Do Jews Believe In Angels?
BY MJL STAFF
These supernatural beings appear widely throughout Jewish texts.
Angels are supernatural beings that appear widely throughout Jewish literature.
The Hebrew word for angel, mal’ach, means messenger, and the angels in early biblical sources deliver specific information or carry out some particular function. In the Torah, an angel prevents Abraham from slaughtering his son Isaac, appears to Moses in the burning bush and gives direction to the Israelites during the desert sojourn following the liberation from Egypt. In later biblical texts, angels are associated with visions and prophesies and are given proper names.
Later rabbinic and kabbalistic sources expand on the concept of angels even further, describing a broad universe of named angels with particular roles in the spiritual realm.
The Many Ways to "Look" Jewish
BY RABBI RACHEL M. SOLOMIN for myjewishlearning.com
The Jewish world is more ethnically and racially diverse than many people realize.
While the majority of American Jews are of Eastern European descent, that's not the case in Israel and France. From Ethiopian to Sephardic, learn about the many types of Jews.
The Making of a Torah Scroll
BY MICHAL SHEKEL for myjewishlearning.com
Written by hand, a sefer Torah is produced according to strict specifications.
Jews have often been called am ha-sefer, the people of the book. This designation underscores the importance of text in Judaism and the belief that God communicates with us through the written word. The central text in Judaism is the Torah . Enhancing the importance of its teachings is the fact that it is written in a special way.
The most famous word in motion picture history
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, Martini Judaism
This year, on Yom Kippur, we came up with a new tradition for the synagogue.
We played movie trivia.
Want to play?
What is the most important one-word quote in motion picture history?
The answer emerges from one of the great American movies of our time – The Graduate – which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year.
There was either nothing Jewish about this movie, or there was everything Jewish about this movie.
It is not only that it starred, in his first major role, Dustin Hoffman. Nor that Simon and Garfunkel provided the soundtrack. Totally Jewish.
Let’s face it: Ben Bradock could have been Ben Bronstein. Mrs. Robinson could have been Mrs. Rubenstein.
Why I’ve Decided to Join a Synagogue
BY SOFI HERSHER for ReformJudaism.org
When I was 9 years old, I watched several large sections of my synagogue burn to the ground. It was 1999, and Sacramento, California, was in the midst of a spree of white supremacist violence that would claim the lives of two gay men, and see fires set to several synagogues and a local abortion clinic. I can still smell the smoke.
In times such as these, it is not just buildings that are damaged. Acts of hate damage our minds and our bodies, our individual and collective sense of security, our identity, and our place in the world. Back then, the entire congregation, as well as large swaths of the greater community, came together to rebuild. Events were held to reject discrimination; a hate crimes task force was launched; a library was remade. In many ways, Sacramento became a better place to live than it was before. In the aftermath of destruction, came collaboration and solidarity and hope.