The Rabbis explain that honoring one’s parents is to be understood essentially as an act of worshiping God.
When speaking about family, there is a wide variety of opinions and also a variety of obligations of parents, situations and relationships.
The responsibility of sellers to enact ethical advertising of their products is equal to, if not greater than that of the careful consumer.
What special ethical concerns arise as the distinction between company owners and customers is blurred by equity investment?
Where a monopoly offers a clear benefit to consumers, Jewish tradition does sanction them on a closely regulated basis.
The laws that govern commerce aim to prevent the unscrupulous transfer of property or money from its rightful possessor to another person.
Customers share in the responsibility for ensuring that transactions are fair, and should be upfront about their intentions as consumers.
The Mishnah defines the fair price of an item, such that the seller earn a fair price, while not defrauding the buyer.
The Talmud sets a limited precedent for free market competition by balancing the rights of merchants with the interests of consumers.
The degree to which a person was obligated to contribute to the poor became the mark of membership in a community.
Fundamentally, Jewish law offers some clear guidelines responding to the problems of poverty, the best of which is to prevent poverty itself.
Are bingo and more serious forms of gambling allowed to raise funds for synagogues and other Jewish institutions?
It is largely agreed upon that the types of speech encompassed by the biblical prohibition fall into three categories of increasing severity.
Lashon hara I’to·elet are those occasions when it is permissible, or even required, to speak about other people.
Human beings have been given the divine power of speech to enable our participation in the ongoing work of sustaining God’s creation.
As online communication becomes more complicated and sophisticated, so too do the laws governing defamatory speech.
A Talmudic Midrash obligates prayer three times a day, instituted in honor of our three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Amidah is considered the central part of daily Jewish prayer, with minor variations in the text based on time of day, year and season.
Our prayers are almost always a mixture of both keva (oft-recited text) and kavanah (deeper layers of meaning).
Changes in liturgy are born out of changes in the theological and historical life of a people, both the individual and the community.
Movement acts as part of prayer, orchestrated in traditional Jewish settings, thus putting us in touch with the ebb and flow of the liturgy.
An individual, Rabbi, Cantor, or volunteer, skilled in singing and well-versed in Torah learning and liturgy, is appointed to lead prayers.
Halakhah demands that we invoke God’s name in prayer only in settings that are worthy of the sacred enterprise of prayer.
Tefillah is more than the sum of its parts and encompasses far more than the obligation to recite certain specific daily prayers.
Jews are permitted to pray in any language and thus making our liturgy a link to Jews all around the world.
By the use of set prayers, are we ipso facto guaranteeing that some will be obliged to recite words they do not find true or meaningful?
We hear from God through our participation in liturgical prayer, and also through the study of religious texts.
The Shema is the declaration of God’s uniqueness and unity that the Torah commands us to recite twice daily.
The Evening Service, called Ma’ariv (also called Arvit or spelled Maariv), is slightly longer than the Afternoon Service.
The Afternoon Service, called Minḥah (or Mincha), is much shorter than the Morning Service and has no unique components.
Every day of the year, the Morning Service follows some variation of the order of the same Sharcharit prayers.
The prayers at the very beginning of the morning service help us to start our day with intention and gratitude.
There is a wide range of specific customs related to the issue of covering the head, including what to cover it with.
The tassels of the Tallit, called tzitzit (or tzitzis) in Hebrew, are explicitly intended to serve as a reminder of God’s commandments.
It is considered forbidden to fast on fast days if injurious to one’s health, for the sake of performing positive commandments.
We give thanks to God every day for the gift of life, but recognize that we are mortal and that illness and death will come.
Visiting the sick is counted as one of the mitzvot that is rewarded both in this world and also in the World to Come.
To take even animal life, requires that the shochet be wholly attuned to the serious nature of the slaughter and never callous or uncaring.
After an animal has been butchered, inspected, and forbidden parts removed, the meat still needs to have as much blood removed as possible.
Even if an animal is killed appropriately, it is still possible for it to be considered non-kosher if that the animal was ill or maimed.
In general, one should only consume processed foods prepared under the supervision of a rabbi or an accepted kashrut supervision agency.
While daunting and labour intensive to transform a non-kosher kitchen into a kosher one each individual step is rather straightforward.
Offering guidelines on the various requirements to Kasher different kitchen appliances, both large and small.
Halakhah specifically encourages us to separate meat and dairy products and prohibits us from eating them together.
There are vexing questions for Kashrut observers to address, when eating in non-Kosher homes of friends and family.
Some foods, neither meat nor dairy in origin, are known as pareve and government standards may differ from Rabbinical definitions.
A hallmark of Conservative Jewish practice has been the understanding that it is possible to eat in non-Kosher restaurants responsibly.
As kashrut becomes part of our lives, it feels less like a burden and more like something to observe not just at home, but in all venues.
The Torah says which animals are kosher and may be eaten (after an appropriate process) and which animals are not.
Given the importance of kashrut in Jewish life, it is unfortunate that so much about it is so widely misunderstood.
The Torah requires specific methods of slaughter, inspection, and preparation before acceptable animals may be eaten.
Mistakes will happen in a kosher kitchen. While some are easily corrected, others require a bit more effort. Here’s what you do.
Different dishes require different methods for kashering, depending how they are used and the materials that make up the dishes.
It is not forbidden for Jewish individuals to feed their pets non-kosher food, but to keep pet food away from kosher utensils and dishes.
What alcohol requires a hechsher or kosher supervision? It largely depends on the process by which they are made and the ingredients used.
The Conservative and Orthodox movements differ with regard to the kashrut of certain chemical food additives.
A series of special Shabbatot with special Torah readings precede Purim and Passover.
Tradition dictates that Purim be observed on the fourteenth day of Adar, and begins with the recitation of the regular evening service.
Purim is celebrated with days of feasting and merrymaking, and occasion for sending gifts to one another and gifts for the poor.
Purim is about the struggle of identity against assimilation, the value of tolerance, and to live proudly as Jews in an ocean of non-Jews.
Beyond lighting the menorah, Hanukkah customs include special foods, the dreidel and gift-giving, especially when spending time with family.
Besides dwelling in a sukkah, the other significant mitzvah of Sukkot is the taking up of the arba·ah minim, literally “the four species.”
While celebrating Sukkot at home, rituals include lighting candles, sitting in the sukkah, and customs related to the sukkah.
On the mornings of Sukkot, Shacharit and Musaf follow the standard festival format. The lulav and etrog should be shaken.
The intermediate days of Sukkot, the weekdays, combine some features of festival days and normal weekdays to create wholly unique day.
Although the fifth intermediate day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabbah, it is technically just the last day of ḥol ha-mo·eid.
The final two days of Sukkot are a totally separate holiday called Sh’mini Atzeret. Liturgy includes Yizkor and the prayer for rain.
Simḥat Torah means “the joy of Torah” and is the name for the day on which the annual cycle of Torah readings begins and ends.
The laws for lighting candles on Sh’mini Atzeret are similar to those for Shabbat. These laws also apply to Simḥat Torah.
Sukkot, one of the shalosh r’galim, the three pilgrimage festivals is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur.
The sukkah for Sukkot has some very basic requirements, but beyond these rules its construction is left to one’s imagination and creativity.
The laws for lighting candles on Sukkot are almost identical to the laws for Shabbat candle lighting, with the exception of covering eyes.
Ne’ilah is an additional service, recited only at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. It signifies the sealing of the Book of Life.
Minhah, the Afternoon Service, begins with the Torah service, including selections from Leviticus and the haftarah on the Book of Jonah.
The Yom Kippur Musaf Service includes two services: the Avodah service and the Martyrology service. Musaf follows Yizkor and Torah reading.
Following the Yom Kippur meal, candles are lit in a similar fashion to those lit on Rosh Hashanah. A Yizkor candle is also lit.
Maariv, the evening service, following Kol Nidrei on Erev Yom Kippur, is similar in many ways to daily Maariv but has notable differences.
The Yom Kippur morning service is similar to Rosh Hashanah, with the exception of the Amidah and the selections for the Torah service.
Preparations on Erev Yom Kippur are intrinsic to the awe-inspiring observance of the day: a special meal, candle lighting, and charity.
Yom Kippur begins with the dramatic Kol Nidrei service, intended to annul vows made between yourself and God.
The Memorial Service, Yizkor, is recited on Yom Kippur, one of four times throughout the year, to remember loved ones and Jewish martyrs.
One of the beautiful customs associated with Rosh Hashanah is Tashlikh, a brief service that takes place by a body of water.
The Musaf Service for Rosh Hashanah contains familiar opening and closing blessings of the Amidah with the usual High Holiday interpolations.
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Ten Days of Repentance and include the Fast of Gedaliah.
Hametz, is defined as any food made of wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye—that has been made wet and left unbaked for more than 18 minutes.
Passover, commemorates the exodus from Egypt. On a spiritual level, the festival confronts us with the notion of redemption.
The Passover seder is the cumulative result of untold generations of Jews telling the same story, the Exodus from Egypt.
One is only permitted to cook on festivals to make food for the holiday itself, not for other days. There is an exception: eiruv tavshilin.