Select Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section

God After Auschwitz, pt 3


Rabbi Stoller’s presentation on a philosophical perspective of God after Auschwitz, with excer

God After Auschwitz, pt. 2


Isaac Levendel, a Hidden Child in France during the Holocaust, offers a special presentation at BJBE Adult Education.

Gołda Tencer zaprasza do Centrum Kultury Jidysz (28.09.13)


Dyrektor Generalna Fundacji Shalom, Gołda Tencer, zaprasza na atrakcje nowego sezonu (2013/2014) Centrum Kultury Jidysz przy ul. Andersa 15 w Warszawie, lektoraty języka jidysz na trzech poziomach, Żydowski Uniwersytet Otwarty, warsztaty piosenki jidysz i kuchni żydowskiej i zajęcia z teatru żydowskiego


Rabbi Shmuley Debates Richard Dawkins

 02.05.2008 to purchase full video.
The 1996 debate at Oxford featuring four eminent participants, including noted biblical scholar Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

The panelists tackle the issue of whether or not God, and by extension, religion, is needed for there to be goodness in the world. Rabbi Boteach boldly asserts that the greatest tragedies of the 20th century were not only removed from religious motivations, but were responsible for more casualties than religious wars in all other times put togethe

JVN Fundraiser w. Elie Wiesel


On October 5, 2008 This World: The Jewish Values Network ( held a fundraiser at the home of Michael and Judy Steinhardt in NY. Prof. Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, lectured on Forgiveness, followed by a celebration of his 80th birthday.

Will Jews Exist?


Produced by LNC Productions

Welcome your extra soul, and irrigate the thirsty world

Welcome your extra soul, and irrigate the thirsty worldPosted: 21 Feb 2014 04:00 AM PST

Small-water-features-pouring-urnOur practice of Shabbat restores primordial wholeness to the cosmos. It has the capacity to irrigate the thirsty world. Shabbat is a transformation inside of God in which we are actors.

So teaches Rabbi Marcia Prager, the dean of the ALEPH rabbinic ordination program. (I first shared these teachings here back in 2008.)

Our practice of Shabbat restores wholeness to the cosmos. That is onechutzpahdik assertion. That there is brokenness in the world (in all of the worlds) is beyond doubt. But to suggest that we can repair that brokenness through celebrating Shabbat? Holy wow. And yet this is what our mystics teach: that when we enter into Shabbat wholly, we bring healing to God.

What does it mean to say that “Shabbat is a transformation inside of God in which we are actors”? Perhaps this: God experiences brokenness and separation, because we, God’s creation, experience brokenness and separation. But on Shabbat, we create wholeness in ourselves — and in so doing, we create wholeness inside God. Another way to frame it is through kabbalistic language: when we observe Shabbat, we enable God’s transcendence (distant, far-off, high-up, infinite, inconceivable) and God’s immanence (embodied, here with us, as near as the beating of our own hearts, relational, accessible) to unite.

And that is why when we experience Shabbat — celebrate Shabbat, “make” Shabbat, enter into Shabbat — we open a spigot of blessing to irrigate the thirsty world. Every blessing has the capacity to turn such a spigot, and Shabbat is the blessing of all blessings. Think of all of the sorrow, the distance, the brokenness, the spiritual and emotional thirst in the world. And then recognize that when we open ourselves to Shabbat, and allow Shabbat to work in and through us, we can become channels for the irrigation which would soothe that thirst. It is the active participation of our hearts and souls, experiencing the mitzvah of Shabbat, which unite God far above and God deep within. When that happens, blessing flows.

1389194539_b9e31c1b6dSome of that blessing flows directly into us. On Shabbat, tradition tells us, each of us receives a neshama yeteirah, an “extra soul.” It stays with us until sundown on Saturday, when it returns to God. (This is one explanation for why we breathe fragrant spices duringhavdalah — like smelling salts, they’re meant to revive us from that soul’s departure.) That extra soul is part of who we are, but during the week it’s distant. We have two “levels” of soul (actually by some metrics we have four or five, but for now, I’m just talking about two) — a “lower” soul which enlivens the body, and a “higher” soul which resides with the Mystery we call God. On Shabbat, those two unite. The reality of who we are is joined with the potential of all that we might be.

The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches that Shabbat is equal to all of the other mitzvot put together, and that if just once every Jew in the world truly observed Shabbat together, moshiachwould promptly arrive. The teaching raises some questions: what would it mean for all of us to observe Shabbat at the same time? How do we define “us” in a modern, post-triumphalist paradigm? How do we define “observed Shabbat”? For that matter, what would it mean for moshiach to come? But I understand that piece of Talmudic wisdom in this way:  if we truly experience the day of Shabbat, we can experience a taste of the messianic era.

Of course, in order for that to happen, we have to make the time to enter into Shabbat. To stop doing and simply be.

We have to be willing to let Shabbat change us.

We have to be paying attention.

Shabbat, and that extra soul, arrive whether or not we notice. But if we can be mindful tonight as sundown falls — how might the windows of our hearts be opened? With the eyes of that new soul, what might we see?

Tattoos rule in Israel – despite Jewish law and 
After all, this is the Jewish state, and Jewish law forbids tattoos. Yet as tattoos become more 

Film shows caves as WWII refuge for Jews

For more than a year, the cave was home to 38 Jews hiding from the Nazis in what has been called the longest uninterrupted survival in history 
Moroccan Nationalists Protest Exhibit on Sephardic Jews in Tangier
Jewish Daily Forward
Moroccan nationalists protested the opening of an exhibition on Moroccan Jews in Tangier. At least 150 people gathered Feb. 18 in front of the venue where the Spanish government’scultural Cervantes Institute opened an exhibition entitled “The Spanish 
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Wellington group aims to boycott Jewish culture
National Business Review (subscription)
Echoing the Nazi refrain of “when I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver,” pro-Palestinian rights groups will be protesting outside and inside the St James Theatre as part of the global campaign of BDS (boycott, divestments, and sanctions 
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Jewish Top 10s: SNL Moments
Shalom Life
Welcome to Jewish Top 10s, where we compile lists that highlight the best and the brightest of everything yehudi, from delicious recipes to funniest actors, to most obnoxiousJewish wedding songs. With Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon officially taking 
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Nonfiction and the Art of Poetic Precision: PW Talks With Simon Schama
Publishers Weekly
A great deal of the most interesting Jewish history now being written makes the case for a culturally elastic Judaism and Jewish life, one which owes a great deal to its surroundingcultureJewish history turns out not to be an either/or story—as in 
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Kissin offers Jewish composers, Yiddish poets in striking concert departure

He is also known as a pianist of Russian Jewish extraction. …. “He’s going to recite Yiddish poetry, which is a level of identification with Jewish culture 

Message from Behind the Iron Curtain

Adar I 20, 5774 · February 20, 2014
This Week’s Features

By Shlomo Yaffe

Life Lessons from Parshat Vayakhel

By Yehoshua B. Gordon
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Discovering Talmudic Principles

By Binyomin Bitton
Watch Watch (1:02:37)
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How to Study Torah – Vayakhel

By Mendel Kaplan
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Torah Interpretations of the Rebbe

By Elimelech Silberberg
Watch Watch (47:23)

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