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Renewable Energy by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Renewable Energy by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks The first translation of the Torah into another language – Greek – took place in around the second century BCE, in Egypt, during the reign of Ptolemy II. It is known as the Septuagint, in Hebrew Hashiv’im, because it was done by a team of 70 scholars. The Talmud (Megila 9a), however, says that at various points, the sages at work on the project deliberately mistranslated certain texts because they believed that a literal translation would simply be unintelligible to a Greek readership. One of these texts was the phrase, “On the seventh day, G-d finished...

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Blessing unto the Jewish people

Blessing unto the Jewish people

by Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein “I will surely bless you, and I will make your descendants numerous like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore.” This is the famous blessing Hashem gives to Avraham (Bereishit 22:17).There’s an obvious question here. According to current estimates, there are around 7.7 billion people in the world, of whom approximately only 14.6 million are Jews – children of Avraham. We make up roughly only 0.2% of the world’s population. How, then, do we understand this blessing of being great in number – numerous like the stars of the heavens...

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Yoram Raanan: Amazing Shabbat candle-lighting prints

Yoram Raanan: Amazing Shabbat candle-lighting prints

I haven't been in contact with Yoram Raanan many years ago, and didn't hear about the devastating fire damage he went through. Shattered, but pulled himself back together. I came across four or five fabulous prints depicted the warm glow of the Shabbat candle-lighting experience. "Shabbat, the seventh day, has a double sanctity: elevation of the earthly, and descent of the heavenly," Raanan explains. "The candle flames become a golden aura reflecting the uplifting power of Shabbat. But Shabbat is also a gift from Above, crowning us with Divine light..." When we right the Shabbat candles, Raana writes, "the room fills with the radiance...

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How to keep your Shabbos calorie-count down

How to keep your Shabbos calorie-count down

The day of rest should not also mean taking a break from healthy eating habits, writes licensed nutritionist Shira Isenberg in Jewish Action. Long meals and an abundance of delicious food are a recipe for relaxing one’s usual vigilance over food intake, which can easily lead to over-indulgence. There is a mitzvah from the Torah delineated in the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 242) to enjoy extravagances on Shabbos to elevate it from the weekdays. Although “this may sound like the antithesis of dieting,” writes Isenberg, “you can treat yourself on Shabbat and still stay within traditional nutrition guidelines.” In fact, dietitian...

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Challah history

Challah history

In a fascinating historical article in Family First (reprinted on Kosher.com), I was astonished to read that challah is relatively new on the block, and Jews ate very different types of bread on Shabbos a few centuries back.The Hebrew word “challah” is mentioned in several places in the Torah, generally referring to the mitzvah to set aside a portion of your dough for Kohanim. For instance, in Bamidbar 15:20, reads, "Of the first of your dough you shall set aside a cake (challah) as an offering; as the offering of the threshing-floor, so you shall set it aside."In the Gemara,...

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