaTorah

    Looking beyond the Mark.

    Sorry to interject, but that isn't actually what the Hebrew says. I am NOT one to derail a thread (says the rabbi who just did), but I felt it important to point that out. My apologies.
  5. I was well-pleased to see this thread. This is a topic of some interest to me, and I find it fascinating how very Jewish Jesus was in his words and in his living. For what it's worth (you may find this interesting as well)... The invocation Avinu ("Our Father") is one common in Jewish liturgy, especially in the Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) prayer, "Our Father, our King! Disclose the glory of Thy Kingdom unto us speedily." There are also strong elements of another part of liturgy we say in a prayer called Kaddish. There are many different versions of this prayer (on called the Mourner's Kaddish, for example, that we say for those mourning the loss of a close family member), but one common phrase it contains is, "May His great name be hallowed in the world which He created, according to His will, and may He establish His Kingdom . . . speedily and at a near time." Later in the prayer, we proclaim with conviction, "Magnified and hallowed . . . be the name of the supreme King of Kings in the worlds which He created, this world and the world to come, in accordance with His will . . . and may we see Him eye to eye when He returneth to His habitation." The rest of the L-rd's Prayer, also, stands in close relation to the Messianic expectation that existed (and still exists) among the Jews of the Second Temple period. R. Eliezer said: "He who created the day created also its provision; wherefore he who, while having sufficient food for the day, says: 'What shall I eat to-morrow?' belongs to the men of little faith such as were the Israelites at the giving of the manna." This is deeply fascinating when contemplating that Jesus said: "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or . . . drink. . . . . O ye of little faith. . . . Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, . . . and all these things shall be added to you." Faith being thus the prerequisite of those that wait for the Messianic time, it behooves them to pray, in the words of Solomon, "Give us our apportioned bread," that is, the bread we need daily and for which we give thanks and praise to G-d. Before eating a meal (containing bread), we recite the following: ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, המוציא לחם מן הארץ. "Blessed art Thou, O L-rd our G-d, who brings forth bread from the earth." Repentance being another prerequisite of redemption, a prayer for forgiveness of sin is also required in this connection. But on this point special stress was laid by the Jewish sages of old. "Forgive thy neighbor the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest," says Ben Sira. "To whom is sin pardoned? To him who forgiveth injury." Accordingly Jesus said: "Whensoever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any one; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." It was this precept which prompted the formula "And forgive us our sins as we also forgive those that have sinned against us." And then we get to the thrust of this thread...that fascinating line that says, "and lead us not into temptation." This also is found in the Jewish morning prayer..."Never should a man bring himself into temptation as David did, saying, 'Examine me, O Lord, and prove me.'" And as sin is the work of the Evil One (what you would probably call Satan), there comes the final prayer, "But deliver us from the evil one [Satan]." The doxology added in Book of Matthew, following a number of manuscripts, is a portion of I Chronicles 29:11, and was the liturgical chant with which the L-rd's Prayer was concluded in the Church. Interestingly (at least to me), it occurs in the Jewish ritual also, the whole verse being chanted at the opening of the Ark of the Torah.
  6. Aish HaTorah

    People of the Covenant - Ask a Jew

    To my way of thinking, it is spiritual compromise of horrific proportions. We should not seek after worldly treatment, but in all things we are to give G-d the praise and the glory. We have a prayer that we say called the Amidah. At the beginning, we petition HaShem to "open our lips so that our mouths may proclaim His glory." If and when American Jews turn back to their Creator, only then will their voices be heard. Too many mistake the covenants and promises that G-d has given to us for the perceived entitlement of preferential treatment by manmade voices and institutions.
  7. Aish HaTorah

    People of the Covenant - Ask a Jew

    Good question. I believe that the majority of devoutly religious observant Jews in the US are still conservative in their ideology and politics. It is primarily the secular Jew who has abandoned religious expression and embraced Liberal thinking. I think history has the greatest part to play in this. It seems that the easiest explanation of this phenomenon is in terms of the actual political history of the Jewish people, a history which is for the most part one of political impotence. A people whose history is largely a story of powerlessness and victimization, or at least is felt to be such, is not likely to acquire the kinds of skills necessary for astute statesmanship. Neither rabbinic nor prophetic traditions can be of much assistance in this respect, since political thinking is inherently secular thinking, so that Jewish secular thinking about politics has traditionally focused on some splendid isolated incidents of resistance and rebellion, such as the wars of the Maccabees, and the resistance against Rome. But the memory of these incidents is hardly a sufficient basis on which to ground a real tradition of political wisdom that could teach contemporary Jews how to wield power and successfully defend Jewish interests. And the absence of such a tradition of political wisdom continues to haunt all Jewish politics, including the politics of Israeli Jews, despite the fact that they now have half a century of experience in self-government. It is interesting that a large number of Israelis approve of President Trump and his policies, while only a fraction of American Jews feel the same way. Jews, like so many in this country, have been seduced by the clever lies and promises of the Liberal agenda. Perhaps they want so desperately to believe that they can have a voice that they succumb to left-thinking ideology.
  8. Aish HaTorah

    Doors & Windows

    I would most certainly have to appeal to Holy Writ for the answer to this: My son, forget not my teaching; But let thy heart keep my commandments; For length of days, and years of life, And peace, will they add to thee. Let not kindness and truth forsake thee; Bind them about thy neck, write them upon the table of thy heart; So shalt thou find grace and good favour In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:1-6
  9. Aish HaTorah

    BYU-I Don’t

    Jewish people often deal with life's situations in humorous ways, even serious matters. Dating and marriage is ripe for jest for rabbis! For what it's worth... Lavish visited his mother and father. He said, "Finally! I've found the woman I'm going to marry. Just for fun, I'm going to bring over three women and you guess which one is 'the one.'" Mama and Papa agreed. The following day, he brought three lovely women who sat on the sofa and chatted with his parents while enjoying a little nosh. After they left, he challenged them. "Okay, can you guess which one I'm going to marry?" Without hesitating they said, "The one in the middle with the red hair." Astonished, the son replied, "That's right! But, how did you know?" His mother rolled her eyes and looked at him. "Simple. She's the one we didn't like."
  10. There is much that can be pulled out of B'midbar, but let me take a stab at something that really struck me this week... The Book of Numbers begins, as I mentioned in the previous post, with a series of census counts that seek to establish the number of adult males, the number of Levites, and the number of kohanim (priests) among the people of Israel. The endless list of random names often drives many to intense boredom! Tears flow, teeth are gnashed, hair is pulled from its roots. As a rabbi, it is sometimes frustrating to find some hook to make these lengthy Torah passages seem worthwhile to anyone brave enough to explore this seemingly tedious portion of Scripture. Columns of numbers may interest accountants, but the rest of us may strain to experience either spiritual or moral resolve in a census of who was who in ancient Israel. Yet, we return to these verses every year. Surely there must be a reason why the Torah includes them! Normally terse and laconic, the Torah must have a rationale for the recitation of this tedium. Why this attention to so many numbers? Rashi has a moving explanation. The concern for counting each individual, says he, reflects G-d's intense love for each of His children, "Because they are cherished before G-d, they are counted at every occasion." Each and every one is counted, for in G-d's light, each and every individual is unique and precious in His sight. It hearkens to the Sh'ma..."Hear, O Israel, the L-rd Our G-d, the L-rd is One." We know we are to love G-d and to love our neighbor. And our neighbor is everyone around us, both near and far. Humanity is made in G-d's image; an inability to love each of His children thus constitutes hatred of an aspect of G-d as well. May we learn to see each and every individual through the eyes of the Almighty, blessed be He! May we resolve to cultivate our own ability to love precisely where we find love most difficult. Be blessed, my friends. Shalom, shalom.
  11. This week's parsha is B'minbar (בְּמִדְבַּר), which means "In the Desert." It encompasses Numbers 1:1-4:20. The Book of Numbers begins in the wilderness of Sinai. The children of Israel are organized into a military camp, which requires, by necessity, taking a census to know their precise number. Moses, Aaron, and the chiefs of the tribes register all the men over the age of twenty. The total comes to a little over 600,000. The Levites are not included in the census with the other Israelites. Once Moses has ascertained their numbers, each Israelite is told to camp in military divisions with his own tribe, with each tribe assuming an assigned position around the Tabernacle. The Levites are assigned to be attendants to the priests, and the priests are given sole responsibility for performing the rituals of the sanctuary. All of this takes place around the foot of Mount Sinai. In the wilderness near the mountain, G-d tells Moses to perform a census of the Levite males from the age of one month. Their total was 22,000. In lieu of G-d possessing the firstborn among the Israelites, the levites are now pledged to divine service. There follows a second census of the Levites, this time numbering those between the ages of thirty and fifty, for the purpose of determining the workforce available to transport the Tabernacle through the wilderness.
  12. I thought it may be of some interest if I start a thread to discuss each week's parsha. 😐 So...what is a parsha, you may be asking? Jewish people have a deep and abiding love for the Torah, and, over time, the entirety of the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) have been divided into sections so as to render the readings in such a way that the entire Torah is read through in its entirety each year. There are fifty-four parashiot (plural) that are read during the course of a year. Each Torah portion (or parsha) is named. The name usually is a word or words that are found in the first line of any given week's Torah portion. The origins of public Torah readings can be found in the Book of Nehemiah. I think it may be of interest to some to share the basic outline of the parsha for each week and then share a word or two (or more) about the reading from a rabbi's perspective. I would be fascinated and much obliged to hear your thoughts from a non-Jewish point of view on any given parsha. I should also mention that the parsha does not fall on the same week each year as it is based on the Hebrew calendar and not the Gregorian. I will begin this week's parsha commentary in another post within this thread. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have! As always, I pray that the Almighty, blessed be He, grant you His perfect shalom. Be well, my friends.
  13. Aish HaTorah

    Bible Jokes (the Nice Kind) :)

    A father was telling Torah stories to his young children. He read, "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city and never look back. But, his wife looked back, sadly, and so was turned to salt." His son asked, "What happened to the flea?"
  14. Aish HaTorah

    drugs and gun violence

    As powerful as some of the gun lobbyists are, I believe the pharmaceutical companies are the heavy-hitters...especially with Liberals. (For what it's worth, I am an avid supporter of gun rights in nearly all arenas. My father was a sniper and we are very pro-2nd Amendment at my synagogue.) Even today, people have a huge problem with wrapping their mind around the fact that WE HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM in the United States. All the millions poured into studies and the billions in care still have gained little to no ground in stopping the epidemic (even pandemic) of illicit drug use. We live, unfortunately, in a society that will blame everything (every extenuating circumstance) and every other person instead of the person actually doing the bad thing. In some cases, such as that of drug use and its ties to gun violence, there is a culprit. Still, the fault remains on the individual, imho, and not the guns (especially) or the drugs. Let's say that a young woman gets on a bus and sees a pair of earrings someone is wearing that she fancies. She decides to take them by use of violent force. Then she's caught. In court, her attorneys will say that she did it because of her upbringing. They will blame the schools for not taking the initiative to notice she was struggling. They will blame the community for having a lack of sufficient programs to help troubled youth. They will blame the victim for wearing expensive jewelry in pubic. The blame is heaped on everyone EXCEPT the perpetrator. It is as if the perpetrator of the crime played no part in the crime itself and bares no burden of responsibility. It is a classic case of Judge Judy's famous, "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining." I work closely with the mayor of Las Vegas as part of a Faith Initiative that she started, and the problem with drugs (especially youth) in this community is astronomical. It is heartbreaking. It is easier by far to blame guns. Guns are the problem. Opioids and other drugs such as the psychotropic drugs you mentioned only ever do people good, right? *sigh* Good points you make!
  15. Aish HaTorah

    People of the Covenant - Ask a Jew

    Shalom Friend, That is a complex question to answer. If pressed, and for the sake of simplicity, I would say that the majority of the Jewish community in the United States do not hold him in high regard. I think this is unfortunate. It speaks to larger issues of the nature of the Jewish community in the US and other western nations. The trend among Jews in the US is toward liberalism. It is something that breaks my heart, if truth be known. I am a conservative--both in my Judaism as well as my politics--and it baffles me how so many of my people turn their back on conservative values, and, by default, Israel itself. Not to mention the Almighty, blessed be He. Far too often the Jews in America side with Palestine rather than Israel, and it truly upsets me. Still...I suppose I should not be overly surprised. My people have a long history of disobedience to G-d's word. We are blessed, we stray, He calls us back to Himself, and we grow complacent in our faith and we stray. There is a song that I believe you have in your LDS hymnbook (although I may be mistaken) that says something to the effect of "Prone to wander, L-rd I feel it. Prone to leave the G-d I love." That about sums up the general consensus among American Jewry.