Entries for February 2012

Welcome to Rabbi Dr. Art Levine's web/blog site!

Welcome to Rabbi Dr. Art Levine's web/blog site!

Shalom, welcome, and thank you for visiting my blog-website. 

I cordially invite you to read, listen to, and comment upon the material on this site.  Please also join my "virtual community" by entering your email address here and/or subscribing to my podcast. You’ll receive weekly notifications of new postings and videos, including my classes viewable on Youtube.  You can easily unsubscribe anytime. You might also wish to click here to learn more about me. Many blessings! Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D.

[For my business website as a workers compensation insurance attorney and expert witness, please click here!]


Articles

Our “A-mish-agas” Jewish lives

Our “A-mish-agas” Jewish lives
Last night I watched a television documentary on the Amish people of Pennsylvania and Indiana.  I was fascinated to mentally compare Amish life, values, and strategies for community preservation with traditional (some would say "Orthodox") and "... Continue Reading »
Feb 29

T'rumah: The "Hellishness" of Chutzpah

T'rumah: The "Hellishness" of Chutzpah

This week’s Torah portion, T’rumah, provides detailed specifications for construction of the Tabernacle, the Israelites’ first project after having received the law on Mt. Sinai.  Should we care about the minutiae of how the Tabernacle was built?   Our sages certainly thought so – and not just because they were interested in ancient Israelite architecture!  From the Torah’s detailed description, they found guidance for conducting their own lives.  So can we. ...

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Keeping Israel in Perspective

Keeping Israel in Perspective
Back in the seventies, I spent a summer living and working in New York City.  I remember thinking that NYC was “like any big city, but much more so.”  It had just about anything that you could want...and much that you wouldn’t.   ... Continue Reading »
Feb 22
Posted in: Israel

The Restroom Prayer

The Restroom Prayer
One of the most important goals of both Jewish prayer and ritual is to infuse spirituality and meaning into ordinary moments and actions. Our tradition asks/requires us to pray when we awaken, before and after eating, as we prepare to sleep … and a... Continue Reading »

The Dilemma of Individual Choice

The Dilemma of Individual Choice

I grew up in the Reform movement, which holds that Jewish "law" is not binding. Instead, it encourages every Reform Jew to become very knowledgable about Jewish traditions and then to decide for him/herself which of them to follow. This philosophy also fits very well with American conceptions of liberty and individualism which I have studied for decades as both a lawyer and historian.  Yet, as a rabbi vitally concerned with the continuity of the Jewish people and its traditions, I question whether any community can thrive, or even survive with shared values, common rituals, and standards of proper behavior, if every member simply chooses what he or she will do. 

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Feb 20

Sh'mot: A "Shameful and Foolish" Policy?

Sh'mot: A "Shameful and Foolish" Policy?
D’var Torah; Shabbat Sh’mot Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D.   January 13-14, 2012 – 18 Tevet 5772 A “Shameful and Foolish” Policy? This week the world’s news media has reported the assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist. Many... Continue Reading »

Va'era: Torah, Shabbat, and the "Purpose-Drive Life"

Va'era: Torah, Shabbat, and the "Purpose-Drive Life"
D'var Torah; Shabbat Va-era Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D. January 20-21, 2012 – 26 Tevet 5772 Torah, Shabbat, and the "Purpose-Driven Life" Do you lead a "purpose-driven life?" If that phrase sounds familiar, it may bring to mind the title of a... Continue Reading »
Feb 20

Beshalach: Torah's Best Food? Miracle Whip

Beshalach: Torah's Best Food? Miracle Whip
D’var Torah; Shabbat Beshalach Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D. February 3-4, 2012 – 10 Shevat 5772 Torah’s Best Food? Miracle Whip “Man does not live on bread alone,” says Deuteronomy 8:3. And indeed, the Torah is replete with other food ref... Continue Reading »
Feb 20

Yitro: Apples, I-G-d, and J-Tablets

Yitro: Apples, I-G-d, and J-Tablets
D’var Torah: Yitro (Exodus 18:1-20:23) By Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D.   February 10, 2012 Apples, I-G-d, and J-Tablets In the beginning, the Designer created apples. Then He/She created beings with artificial intelligence, and t... Continue Reading »
Feb 20
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If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb