What if, instead of special offers and glitzy offerings, we simply proclaimed loud and clear – in billboards and web ads and social media – that being a Jew, like it or not, precious fellow Jew, means being Divinely charged, that it means shouldering, whether it is always comfortable or not, responsibility ? And that ignoring that mandate is a reckless wasting of an opportunity to live a meaningful life by doing G-d’s will? That each of us has a stark and urgent choice: either to regard our lives as the brief opportunities to access eternity they are, or to waste one’s days in the pursuit of stuff and fun and “rights”?
Read more: http://www.cross-currents.com#ixzz2hM5YYXpd
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Baruch Dayan Emes- THE Gadol haDor
Shavua Tov! We learn in Pirkei Avot 2:18 to be meticulous in our twice-daily recital of the Shema. This includes reciting it within the prescribe time period. It also includes articulating the words properly, which is why Artscroll thoughtfully puts those vertical lines in-between the words that tend to get run together. But perhaps the most important aspect of Keriat Shema is focusing on the meaning of the words. This can be challenging, particularly in the very first verse. So I was excited recently to find the following in an article by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. He reminds us just how majestic and how vital are the several ideas signified by those 6 words:
Shema Yisrael does not mean “Hear, O Israel”. It means something like: “Listen. Concentrate. Give the word of G-d your most focused attention. Strive to understand. Engage all your faculties, intellectual and emotional. Make His will your own. For what He commands you to do is not irrational or arbitrary but for your welfare, the welfare of your people, and ultimately for the benefit of all humanity.”