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J Blog

Shabbat Message: Redemption

Friday, April 8, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
This Shabbat - the Shabaat before Pesach is called “Shabbat Hagadol” - the Great Shabbat. There are numerous explanations as to why the Shabbat before Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol. According to some, it was because God inhibited the Egyptians from harming the Jews after they were told that the Jews were going to slaughter a lamb as a sacrifice, the lamb being revered by Egyptians as deity. Others teach that the Shabbat got ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Book Review: Bridging Traditions

Thursday, April 7, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews Rabbi Haim Jachter / Maggid Book / OU Press 2022 Reviewed by Rabbi Barry Gelman Rabbi Haim Jachter is uniquely qualified to write Bridging Traditions: Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews. Rabbi Jachter, who is Ahskenazi, and who studied and trained in Ashkenazi yeshivot, has led a Sephardic congregation for over twenty years. By ...
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Category: CJLL

Shabbat Blog: Interconnectedness

Friday, April 1, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
וְהַצָּר֜וּעַ אֲשֶׁר־בּ֣וֹ הַנֶּ֗גַע בְּגָדָ֞יו יִהְי֤וּ פְרֻמִים֙ ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: To Die in The Exercise of Your Passion

Friday, March 25, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
On Wednesday, August 7th, 1974, a 24-year-old Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out onto a steel wire strung across the 130-foot gap between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York — close to 1,350 feet above the ground. After a 45-minute performance he was asked, "Weren't you afraid that you were going to die?" While conceding, he replied, "If I die, what a beautiful death, to die in the exercise of your ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: A Torah of Kindness

Friday, March 18, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ God spoke to Moses, saying: צַ֤ו אֶֽת־אַהֲרֹן֙ ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Something Great Happened At the J

Friday, March 11, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Recently at the ERJCC.... While this is not a classic Dvar Torah, in a very real sense, this story is what Torah is all about. Two weeks ago, just about as Rabbi David Rosen’s class on the Jewish denominations was about to begin at the J, two women walked in to the Kehillah room to join. Pleasantries were exchanged and Rabbi Rosen taught the class. Once the class ended many of the “regulars” engaged the two newcomers in ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Shabbat Blog: A Foundation of Blessings

Friday, March 4, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
There were 100 sockets used in the construction of the Mishkan - the traveling Temple that accompanied the Israelites while traveling in the wilderness. The sockets served as a foundation for the beams that made up the walls of the Mishkan. Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter of Gur, founder of the Gur Hassidic dynasty draws a comparison between the 100 sockets and the practice of reciting 100 blessings per day. תניא ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Drink Up! (Water, Of Course)

Thursday, March 3, 2022
Posted by: Nerissa Figueroa
Temperatures in Houston... Can change at the drop of a hat.It’s natural to adjust with changing temperatures. However, sometimes we adjust our habits without even realizing we are doing it. For example, many times if the weather is hotter, we drink more water. This also means that as the weather gets chillier, we tend to decrease water intake as well. While yes, it is true that we need to increase consumption in hotter temperatures, it is ...
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Shabbat Blog: Taking Fewer Pictures

Friday, February 25, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Recently, I have been taking fewer pictures. I found that whether I was attending a gathering of friends, a family trip, or a simcha, I spent so much time capturing the moment that I was not “in” the moment. Bear in mind that this is not easy for me. I am constantly worried that I will not have memories of the event when I want to recall them. Rabbi Yakov Nagen shares a wonderful story from the Zen tradition that confirmed for me ...
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Category: ERJCC Blog

Book Review: Beyond A Code of Jewish Law: Rabbi Avraham Danzig's Hayei Adam

Thursday, February 24, 2022
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman
Beyond A Code of Jewish Law: Rabbi Avraham Danzig's Hayei Adam Simcha Fishbane / Academic Studies Press 2021 Reviewed by Rabbi Barry Gelman “In 1801 and again in 1818, Rabbi Abraham Danzig published his comprehensive code of Jewish law, the Hayei Adam. This work was the first such publication to become popularly accepted by Jewish laymenn (and subsequently by learned Rabbis) since the publication of Rabbi Yosef Karo’s Shulhan ...
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Category: CJLL

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