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Shutting it all Down to Reboot My System

Posted on April 17th, 2017
By Mayim Bialik on her website, GrokNation  

How Mayim’s time away from her devices prompted her to rethink her relationships with her phone and certain websites

One of the great gifts I have received from taking on Jewish observance is the gift of shutting off things in my life that distract me from what I want to experience on a particular religious holiday.

For example, Shabbat comes every Friday night through Saturday night, and it is a time to spend with family and friends. Not checking email or social media is a way to force myself to not be distracted by the things that tend to distract me on a daily basis. The Sabbath is a real gift in my life and I’m not the only one; many non-observant Jews and people who aren’t Jewish at all have even begun to sing the praises of a “powered down” day of the week, especially in this day and age of constant information in the palm of your hand in the form of a smartphone.

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Shabbat Chol Hamoed Pesach (The Intermediate Shabbat of Passover)

Posted on April 10th, 2017
From jcca.org

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for thy love is better than wine. (Song of Songs 1:2)

Because this Shabbat falls during Pesach, the normal cycle of weekly parashot (portions) is interrupted by a special reading from the Torah.  In addition, we read Shir Hashirim, the Song of Songs, just prior to the Torah service.  The custom of reading Shir Hashirim on Pesach dates back to at least the 8th Century.

According to Rashi, (an acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the pre-eminent 11th century Jewish commentator) Shir Hashirim is an allegory about the love between God and the Children of Israel told as a story about a young and beautiful woman who becomes engaged to and then marries a king.   The engagement is the Exodus from Egypt and the marriage is the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.   Shir Hashirim also makes a direct reference to Pesach, stating,” I compare you, O my love, to a mare of the chariots of Pharaoh.” (1:9).

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Shabbat HaGadol

Posted on April 3rd, 2017
by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

The Sabbath immediately preceding Passover is known as Shabbat Hagadol, the Great Sabbath.

Are there any special customs for Shabbat Hagadol?

1. Today, practically every pulpit rabbi delivers a homily every Shabbat. This wasn't always the case. In Jewish communities of old, the rabbi would speak to the congregation twice a year: On Shabbat Shuvah (the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) the rabbi would speak about the importance of doing Teshuvah, and would remind the people of the numerous laws associated with the holiday of Sukkot (Sukkot is five days after Yom Kippur). And on Shabbat Hagadol the rabbi would discuss in his sermon some of the practical laws associated with Pesach. The rabbis had it easy, and some of the congregants had to find some other time to catch up on their sleep...

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For more about Passover, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

Learn to Light Shabbat Candles with BimBam

Posted on March 27th, 2017
From Shaboom!

In this karaoke video, parents and kids learn the blessing for lighting Shabbat candles. Watch this short video from the Shaboom team to practice saying the prayer together. Shabbat shalom to your family!



10 Minute Prep Recipes For Shabbos

Posted on March 20th, 2017

The Joy of Kosher

Standing at the foot of Mount Sinai, we, the Israelites, witness thunder, lightning, smoke and the sound of the shofar and experience the declaration of the 10 Commandments. This week’s Shabbat menu will honor our receiving the 10 commandments with 5 recipes that only require 10 minutes or less to prepare. 

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