Archive for category Philosophy

TEDx talk: How I Became my own Worst Nightmare

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Hitchhiking, Fundamentalism, and the Art of Ethical Communication

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The Pitchfork of Prayer — Insights into Sukkah 14a

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The Ninth Night of Chanukah: Keeping the light alive after the last candle goes out

ninth night of chanukah

Chanukah isn’t really over after the eighth night; in a sense, it’s just beginning.  Watch this video to discover the disconcerting aftermath of the Maccabean victory and the enduring legacy of the Hasmoneans.

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Cremation vs. Burial: Preserving Human Dignity in Life and Death

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The body is more than just a garment; it is at essence a servant to the soul. 

Our hands enable us to reach out to others, to perform acts of kindness, to give charity, to caress those whom we love.  Our legs carry us to visit the sick and aid those in need.  Our mouths allow us to articulate words of higher ideals, to study the wisdom of our people, to elevate our voices in prayer.  Our minds spur us to contemplate the nobility that defines our humanity and reflect upon the magnificent design of the universe. 

To merely cast off a faithful servant once his or her service is no longer required is the height of ingratitude.  Such a servant deserves to be escorted with dignity, with respect, and with love. 

So too the body, which has served us in life, deserves to be treated with reverence in death. 

What form does that reverence take?

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Derech Eretz: the cornerstone of teshuva, tefillah, and tzeddaka

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Spiritual Radioactivity

Do you think spiritual impurity is hocus-pocus?

Would you walk into a radioactive hot zone just because you can’t see or smell radiation?

Click to watch this 5-minute primer on the nature of purity and impurity, and why it’s still relevant in our times.

Photo via Max Pixel

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Sefiras HaOmer: The Calculus of Becoming Fully Human

Every year, we endeavor to re-experience the spiritual transformation the Jewish people underwent 3330 years ago from the moment they left Egypt to the moment they received the Torah at Sinai.  Enjoy these insights:

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