Judaism’s recognition of God is not the triumphant outcome of philosophical deduction. It results from the performance of mitzvoth. Through the observance of the commandments we perceive the Commander.
Just as there is a need to continuously grow in a marriage, so it is with Judaism. One needs to work on one’s commitment. Both the spouse and Judaism need to become the ultimate priority in our lives.
While most people today believe that one should not burden children with obligations, but rather allow them to make their own choices, Judaism teaches us that giving a child the feeling that he has a moral task to fulfill is giving him the option to experience immense joy.
As a woman anticipates giving birth, so the people of Israel await the redemption. The labour pains start with ten plagues. Toward the end, the people are confined to their homes: “You shall not leave your houses until morning.” They await the birth.
In the Torah, nobody dies; rather, one is “gathered to his ancestors.” No neshama becomes dust, and no spirit turns to ashes. It is neshamot that compose immortal and untouchable words, create infinite art and abstract thoughts.
Do our souls cease to exist after they leave our bodies? Does the spirit turn to ashes once it is on its own? How is it possible that souls speak immortal words, think eternal thoughts, create art and music, and then just evaporate into nothingness and vanish? A soul doesn’t grow out of nothing. It’s rooted in another world. Does it then perish and just disappear when it leaves this world?
Few matters are as misunderstood as Judaism’s “obsession with the law.” In the life of a religious Jew, not a moment goes by that he is not reminded of his obligations as stated in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law).
In previous generations, parents arranged marriages for their sons and daughters, convinced that the spouses they chose for their children would be ideal life partners for them. In a similar way, Jewish parents throughout the generations bring their newborn sons into a covenant with the God of Israel, eternally uniting them with their most ideal Partner. Brit mila is the act by which a Jewish child and God become engaged.
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My dear Yael and Yehoshua,
My dear Yael and Yehoshua,
When a grandfather stands before his grandchild at the time of her Chupah, many thoughts come to mind. These moments are infused with intense emotion and immense meaning. Above all, one experiences overflowing feelings of gratitude and thankfulness.
These special moments give rise to feelings of great anticipation and hope for renewal, combined with nostalgic reminisces and fading memories of the past.
In Memory of My Dear Mother Bertha (Rivka) Lopes Cardozo, z.l., who passed away last week on the 26 of Teveth, 5767, January 16th ,2007, at the age of 88, and was buried in Beth Haim of the Portuguese Spanish Jewish Community in Amsterdam.
May Her Memory Be a Blessing. (1)
In Devarim (14.1), the Torah warns against excessive mourning, expressing itself in a most unusual way: “You are the children of God, your God, you shall not cut yourself, nor make a bald patch between your eyes for the dead.” This prohibition teaches Man the correct approach towards death.