Angels (Malachim) In Judaism

Angels are called Malachim in Hebrew. What does malachim mean? It means messengers. Each malach (singular) has a particular role in Judaism and message to impart. Angels are not all sweetness and light in Jewish teachings. They may be helpful to humans or not so much, depending on the messenger role they were assigned when …

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Intro To Mussar: Jewish Mindfulness

Rabbi (Rav) Yisrael Salanter (1810-1883) was a famed Talmudist and founder of the Mussar movement. Rav Salanter was mentored in Mussar by Rabbi Zundel. They both lived very modest lives. Rav Salanter was appointed the head of a yeshiva in Vilna, where he lived in poverty, and acquired his own following. After turning down a …

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The Good Inclination and The Evil Inclination (Yetzer Hara, Yetzer Hatov)

This Shabbat we’re going to explore the concept of Duality in Judaism, starting with a schtikel (“little bit” in Yiddish) of Taoism. The word "Tao” means "The Way,” as in the Way to cosmic harmony. Jewish Law is called Halacha (Hebrew), which also means “The Way,” as in the Jewish Way to cosmic harmony. I …

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Conscious Eating and Food Shaming

Food Shaming We can see an example of food shaming and using food inappropriately in the Torah in the tale of twin brothers, Esau/Esav and Jacob/Ya’akov. Esau is the skilled hunter, who puts meat on his family’s table. Jacob is the homebody. When Esau/Esav returns home from an unsuccessful hunting trip, he finds his brother …

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Heaven, Hell, Astral Projection, Prophetic Dreams and Reincarnation (In Judaism)

Does the title of this post bring Jewish beliefs to mind? Modern Judaism shies away from these topics, yet they all exist in Jewish theology and have been written about for ages in our religious texts. Astral Projection: In Jewish thought the neshama (soul) leaves the body while we sleep and reunites with Source (GD) …

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Spirit Animals In Judaism

The most notorious talking animal in the Torah is the snake (nachash) in Gan Eden (Garden of Eden). More about the snake later. Yep, we have spirit animals in Jewish literature (Torah, Midrash and folklore) and they converse with humans! All are meant to mentor or impart a message, as spirit animals do. I love …

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Forgiveness in Judaism

In Jewish teachings, GD does not forgive us for person-to-person transgressions. It is the perpetrator’s responsibility to ask forgiveness of the hurt party. GD can only grant forgiveness for sins between a person and GD — such as not keeping Kosher or not honoring the Sabbath (Shabbat). In Judaism, you must go directly to the …

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Noah’s Ark: Mysticism and Mayhem

Genesis 7 - We've all grown up hearing schmaltzy stories about Noah’s ark, with cutesy pictures of the ark and all the animals. It made for a great children's fable, but today we're going to explore the story as it’s told in the Torah and Kabbalah. We'll start pre-Ark. Why did GD want to send …

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Human Dignity

The most important value is human dignity. כבוד הבריות Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Electricity and Shabbat — The dignity of people (כבוד הבריות):Jewish law requires us to protect the precious quality known as dignity, which derives from the divine reflection evident in every human life. If we were to determine that a given activity was prohibited by …

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