Judaism/Spirituality

Oz Torah: Torah reading- Naso

TWO EXTREMES There couldn’t be a greater contrast than that of the two extremes that are depicted in this week’s parashah. There is the “sotah”, the woman who allows herself the extreme of licence, and the “nazir”, the person who is so strict that no transgression could ever arise on …

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Oz Torah: Insights on Torah reading Emor.

JEWISH ANTISEMITES. What people think of Jews is motivated partly by observation and partly by prejudice. Observation leads decent outsiders to praise our sense of community and how we keep our standards even in unfriendly times. Prejudice picks up anti-Jewish slogans and beats us around the head with them. Prejudice …

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Oz Torah: Yom Ha’atzmaut features

ISRAEL AT 70. The 70th anniversary of the State of Israel is celebrated this week. Israel is one of the great achievements of modern history. But of course the backers of BDS don’t agree. They can’t be too proud of themselves because they haven’t achieved a thing apart from slogans …

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Oz Torah: Insights on Sh’mini.

8 STRINGS ON THE HARP. The eighth day of the consecration ceremonies of the sanctuary was dedicated to the induction of the kohanim. Logic tells us that the number eight was chosen for this purpose because the previous seven formed the first week in the history of the tabernacle. Yet …

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Parshat Shemini.

Pleasure or Purpose? How many times have you been fed up with nuisances or hardships in your life?  Just as you think you have control of your life something else comes up and puts a cog in your wheel.  Imagine you could plug into a simulated reality of your choice …

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Oz Torah: Pesach features.

Pesach features A TIMETABLE FOR THE SEDER? How long should the Seder take? Let me tell you what our family does. We have a timetable for Seder night. The first hour brings us to the meal, then we eat (for which we allocate another hour), then the second part of …

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Oz Torah: Gambling – Ask the Rabbi

GAMBLING. Q.  Is there any religious problem with Jews gambling? A.  An occasional lottery ticket or card game is no problem, but the professional or compulsive gambler is severely frowned on in Jewish law. The Mishnah (Sanhedrin 3:3) disqualifies the dice-player – “m’sachek b’kuvya” – from being a witness in …

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Oz Torah: Hunting – Ask the Rabbi

HUNTING. Q. Is it true that hunting is against Jewish law? A. Absolutely. We have a duty to emulate God who is tenderly concerned for animals as well as people (Psalm 145:9). The historian William Lecky wrote, “Tenderness to animals is one of the most beautiful features of the Old …

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Oz Torah: The genesis of Purim.

THE GENESIS OF PURIM. The popularity of Purim is taken for granted. As the Jewish carnival of fun and frolic it has a universal appeal. Purim spiels, Purim deals, Purim meals … all are part of the celebration. No-one can imagine the Jewish year without it. In fact it has …

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