Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple

Oz Torah: Ask the Rabbi – Sheva B’rachot

SHEVA B’RACHOT. Q. What is the significance of the Sheva B’rachot, the seven wedding blessings? A. These seven blessings are recited under the chuppah, at the wedding feast and during the following seven days when the celebrations continue in the presence of family and friends. The term sheva b’rachot is …

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Oz Torah: Ask the rabbi. SHABBAT ZEMIROT

SHABBAT ZEMIROT. Q. Why do many people sing “z’mirot” (special table songs) during the Shabbat meals? A. It is an old custom to sing z’mirot at the Shabbat table. The z’mirot that are most widely known are full of liveliness and spirit, yet maybe, many centuries ago, they were livelier …

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Oz Torah: Chanukah features.

WHY BLAME THE GREEKS? During World War II when Rabbi Jacob Danglow was visiting Jewish internees in a camp in Australia, he conducted a Chanukah service and innocently mentioned Jewish problems with the Greeks. Unfortunately there were Greeks as well as Jews at that camp and a riot almost ensued. …

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Oz Torah: Ask the Rabbi – Orthodoxy.

ORTHODOXY. Q. We hear so much about Open Orthodoxy, Modern Orthodoxy and Ultra-Orthodoxy.  Who invented the term “Orthodoxy”? A. It was Abraham Furtado, at the time of the “Sanhedrin” assembled by Napoleon in the early 19th century. It is not a good term (Leo Jung preferred “Torah-true”).   Literally it …

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Oz Torah: Rosh HaShanah features.

GOD WITHOUT RELIGION. No Jewish hymn is as popular as Adon Olam. Not only in the synagogue but on the concert platform and wherever people sing. The rhyme and rhythm are a godsend to pop-composers. Never mind that it is highly religious poetry and many people (performers and audiences alike) …

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Oz Torah: A Rosh HaShanah prelude.

NO-ONE DIED OF HUNGER. Three major themes punctuate our Holyday services – penitence, prayer and charity. We are good at penitence, in the sense that when we find ourselves at the periphery of Jewish life we often find our way back and become “ba’alei t’shuvah”, “reversioners”, as an expert on …

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Oz Torah. Shehecheyanu – Ask the Rabbi

SHEHECHEYANU Q. Many of us hum the fast-paced musical rendition of “Shehecheyanu”, but what are the words all about? A. The composition you hum is probably by Meyer Machtenberg, an Eastern European choirmaster who flourished in the United States a century ago. “Shehecheyanu” has been part of Jewish life for …

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