Category: Learning

Shabbat for Jewish Pets and Their Owners

Shabbat for Jewish Pets and Their Owners

Here are a few tips to celebrate Shabbat for Jewish pets and their owners and how to enhance your family's Shabbat experience.

Shavuot 5784: Tiny Tikkun

Shavuot is often considered a holiday of converts. Our Tiny Tikkun collects some texts on conversion to study with a friend or on your own.
Common Terms in Torah Study

Common Terms in Torah Study

The Exploring Judaism team has prepared this printable sheet of common terms you might encounter in your Torah study that might help you out.
Temple Envy

Temple Envy

This an exploration of my "temple envy" through the emotions of grief, wonder, and desire for Jewish unity during a recent vacation to Nikko.

Ten Torah Resources You Should Know

Here are our top ten Torah resources you should know, including Conservative/Masorti organizations and resources for kids and families!
Yom Ha-Atzma'ut: Sow With Tears, Reap with Joy

Yom Ha-Atzma’ut: Sow With Tears, Reap with Joy

Yom Ha-Atzma’ut in 2024, as in 1948, is a time of rejoicing and weeping. Just as then, today, too, we have much work ahead.
What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

What blessing do I recite over an eclipse?

A solar eclipse is certainly a unique natural event that causes us to ponder our place in the universe. What blessing do I recite?
Parashat Ki Tisa: On Relationships with God and Other Human Beings

On Relationships with God and Other Human Beings

Ilana Sandberg (JTS RS '24) explores parashat Ki Tisa and speaks on relationships with God and other human beings.
Parashat Mishpatim: The Torah of Disorienting Moments

The Torah of Disorienting Moments

Talia Kaplan (JTS RS '24) explores parashat Mishpatim and the Torah of disorienting moments, reflecting on her rabbinical school experience.
Parashat Yitro: Binding Love and Loss

Binding Love and Loss

Amalya Volz (JTS RS '24) explores Parashat Yitro through the binding of love and loss and the people of Israel's relationship with God.
Charlton Heston Speaking

Charlton Heston Speaking

We can learn about leadership from Moses, as well as from Charlton Heston speaking, as he plays Moses in the Ten Commandments movie.
The Mitzvah of Environmental Sustainability

The Mitzvah of Environmental Sustainability

What does Judaism say about environmental sustainability? Yishuv Ha'olam is the mitzvah to build and maintain a sustainable world.
Women and Headcovering

Women and Headcovering

In a written teshuvah, Rabbi Jane Kanarek explains the answer to the question, "Should women and girls wear a headcovering?"
Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

Tallit on the Bimah: Optional or Required?

This CJLS teshuva explores where and when a tallit should be worn on the bimah. This also addresses women wearing tallitot.
How to Write a D’var Torah

How to Write a D’var Torah

There are many ways to write a d'var Torah. Read how this rabbi thinks about giving divrei Torah and what she thinks about while writing.
Being a Conservative Jew in Jerusalem

A Conservative Jew in Jerusalem

What is it like being a Conservative Jew in Jerusalem and how do we understand the holiness of the holiest place in the world?
Ani Ma'amin: Conservative Judaism as a Dynamic Force

Ani Ma’amin: Conservative Judaism as a Dynamic Force

Rabbi Artson shares his "Ani Ma'amin," the credo that he recites every day as he things about Conservative Judaism as a dynamic force.
What does Judaism say about abortion

What does Judaism say about Abortion?

An overview of what Judaism says about abortion based on the decisions and analysis of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Elevating the Matriarchs, and the Women, in Judaism

Elevating the Matriarchs, and the Women, in Judaism

Elevating the Matriarchs is important. Rabbi Goodman encourages this with a midrash on Parashat Shemini, urging that representation matters.
Finding Quiet Solace in a Stormy World

Finding Quiet Solace in a Stormy World

Caleb Brommer, RS '24, speaks on finding quiet solace in a stormy world, for his JTS senior sermon, on Parashat Vayishlach.
Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Psalms for this Time of Crisis in Israel

Seven psalms as a liturgical response to our individual and collective emotions, including grief, fear, rage, desperation, and others.
Violence in Israel: Self-Care and Mental Health

Violence in Israel: Self-Care and Mental Health

The bombing at Hebrew University was a transition moment in my life. I got by for about a month and then started to break down. ...
Non-Fasting Sh"tz on Yom Kippur

Non-Fasting Sh”tz on Yom Kippur

When should we use a non-fasting sh"tz on Yom Kippur? This CJLS teshuvah, originally written by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, explains.
Remembering Our Loved Ones Before Us

Remembering Our Loved Ones Before Us

When our loved ones die, who remembers those they remembered? Here's a way to remember all of those that came before us.
Halakha and the Assessment of Risk

Halakha and the Assessment of Risk

Halakha can be used for the assessment of risk; this can be relevant for pikuach nefesh (saving a life) or kashrut.
Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Deja Jew, or, Asking the Question Yet Again: Why Be Jewish?

Dig deeper into Jewish identity, memory, spirituality, and wisdom, exploring more into the question: "Why Be Jewish?"

Protected: Distinctive Emphasis in Conservative Judaism: Vis-a-Vis the Halakha (1952)

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Protected: Conservative Judaism as a Unifying Force (1949)

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Shlach Lecha: Learning Inclusion from the Scouts

As God commanded Moses to include Caleb and Joshua, we can imagine the same command applies to us. We can seek to include people.

The Textual Foundations of Honoring One’s Parents

The Rabbis explain that honoring one’s parents is to be understood essentially as an act of worshiping God.

Jewish Obligations of Parents to Children

When speaking about family, there is a wide variety of opinions and also a variety of obligations of parents, situations and relationships.

Ethical Approaches to Advertising: A Jewish Perspective

The responsibility of sellers to enact ethical advertising of their products is equal to, if not greater than that of the careful consumer.

A Jewish Lens on Investing and Gambling

What special ethical concerns arise as the distinction between company owners and customers is blurred by equity investment?

Talmudic Discussions on Monopolies

Where a monopoly offers a clear benefit to consumers, Jewish tradition does sanction them on a closely regulated basis.
Signing of Business Contract

Honesty in Business

The laws that govern commerce aim to prevent the unscrupulous transfer of property or money from its rightful possessor to another person.

Shopping Intentions as an Ethical Consumer

Customers share in the responsibility for ensuring that transactions are fair, and should be upfront about their intentions as consumers.

Fair Prices: A Jewish Perspective

The Mishnah defines the fair price of an item, such that the seller earn a fair price, while not defrauding the buyer.

Commerce and Competition in Jewish Law

The Talmud sets a limited precedent for free market competition by balancing the rights of merchants with the interests of consumers.

Ethical Fundraising: A Jewish Perspective

Are bingo and more serious forms of gambling allowed to raise funds for synagogues and other Jewish institutions?

Three Types of Prohibited Speech According to Jewish Law

It is largely agreed upon that the types of speech encompassed by the biblical prohibition fall into three categories of increasing severity.

When Does Jewish Law Say We Are Permitted to Talk About Others

Lashon hara I’to·elet are those occasions when it is permissible, or even required, to speak about other people.

Biblical Texts Addressing Gossip

Human beings have been given the divine power of speech to enable our participation in the ongoing work of sustaining God’s creation.

Does Prohibited Speech Apply to the Internet?

As online communication becomes more complicated and sophisticated, so too do the laws governing defamatory speech.
A New Egalitarian Divorce

A New Egalitarian Divorce

Rabbi Barmash's new teshuvah empowers women and infuses the rites of marriage and divorce with more equality and dignity for both partners.

When Using Tribal Distinctions, How Might Women Be Called Up for Aliyot?

While writing a teshuvah on changing our language for aliyot to kohenet from bat kohen, Rabbi David J Fine, PhD, reflects on egalitarianism.
Mujaddara on Passover

Mujaddara on Passover

How my family created and passed down cultural traditions, and how the Conservative Teshuvah on Kitniyot impacts our life outside the academy.
Why Is Diversity Important at the Passover Seder?

Why Is Diversity Important at the Passover Seder?

This is why I think my family's tradition of inviting a non-Jew each year to the Passover seder is important.
When Can a Passover Seder Start Early?

When Can a Passover Seder Start Early? Other Festivals?

When is the earliest time that we can begin observing Jewish festivals, on first or second day of Yom Tov, in particular, the Passover seder?

What Does Jewish Law Say About Autopsies and Organ Donation?

The halakhah does not generally permit autopsies, due to honoring the dead. However, there are two important exceptions to that rule.
Is Alcohol the best way to celebrate Purim?

Is Alcohol the best way to celebrate Purim?

According to a well-known custom, drinking – and drinking to excess – on Purim is required for Jews celebrating the holiday. What is the origin ...
Life exists in relation

Life Exists in Relation

If we try to look past the tangible, if we focus on the other, in relationship, we can come to see the Divine, even if ...
What is the jewish afterlife

What is the Jewish Afterlife?

What does Judaism say about the afterlife? Exploring the inherent conflicts between the different ideas and why that's a good thing.
The Risks of Playing Jewish Geography

The Risks of Playing Jewish Geography

In the game of Jewish geography, you connect with who you don’t know by connecting through who you do know. But is the game good ...
How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

How to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah

Being called to Torah is a moment of sacred encounter. Here's how to call Non-Binary Jews to the Torah based on the CJLS Teshuvah in ...
The Biblical Sources and Context for Tzedakah

The Biblical Sources and Context for Tzedakah

The Torah provides many examples and legal provisions which are the foundation of our understanding of tzedakah.
Expanding Our Embrace: A Reflection on Inclusion

Expanding Our Embrace: A Reflection on Inclusion

Linda Sussman reflects on the story of her journey and the lessons about inclusion she learned along the way.
A Contemporary Understanding of Mitzvot

A Contemporary Understanding of Mitzvot

Rabbi Bradley Artson explains how Mitzvot function as an indispensable manifestation of a meaningful Jewish life.
Why You Should Host a Pride Shabbat

Why You Should Host a Pride Shabbat

Aimee Close shares her story of becoming a synagogue member and the power and importance of Pride Shabbat and being welcoming.
Blurry image of rice with the words What are Kitniyot and when can I eat it?

What are Kitniyot and when can I eat it?

In the early medieval period, it became customary for Ashkenazi Jews to not eat a category of foods called kitniyot. What are they?