I listened to Telepathy and spirituality on livingwithgod on my daily one hour commute to work. I didn't really like it. His logic was hard for me to follow, and I found his voice to be hard to understand. I wouldn't necessarily be against listening to another Jewish Podcast, but I don't think I really clicked with this one.
Israel Recharge '16
I listened to the podcast about Lashon Hara at this link: http://stuffjewsshouldknow.com/gossip/
I learned that there is much more to lashon hara than just not spreading gossip and rumors. Lashon hara literally means "evil tongue" and refers to not talking to or about others in a negative way. This includes not using offensive nicknames, not lying to people or conning them, and not even complimenting people if you don't mean it. I think this podcast taught me a lot of things that can be applied in everyday life. In my opinion, the lesson behind abstaining from lashon hara is to just be a kind person and treat others as you would wish to be treated. I found this podcast interesting and would definitely listen to others by these podcasters.
Israel Recharge '16
The Most Astounding Fact
A bit confused by this video and what it had to do with Judaism..
Not really sure how accurate this video was in the message. The music was good...
Israel Recharge '16
I listened to The Magic touch -- A Jewish Approach to Relationships by Gila Manolson. http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/Gila_Manolson-The-Magic-Touch/
Before I begin, I want to state that the title is very misleading -- as if to say that the approach she presents is THE [Orthodox] Jewish approach and not one of many possible approaches that might align with Jewish values. There are enough Apps these days like Jdate, Jswype, etc. that clearly are not oriented toward her approach.
That said, while I don't agree with much of her approach, I did find it interesting. I find it interesting that she considers kissing someone before marriage as rendering oneself damaged goods -- like getting a used car. She cites the Midrash (I think) saying that two divorcees on their wedding night have four people in the bed. I get it -- individuals bring their past experiences with them to new relationships -- but I find this metaphor and more so the philosophy behind it to be only suitable for those who subscribe to the construct of marriage as a spiritual relationship embedded in Judaism -- and subscribe to it from a young age, at that, as any transgression compromises the whole experience, it would seem. While there is something to be said for waiting until marriage (for everything), as it makes the final act with a single person all the more special, there is also something to be said for learning from past relationships and even practicing sexual acts so that one gets better at them. Sure, those who go into marriage as virgins in all senses have no frame of reference, but that deprives them of the experiential knowledge of how to please one's partner. Of course there are now ways around this -- modern day equivalents of the Kama Sutra -- but nothing takes the place of actual experience. This only matters, however, if each partner in the relationship views it as a spiritual relationship rather or more so than a social partnership.
But most importantly, of all the listeners of this podcast, what percentage have already experienced acts that the speaker admonishes? The vast majority, by far, I would think. So where does that leave us? We can't subscribe to a system that doesn't include us, so now we're left with a new-found need to know what alternative approaches to relationships are there condoned in Judaism?
Israel Recharge '16
I listened to the podcast "The Real Story of Christmas" by Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen. http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/Real-Story-of-X-mas-and-New-Years-b/
While I was familiar with the pagan origins of Christmas and and the appropriation of other cultural traditions in what became codified as Christmas tradition, I had no idea how heinous, decadent, and anti-Jewish some of these practices were. At the 26-minute mark, Rabbi Kelemen makes the very apt comparison to Hitler Day, celebrated on 4/20 in some parts of the world. How would the audience like it, he said, if generations from now their children's children's children had cute little dolls with Hitler mustaches, etc. and celebrated the day in frivolity without much if any knowledge of the true origin of the holiday. This hypothetical scenario speaks profoundly to how Christmas is celebrated in modernity -- without much if any knowledge of its true origins and the dastardly history associated with the commodifcation of the holiday.
Listening to this podcast was timely, as I just had a conversation with my girlfriend last night who, in exploring the possibility of a long-term relationship, said that she wants her kids to celebrate the same traditions that she did. I asked her why and she said because they are fun and have cute elements to them. This is exactly the problem that the rabbi speaks of and I will share this podcast with her toward having a more informed conversation on the matter.
I listened to the podcast "Why do People Hate the Jews?" by Ken Spiro. http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/Ken_Spiro-AntiSemitism/
This was a much better podcast than anything I listened to in the Stuff Jews Should Know series. The speaker gets right to the point, is thorough, and even humorous at times.
I listened to this podcast because the subject matter has always befuddled me. Having studied religion in school, I've heard all the tropes from blood libel to economic domination to deicide, as well as the (allegedly) historical events that led to each accusation. What I found helpful and insightful in Spiro's podcast was how he broke each down into being an excuse to hate Jews vs. a legitimate reason. While this might seem subjective, he substantiates the nature of an excuse being that if the ascribed reasons is removed, then the animosity toward Jews should stop. Spiro then breaks down each allegation against the Jews, citing historical episodes in which the formal cause of each no longer becomes the case and the Antisemitism continues. If each was truly the case, then having the allegation disproved should disabuse the hatred. However, co-morbidity may a factor there, as I don't think Spiro mentioned any episode in which all the allegations were disabused from a given population, but all from separation populations. Anti-Semites would likely attribute exception to those populations that do not fit their mold, maintaining that it's still more true than not. Even so, I doubt it would make a difference if one population was able to disprove all the allegations against Jews. Blind hatred is blind hatred irrespective of rationalizations for it.
This podcast is empowering for responding to accusations against Jews by asking the accusers if one of their accusations could be disproved, would it make a difference? Knowing that all the accusations are excuses and not founded in truth is helpful so long as the accuser is logical and open to being disabused. If not, then there is really nothing we can do except arm ourselves with the knowledge that anti-Semitic accusations are baseless.
I listened to Conversion to Judaism in the What Jews Should Know podcast. After kibitzing for the first 12 minutes and then touching on some biblical narrative (Book of Ruth) for the next 10, the speakers finally started talking about modern conversion with 5 minutes left in the podcast. The only thing of note here was the commentary that Jews are taught to give more respect to converts, as they are to widows and orphans, though the rationale for this was not extrapolated. Once You convert, you cannot un-convert, they said, as you have joined the Nation of Israel and not just a religion. Lastly, one of the speakers said that to convert, although it takes two years at a minimum, does not require learning everything. There are some basics -- such as tenets and prayers -- but it's not as intensive as people make it out to be. I'm not sure I believe this and would have liked more information on what it actually entails. I really don't care for this podcast series. Way too much time wasted off topic.
The video was about how to resist temptation which I am sure everyone can relate to .
Interesting look on temptations and immediate pleasure or longer term success. Immediate is hard to resist (true!).
Overcome temptation by making the future more rewarding. I liked his story about studying and junk food.
Jewish identity..we all have temptations especially during passover or fasting on yom kippur! Rationalise the benefit of the short term vs long term of keeping passover or the fast
I watched the video "The Rise of the Jewish Question" at this link: http://goldharschool.com/session-20-the-rise-of-the-jewish-question/
I learned about how the Jewish people were treated prior to the Enlightenment: they paid special taxes, had to wear identifying badges, they lived in isolated communities, and practice of their faith was restricted. After the Enlightenment, the "Jewish Question" was raised, which basically asked if Jews should be granted full citizenship and be treated equally, or given a separate, inferior status.
I've always known that the Jews have faced persecution and mistreatment throughout their history, but this video made me truly think about what that means for my Jewish identity. It's hard to imagine living in a time such as prior to the Enlightenment or during the Holocaust when our people were attacked solely for their religion. Because of my ancestor's fight and tenacity, it makes me proud to be Jewish. We have overcome so much oppression but I'm still here, a Jew in the year 2016.
I really liked the message about CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and it being important in growth.
I liked his 5 things to consider. They were very good.
Timing, check yourself, use a straw man, actions not people, don't share your feedback until you need to. I liked her message about everything around you growing. I am not sure anything altered my jewish identify per se but I liked the message of a bigger purpose and the point of constructive criticism with timing and purpose
I have washed my hands before bread in the past.. I enjoy doing it because when I wash my hands before a meal containing bread I'm fulfilling the ritual and is a connection to Jewish people.
Israel Recharge '16
I have said the blessing before. One of my favorite memories was the first time I ever learned about this prayer. I loved that no one spoke, that everyone would hum and sing in between washing their hands and waiting to break the bread. I wish I did this on a more regular basis.
I went to Beth Ami with my Aunt Colleen in Santa Clarita with Rabbi Mark Blazer. My aunt teaches at the Jewish Day school there and invited me to a women's prayer service. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though it was a women's group the subjects were universal to anyone. Plus it was great to spend time with my aunt. I would definetly go again.
I had schnitzel nuggets at schnitzi schnitzel bar. They were not as good as the schnitzel I had in Israel but a close second.
Had a hamburger at prime burger in Brooklyn. Already ate the burger before I took the picture haha it was good. Not my favorite but the fries were delicious!
I visited Sushi Tokyo and got this California roll. It was alright, not sure I'd have it again but it was a good.
I visited Carlos and Gabbys which is a Mexican kosher Grill. I had the steak tacos with a friend. It was delicious and I would recommend it to anyone!
I went to Jerusalem pizza in Brooklyn. The pizza was good! My friend and I just had plain slices but it was delicious, would definitely recommend for a friend.
At Cafe K waiting for some mozzarella sticks.. drinking a strawberry mint lemonade. Not sure I would recommend. This place was cute abs the food was good, but it was very small and crowded
Stopped at the bakery for some rugallah! Would definitely go here again! This bakery was fantastic!
I lit the Shabbat candles with my best friends mother. She's been in my life since elementary school and is like my own mother. I chose to light them with her because growing up she and I lit Shabbat candles and went to Shul on many many Shabbats.
We always have Rosh Hashanah dinner at my grandparents house in Long Beach. Its great because the whole family comes! Lots of food. We do have honey and make a blessing. I find the most meaningful part to be being around family.
I love yom kippur! My family all goes together. My little sister has a shofar she got for her Bat Mitzvah that she brings with. I do fast, but I brush my teeth in the morning. I also drink water...I just don't eat. This year I broke my fast on a brownie!
My brother, Shmuel, hosted the shabbat meal with a few people from his temple and invited me to attend. I really enjoyed the sense of community I felt while there and I was able to surround myself with other Jewish religious people. I already know my brother, but it was nice to get to meet a few of his shuel-mates.
I shared the meal with a few of my closest friends so they could learn about the tradition. I served schnitzel and pita bread. I loved hosting a shabbat meal because it reminded me of the shuel hosted shabbat meals I had growing up. The most enjoyable part was the desert which was cinnamon raisin pull away bread which I picked up from ostrovitskys bakery in Brooklyn. I would absolutely host a shabbat dinner again because my friends loved it too!
I attended Shabbat Dinner at an old friend of mine, Airez. I told him about the challenge I was doing and how long it had been since I went to a Shabbat dinner and he invited me to come and have shabbat with his family! It was lovely and I will definitely be doing it again.
I want to ask from G-d that he helps me to make better decisions and stick with them in the upcoming year. That he surround me with people who uplift me and help to keep me on the right course. That he enable me to help others and be healthy to help others be the same.
Spiritually I am across the board. I am inconsistent at best. My Jewish identity is based on my cultural identification as a Jew and my relationship with G-d. I would like to grow that I felt I didn't get caught up daily in the material side of the world. I would like to feel that I constantly am making decisions from a spiritual place. As opposed to one of surrvival, or competition.
I did not really like the beginning as I was sitting here thinking whether a 5 year old has the capacity to understand they are only 5. I questioned the conversation the son had with the father and wondered where this video was going and then the video made a point. I liked the middle of the video where he says that we all want something more meaningful. We want a connection and sometimes life gets in the way. Too many distractions and too much to do. High-holidays are a time to connect and cleanup (no pun intended). We ask for forgiveness on yom kippur and we feel we are not good enough. We cannot fully clean ourselves. I really like Charlie Harary's videos. Yom Kippur is essentially about connecting with god and god wants the same. Yom Kippur has always passed but I may bookmark this for the future.
I do not have any family or jewish friends where I live (UK). I remember I bought an apple and some honey. It was actually quite depressing as I usually have a family dinner or a dinner with very close friends and their family. It was meaningful in the fact that I tried to do *something* making me realise I wish I had Jewish friends to actually celebrate the occasion.
There are no synagogues where I live so I fasted and went to work. I remember everyone asking me why I was fasting and I simply told them I do it once a year. I apologised to a friend that I had not spoken to in 4 months and she responded and apologised herself. It was meaningful because I had never really been in that situation; to ask someone for forgiveness and truly mean it. I broke my fast on a burrito that looked better than it tasted.
I watched the video Israel Is Just a Dream on www.aish.com. I chose this video because the name intrigued me. When I began watching it, I was confused and began to feel angry at what it was saying. Once I heard the end, I realized the whole point is that Israel is not just a dream and it is a choice to support and believe in Israel.
I watched the video Israel: Small Country, Big Idea- How Israel is making a world of difference from www.aish.com. I chose this video because I know a lot about Israel but I had no idea Israel was so environmentally friendly.
I watched the video just-15-kilometres-north-of-tel-aviv-a-beautiful-secret-very-few-people-know-about. The link for this video is http://www.israelvideonetwork.com/just-15-kilometres-north-of-tel-aviv-a-beautiful-secret-very-few-people-know-about/ I chose this video initially for the title. Once I watched it, I loved it because our home is so beautiful and even still, we're finding things about this land we didn't know before. Israel is so beautiful and it's history amazes me.
I applied to Masa Israel because they offer a 10 month program at an affordable cost with other benefits, such as trips around Israel. I really want to experience life in Israel and make a difference. This program is to teach English to children which would allow me the opportunity to do both.
I chose to like this organization because I am interested in their programs and learning about the different opportunities they offer.
Masa Israel gives young folks a chance to go back to Israel, or even to go for a gap year. Really cool that it extends all the way to 30 year olds, I could even do it for two more years....
What a cool idea! I not only liked it, I signed up. So cool that it helps hook you up with a Shabbat dinner, really great. Im going to tell my sister about it.
I introduced myself and said hi to fellow participants, however the picture isnt uploading
here is the link
I liked the fb page for hasbara fellowships because I've been interested in participating in other programs in Israel.
I liked the fb page our soldiers speak because it's important to stay informed and to support Israeli soldiers.
Attended a Saturday morning service at MJE. Get very moved by the torah stories recounted by the rabbi. Have a hard time praying in Hebrew though as I have a hard time understanding what we are praying.
I have attended a Bris to support a friend and celebrate with her and her family the birth of her son. Brit events is not something I enjoy going to as the cry of babies from any sort of pain makes me extremely uncomfortable. But it was nice to be there for her.
Attended a class of Steve Eisenberg on how to prepare for Rosh Hashana. What intentions to set for oneself. The things to pay attention to during the blowing of the Shofar. And of course the importance of giving tzadakah.
I love hosting dinners. This dinner I put together at my sister's house. Inviting her family, two of my closest friends that do not usually attend shabbat meals, and my aunt. The food that was prepared was mostly bukharian, something that I do not usually do as that takes a huge amount of preparation. After about 5 hours of slaving away in the kitchen, I am happy to say that it was all worth it. The food turned out great, and we had an amazing time. A great end to a hard week.
I will most likely do that again. Hoping to have a place of my own soon where I can do that.
I watched the Habbits of Happiness. I liked some of the things. Such as the word happiness comes from the Hebrew word wave. A lot of the information I found to be kind of common sense. I enjoyed Dr. Tal telling his personal struggle with ADD and how it was his own happiness meter. Summary of the whole video would be peoples perspectives on life are more instrumental to their happiness than success.
I read an article entitled "Here's Why the Global Automobile Industry Is Turning to ... Israel? by PAUL A. EISENSTEIN"
Here are the things I learned:
The consumer economics industry has come to depend on Isreal and Isreal is trying to capitalize on the auto industry especially. (Ex- Waze was created in Israel and Google bought it for 1 billion dollars).
Israel has more venture capital money, and engineers per capita that any other country.
Many of the entrepreneurial start up and innovations in Israel are spin offs of Israel's big defense industry.
I also learned that you can hack into a car!? It makes sense of course. But that's one of the concerns Israel is trying to address as automobiles use more and more computerized technology.
This expanded my view on the topic because even though I knew Israel is a great breeding ground for successful startups, I had not idea about the venture capital money and number of engineers per capita. I had no idea Waze was made there or sold for so much and to Google who still uses Googlemaps anyway...
I am not super into tech and not involved in the startup world so this article expanded my knowledge in that way.
Israel Recharge '16
Best opportunity was to have Eli Beer at the house and host a fundraiser for United Hatzalah! Looking forward to seeing everyone.
Israel Recharge '16
Since this class hasn't happened yet, I sought out a friend in my community, a 70-year old Israeli who grew up modern Orthodox and used to teach the class on conversion. We talked for several hours about what conversion entails and why Jews don't encourage it. One of the most interesting takeaways was his assertion that someone should never convert for his or her partner but should only convert due to a sincere belief in Judaism. This surprised me because I had always assumed that relationships were the biggest driver of conversions (however infrequent). While they may be a driver, religion transcends the relationship so it would make sense that one should convert due to sincere belief and not just for the person. If the latter, any feigned interest or observance might stop once marriage is sanctified. I also learned that you should treat converts like normal Jews and never draw attention to them for being converts.
Last night I was asked by a representative at the local Hillel for Colorado State University if I would be interested in facilitating discussions among Hillel members about philosophy. This would allow me to draw upon my education and readership of numerous philosophy texts and share their in pointed discussion with fellow Jews in order to hone their minds and expand them beyond the purviews of their majors. The first class will begin in a few weeks and will persist throughout the school year so long as there is sustained interest.
Last night I went on a tour of New Belgium Brewery sponsored by Hillel. The tour guide, who is a Jewish, gave the group a thorough tour and commented on such salient tidbits as what makes beer kosher, why sour beer usually isn't kosher, and why craft beer hasn't taken off in Israel (all the materials required need to be imported and it's not incentivized through tax breaks as it is in the States). We ended the tour with a sample of Hebrew's Jewbilation Ale, a fitting end to the excursion.