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Gossip and Life After Death #673

04/16/2021 05:50:00 PM

Apr16

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Tazria-Metzora Gossip and Life After Death

Perhaps the most frequently asked question in Judaism is: “What happens to us after we die?”

If only we knew. And, like most questions within Judaism, our rabbis have posited as many answers as there are “stars in the sky.”

But one answer touches me perhaps more than any other. And it comes from one of our greatest Kabbalistic masters, Rabbi Isaac...Read more...

Ethics of Eating and Shopping #672

04/09/2021 04:00:00 PM

Apr9

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Shemini "These are the instructions concerning animals, birds, all living creatures that move in water, and all creatures that swarm on earth." (Leviticus 11:46) Ethics of Eating and Shopping

About 45 years ago, I left my home and my family in suburban Montreal to chase my dream of becoming a newspaper reporter — in the northern Canadian community of Fort McMurray.

To that point, I had lived only in a kosher...Read more...

Maxwell House Haggadah: "Not a Fan" #670

03/26/2021 04:40:00 PM

Mar26

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

"Shabbat HaGadol — the Great Shabbat"  Maxwell House Haggadah: "Not a Fan"

I’ve been thinking, these past few weeks, about past Passovers, with both the good and “complex” memories they invoke.

Exhibit A is the Maxwell House Haggadah, which since 1932, has guided families through one of the most storied holidays in Jewish tradition. More than 50 million copies are in print.

But in so many ways,...Read more...

Calling Each Other by Name #669

03/19/2021 05:20:00 PM

Mar19

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Vayikra "And God called out to Moses – and spoke to him." (Leviticus 1:1) Calling Each Other by Name

It was Rosh Hashanah, about 15 years ago, when — as is the custom when we return the Torah to the ark — I began walking up and down our sanctuary aisles wishing everyone a Shannah Tovah.

It was usual for a rabbi, prior to Covid — especially new rabbis — to attempt to shake as many hands as...Read more...

The "True" Jewish New Year" #668

03/12/2021 05:55:00 PM

Mar12

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Vayakhel/Pekude "This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months." (Exodus 12:2) The "True" Jewish new Year

This Shabbat marks a historic moment in the journey of the Jewish people. It celebrates the first time God ever commanded the Jewish people to perform a mitzvah.

God calls it, “The first of the months of the year for you.” But it is not Rosh Hashanah.

Let’s set the stage:...Read more...

God's Amazing Insult #667

03/05/2021 06:45:00 PM

Mar5

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Ki Tissa "I see this is a stiff-necked people." (God)
  God's Amazing Insult

Over the centuries, Jewish people have been called many names.

Some have included, “The Chosen People,” “Treasured People,” “People of the Book,” and “Light Unto Other Nations.”

Those are the nice ones.

And, of course, there are many names on the other side of the spectrum – too numerous to...Read more...

The Inside Clothing We Wear #666

02/26/2021 06:41:00 PM

Feb26

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Tetzavah The Inside clothing We Wear

It’s fashion week in the Torah.

So, what does that have to do with you and me? A lot, according to our Sages.

We don’t know whether Abraham sported a quick wash and dry fabric, or what brand of sandals Sarah wore. With the notable exception of Joseph and his multi-colored coat, the Torah doesn’t seem to notice what people wear.

Until this...Read more...

Your Home is Your Temple #665

02/19/2021 05:30:00 PM

Feb19

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Terumah

“Let them make Me a sanctuary so that I may dwell among them..” (Exodus 25:8)

Your Home is Your Temple

When I first arrived in the United States in 2004, I began hearing a “Jewish” word I was not used to.

That word was “temple.”

Growing up in Canada, I was accustomed to words like “synagogue” or “shul,” but “temple” was something relatively new.

For me, the...Read more...

Southern Slavery vs. Jewish "Slavery" #664

02/12/2021 05:10:00 PM

Feb12

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Mishpatim

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” (Exodus 21:24)

Southern Slavery vs. Jewish "Slavery"

A few years ago, while traveling through rural Tennessee, I found myself in an impromptu conversation while waiting to pay for gas at a rest stop.

“Are you a rabbi?” I was asked.

“I am,” I replied, noticing that she and her husband were looking at my kippah.

“Then I have a...Read more...

Why Jews Believe in Doing #663

02/05/2021 04:45:00 PM

Feb5

Rabbi Irwin Huberman

Parashat Yitro

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”  – Yoda

Why Jews Believe in Doing

There is a fundamental difference between Judaism and many western religions.

While the Christian Truth Center declares on its website, “To be called a Christian you need faith,” Jews have struggled for centuries with the issue of belief.

We have within our congregation those...Read more...

Mon, April 19 2021 7 Iyyar 5781