Eilu Devarim: These Are The Words

This prayer is called “Eilu/Elu Devarim” (These are the Words), sometimes called “the Rabbinical Ten Commandments.” It’s an ancient prayer from the Talmud that remains a pivotal part of Jewish morning prayer liturgy today. The deeds listed are considered to be mitzvot (obligations) beyond measure. I wrote my own interpretation: These are the practices that …

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Shoftim (Judges): Weekly Torah Portion

 Parashat Shoftim (Judges), פרשת שופטים Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9 The most famous line from this Parsha is “tzedek, tzedek tirdof" — "Justice, Justice you shall pursue." (16:20). The fact that justice is said twice signifies the extra care we must take to ensure justice is our top priority. 1. The first instructions in this Parsha are: …

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Aseh Lecha Rav (Make for Yourself A Rabbi)

עֲשֵׂה לְךָ רַב, וּקְנֵה לְךָ חָבֵר Make for yourself a rabbi (aseh lecha rav) and acquire for yourself a friend” (kneh lecha chaver). Pirkei Avot 1, Mishnah 6 The rabbinical exhortation to Aseh lecha rav is mentioned twice in Pirkei Avot, indicating its importance. When we think of a contemporary rabbis, we most likely envision …

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Modern Jews VS Israelites

Q. Was Avraham/Abraham (forefather of the three Abrahamic faiths) the first Jew? A. It’s not accurate to say he was a “Jew” or “Jewish,” but he was an ancient archetype and primogenitor, called Avraham Avinu (אברהם אבינו), "our father Abraham” in Jewish tradition. Nowadays, the word Jew is the demonym of the People whose story …

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The Ten Agreements

Ten Agreements I wrote based off “The Ten Commandments.” 1. No Other Gods Before Me: We agree not to allow the manmade gods of ego, greed, envy, arrogance and religious superiority to represent Divinity or diminish the Divinity of other beings. 2. Graven Images: We agree to free ourselves from deeply engraved beliefs that don’t …

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Has Judaism Evolved Over The Ages? (Requested Topic)

Len, at Lensdailydiary, asked “Has Judaism evolved over the ages as a religion? Is it interpreted the same today as 500 years ago? Are younger generations more discerning and demanding in their answers to theological questions?”Judaism, like Christianity, has evolved over time and continues to evolve. We have denominations — just as Christianity has Lutheran, …

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Parsha Kodeshim – What Does Holiness Mean?

Parashat (Parsha) Kedoshim / פרשת קדשים / Part One Vayikra/Leviticus 19:1–20:27 Kodeshim, the title of this parsha (Torah Portion), means holy ones (or holy things). This Parsha starts off with a bang! Right out of the gate, the opening commandment is: "Kodeshim tihiyu ki kadosh ani Adonoi Elohechem” — “Ye shall be holy; for I the …

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