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Streams to the Ocean of Wisdom

Reflections on Ben Sira 24

Mark L. Solomon

. Since for Ben Sira Wisdom is manifested as the Torah, we have the beginning of the identification of the Torah as etz hayyim , the tree of life, which we sang in the service this morning. I would like to focus on another of the metaphors of Chapter 24

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Jesus Ben Sira 24

On Wisdom, Who Has Found an Earthly Dwelling Place

Veronika Bachmann

as an inheritance for the congregations of Jacob’. Thus, Torah and Wisdom are placed on the same level by Jesus Ben Sira. Such explicit linkage is otherwise only known from the deuterocanonical book of Baruch. There, in Baruch 3:36–4:3 we find a sort

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Repairing a 'Ripped Torah'

Repairing Jewish Life in the Former Soviet Union

David Wilfond

I have shared with you stories about the Torah: the Torah that was forbidden to have at home, held captive behind the glass in the Museum of Atheism, whose blessing was unknown to even the learned leaders, that was almost ripped and whose letters once faded are now being filled in by the loving and determined hands of a new generation – letters from our holy language being written for the first time by Jewish children. Together, we have a holy opportunity to partner with the Jews of the FSU to write the next chapter in the Torah of Life of our people.

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German Displaced Persons Camps (1945-1948)

Orthodox Jewish Responses to the Holocaust

Gershon Greenberg

Orthodox Jews in postwar German Displaced Persons camps experienced the Holocaust's rupture of God's covenantal relationship with history and the eclipse of sacred reality. They sought to recapture that reality, even though the continuity of tradition that held it had been shattered. This was done by voluntarily reviving tradition, as if by doing so the sacred could be invoked. Following momentary suspension, they sought to restore ethnic-generational purity and traditional ritual. They invested holiday celebration with Holocaust meaning. On the level of thought they expanded Israel's metahistory to include the unprecedented tragedy and intensified their own contributions of Torah and Teshuvah to the higher drama, and recommitted their trust that divine light was implicit to reality's darkness.

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Magda Veselská

The Jewish Museum in Prague (JMP) was founded as an association in 1906.2 The largest expansion of its collections occurred in tragic circumstances during the Second World War, when almost all the Judaica, books, manuscripts and archival documents of the former Jewish religious communities in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia were gathered in the depositories of the Central Jewish Museum in Prague.3 At the time, the museum was administered by the Jewish religious community in Prague, which was put under so-called ‘national trusteeship’ after the end of the war.4 In 1949, with a view to maintaining the completeness of the museum’s collections, the legal successor to the pre-war Jewish communities – the Council of Jewish Religious Communities in the Czech Lands (hereafter cited as the Jewish Council) – definitively renounced its restitution claims to items that had been shipped to the museum during the war.

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Vera Schwarcz, Daniel Y. Harris, Simon Lichman, Steven Sher, Cecil Helman, and Tomaz Šalamun

Hinges Pillars


At the Russian Compound Beit Safafa Sunset Untitled

Simchas Torah Teshuvah A Twentieth Century Landscape

Another Dove Sons of Ram

Abraham Abulafia

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A Woman Would Marry a Woman

Reading Sifra on Lesbianism

Laliv Clenman

, remarkably, of an explicit ban on same-sex marriage between women. Notably, when Maimonides sought to proscribe sexual relationships between women in his medieval Mishneh Torah , the only source he could marshal in support of his project was this prohibition

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Raniero Fontana

The life of Aimé Pallière (1868–1949), born and educated a Christian, had been marked by his encounter with Israel, a living Israel. It was an important Italian rabbi, Elia Benamozegh, who showed him the universal aspects of the Torah, that is, the part of the Torah destined for the Gentiles. Those teachings which form the noachide doctrine, had in the same rabbi its modern architect. Despite Aimé Pallière never declaring himself noachide in the sense that the Italian rabbi intended, he did not withdraw himself from the task of confronting such a proposal with his own high spiritual demands.

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Michael Marmur

I want to say something about the various roles many rabbis are now expected to fulfill. I hope that, by doing so, the question of what might be needed to train the students for these tasks may become clearer. Who, then, is involved in the Torah service? I have come up with ten roles.

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Jonathan Magonet

Jews were designated as the ‘People of the Book’ in the Qur’an and we have been happy to adopt the title. It meant that, like Muslims, we had been the recipients of a divine revelation cast in the form of the written word. The designation is correct, but we might argue about what precisely that ‘book’ is. In one sense it is the Hebrew Bible, or more specifically, the written Torah, the Five Books of Moses. However from its outset rabbinic Judaism drew its authority from another ‘book’, originally perceived as the ‘oral Torah’, the oral tradition that accompanied the revelation at Mt. Sinai. It found its concrete expression within the Mishnah and Talmud, recording the arguments and decisions of emerging rabbinic Judaism. So the Talmud is the ‘book’ of received tradition that defined what constituted the Hebrew Bible itself, and virtually every aspect of Jewish life.