Aish HaTorah

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  1. Thanks
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from DennisTate in Shabbat Shalom   
    Shabbat Shalom!
     
    May the L-RD bless thee, and keep thee;
    The L-RD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee.
    The L-RD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee shalom.
    -Numbers 6: 24-26
     
    May HaShem bless you and your families during the new and glorious week.
     
  2. Thanks
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from DennisTate in The Rabbi Loves You   
    Shalom,
    Thank you kindly for asking this.  I know some things about LDS theology from my time spent here previously, as well as my own personal studies, but I certainly cannot (and, indeed, would not) claim to be any sort of expert.  However, I believe it would be quite difficult to reconcile any Kabbalistic teachings with what I know of LDS dogma.
    The Chabadniks are their own special breed.  I spend a number of years studying among them during my time at yeshiva to become a rabbi, but I am not a part of that movement.  They are good people, and their pursuit of Torah is quite admirable, but some of their ideas I simply cannot abide.  They are also the most "missionary" of all Jewish religious groups, but they restrict their efforts to bring secular or humanistic Jews back into Judaism.
  3. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from DennisTate in The Rabbi Loves You   
    I can be that at times.  Mostly I suffer from a sort of droll loquaciousness.  Ask my children and they will confirm this.
    They also ask me if I read the Bible to reminisce.  
  4. Okay
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from DennisTate in This Week's Parsha - פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ   
    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.
  5. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Jamie123 in 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?"
  6. Haha
    Aish HaTorah reacted to Vort in Joke   
    Krav maga: Jew jitsu
  7. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Alemmedial in 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?"
  8. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from scottyg in People of the Covenant - Ask a Jew   
    I forgot the joke!  Oy gevalt, I'm glad my children are at school. 
    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?"
  9. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from mikbone in 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. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from anatess2 in 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?"
  11. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from pam in 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?"
  12. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Franz123 in 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?"
  13. Okay
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from DennisTate in 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.
  14. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from carlimac in 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.
     
  15. Thanks
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Traveler in 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.
  16. Like
    Aish HaTorah reacted to Midwest LDS in Looking beyond the Mark.   
    The simple answer to this question is yes. As Christians, and I would say especially as Latter-day Saints, we believe that there are times where God will not give us a clear answer because he wants us to learn something from the experience. In the Doctrine and Covenants, one of our additional books of scripture, chapter 58 verses 26-27 the Lord says 
                "26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
                27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;"
    God doesn't want us to have to be commanded in all things, he wants us actively engaged in a good cause. In addition to this commandment, we have numerous examples from scripture that show us this aspect of the Lord's way of teaching us. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Ether is commanded to build a boat. The Lord shows him how to make a boat, but when asked how they will light the boat he gives this answer in Ether 2:23
    "And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?"
    The Lord's intention in this section is to get the brother of Jared thinking about how to solve the problem presented. As Latter-day Saint Christians, we believe that part of the reason God sent us to Earth was to learn and grow from making decisions. 
     
  17. Like
    Aish HaTorah reacted to The Folk Prophet in Looking beyond the Mark.   
    Yes. 
  18. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Midwest LDS in Pope Francis Just Changed the Lord’s Prayer; Parallels Joseph Smith’s Translation   
    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.
  19. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from mikbone in 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.
     
  20. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from SilentOne in Pope Francis Just Changed the Lord’s Prayer; Parallels Joseph Smith’s Translation   
    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.
  21. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from NeuroTypical in 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."
  22. Thanks
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from anatess2 in 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.
  23. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from SilentOne in Doors & Windows   
    This is such a fascinating topic, and I am appreciative to hear different viewpoints on how and why suffering and tragedy are parts of our lives and the lives of G-d's children throughout the history of the world.
    If I may be allowed to put in my two shekels...
    Jews, in some regards,  read the Bible differently. One of the most striking features of the Torah (and all of the Tenakh, for that matter) is that the the most challenging questions about fate come not from unbelievers (those who either don't know G-d or do but choose not to believe), but, rather, from those heroes of faith themselves. Abraham asked: "Shall the Judge of all the Earth not do justice?" Moses asked: "Why have You done evil to this people?" The entire book of Job is dedicated to this question, and in the end it is not Job's comforters, who blamed his misfortunes on his sins, who were vindicated by heaven, but Job himself, who consistently challenged G-d. In Judaism, faith lies in the question, not the answer. 
    Questions are of such deep importance, and they would have been expected...especially during the time of the Second Temple (Jesus' day). In my studies of Christianity, it is fascinating to note how when Jesus was asked questions, he would often respond with...another question. This was quite typical of rabbis in his day. Rabbis were not interested in hearing a regurgitation of things they had taught their students. They asked questions so as to ascertain if their students had fully grasped what they were being taught. Taught about Torah and taught about interpretation and taught about how a certain passage should be made flesh and lived, as it were.
    So for me as a Jew (and a rabbi), the real question is, therefore, not: "Why did this happen?" But "What then shall I do about it?" The Jewish response is not to seek to understand, thereby to accept. We are not the Almighty, blessed be He. Instead, we are the people He has called on us to be his partners in the work of creation. The only adequate response, by my way of thinking, is to say: "G-d, I do not know why this tragic thing has happened, but I do know what You want of us: to help the afflicted, comfort the bereaved, send healing to the injured, and aid those who have lost their livelihoods and homes. We cannot understand G-d, but, G-d willing, we can strive to imitate His love and care to the very best of our ability.
    That was probably more than two shekels worth of drivel. May you be well, my friends.
  24. Haha
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from Sunday21 in 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."
  25. Like
    Aish HaTorah got a reaction from mordorbund in This Week's Parsha - פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ   
    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.