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Religious Life

This week's Parsha

Female religious leaders share Purim reflections

In the Book of Esther’s Chapter 4, verse 14, Mordechai encourages his niece, Queen Esther, to use her influence with King Ahasuerus.

Wednesday 02/22/2017
Following the path
Posted: February 22, 2017

Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18

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Purim carnivals and more
Posted: February 22, 2017

VOSJCC brings back communitywide Purim carnival: The Valley of the Sun JCC is bringing back its communitywide Purim carnival, which will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, March 12 on the soccer fields of the JCC, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

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The story behind Purim’s hamantaschen
Posted: February 22, 2017

The most important aspect of most Purim pastries is their shape. Most Ashkenazic Jews only know of hamantaschen, the triangular pastries filled with prunes or other fruit fillings. This word is taken from the German words mohn (meaning poppy seeds) and taschen (referring to pockets). Some say the pockets refer to Haman who stuffed his pockets with bribe money.

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Tuesday 02/14/2017
Biblical garden aims for authenticity
Posted: February 14, 2017

You won’t find wildflowers, prize-winning roses or neat hedges at the Evanne Copland Kofman Biblical Garden at Congregation Beth Israel. What the garden grows is much more profound – a glimpse into the natural world of the Bible.

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Wednesday 02/08/2017
Tu B’Shevat tree planting strengthens connection to Israel’s forest
Posted: February 08, 2017

The Midrash in Kohelet Rabbah teaches that God told man He created everything for him. “Be careful not to spoil or destroy my world – for if you do, there will be nobody after you to repair it,” God said.

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Deception for freedom
Posted: February 08, 2017

This week’s parshah, Beshalach, describes one of the greatest miracles in Jewish history, the Exodus from Egypt. Pharaoh acted, not for humane considerations, but because he was coerced by nationwide hysteria after the slaying of the firstborn (“for there was no house in which there was no death”).

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Despite ban, Orthodox women clergy continue work
Posted: February 08, 2017

Rabba Ramie Smith of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, an Orthodox congregation, says she doesn’t have time to protest the Orthodox Union decision banning its synagogues from hiring women clergy like herself.

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Temple Chai hosts goat yoga session for Tu B’Shevat
Posted: February 08, 2017

Temple Chai will offer a session of Goat Yoga for Tu B’Shevat. Participants will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Temple Chai, 4645 E. Marilyn Road, Phoenix, and caravan to Gilbert for a noon session of yoga on a goat farm. To attend, email Rabbi Bonnie Koppell, rabbikoppell@templechai.com.

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Wednesday 02/01/2017
From darkness to redemption
Posted: February 01, 2017

What causes darkness to instill psychological angst into the hearts of children and adults alike?

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Chabad celebrates 25th anniversary with Torah dedication
Posted: February 01, 2017

In celebration of Chabad of Scottsdale’s 25th anniversary, the children of the organization’s founders, Rabbi Yossi and Dina Levertov, are coordinating a Torah dedication celebration. “What better way for all of us to honor them, and this special community, than the commissioning and welcoming of a new seder Torah?” ask two of the couple’s daughters, Chaya and Risa, in the invitation to the Feb. 12 event.

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Wednesday 01/25/2017
Two plague perspectives
Posted: January 25, 2017

Va’eira, Exodus 6:2-9:35

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How I became comfortable with my new Orthodox Jewish identity
Posted: January 25, 2017

Right after my first daughter was born, I was talking with a good friend who mentioned that I looked like I had it all together. That I looked so happy. After all, I was wearing makeup and a sheitel (a wig to keep my hair covered rather than a comfier scarf or hat) several weeks postpartum.

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Rabbi to speak about Buddhism
Posted: January 25, 2017

Rabbi David Almog, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary, will speak about “Idols and Idealizing: The Jewish Encounter with Buddhism” at a Valley Beit Midrash lecture, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at Congregation Or Tzion, 9096 E. Bahia Drive, Suite 106, Scottsdale. He previously served as the campus rabbi for the Hillel at Columbia University and Barnard college.

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Wednesday 01/18/2017
In Israel, religious single moms gain greater acceptance
Posted: January 18, 2017

When Alexandra Benjamin was pregnant recently with her son, she went shopping for appliances for her new apartment in Jerusalem.

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Projecting goodness
Posted: January 18, 2017

Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1

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