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13

Thank you for your sensitivity in asking this question. As pointed out in comments, you are actually Jewish (whether you follow Judaism or not). But as you say in your question, you've been raised with Christianity and it doesn't appear that you've rejected that. You see Judaism as part of your cultural background, if I'm reading you correctly, the way ...


6

According to Alexander Beider's Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names, Dov didn't become a name in "the vernacular life" until the 20th century. "Jews called Dov in Hebrew sources were actually named Ber in their everyday life." Ber, on the other hand, comes form the German Bero which has been known since the 8th century among non-Jews. Beider's theory is ...


5

Rav Mirsky in his first volume of Hegyonei Halacha has an interesting article on Ameilah shel Torah and includes the virtues of a bear. In speaking about how important 'toil' in learning is (rather than rote learning) he brings a Radak on Hosea (13:8): .אֶפְגְּשֵׁם כְּדֹב שַׁכּוּל, וְאֶקְרַע סְגוֹר לִבָּם; וְאֹכְלֵם שָׁם כְּלָבִיא, חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה ...


5

Need to look up exact source of the tshuvah, but paraphrasing the Ben Ish Hai: crosses in churches (and those found inbas-relief on antique "expensive" vessels, bowls etc) are to be considered as idols and used in idol-worship. He says however crosses worn on necklaces nowadays (in his day) are not considered such and are merely decorative. He also ...


4

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia: (a) It has been generally assumed that at times colors are used in the Bible symbolically, either in the ritual, as in the construction of the Tabernacle and in the priestly raiments; or apocalyptically, as in the visions of Zechariah and of Daniel; or, as a literary device, in poetical diction. Philo ("De Vita ...


4

The Seforno on Bereishis 9:17 understands the double rainbow as a wakeup call for Noach and his family “to [spiritually] wake up on seeing it, and to awaken the people of the generation to repent, to be wise, and to do good.” The Sages in several places caution against staring at the rainbow, based on a mystical understanding of the rainbow's ...


3

DailyHalacha.com says: The Zohar Ha’kadosh, in Vayikra (p. 24), writes that when a harsh judgment is issued against a person, Heaven forbid, his fingers will unwittingly begin moving, and the fingers of his two hands will become interlocked. As interlocking hands is a sign of harsh judgment, it is improper for a person to intentionally hold his hands in ...


3

The Sefer Ben Yohoyada explains why Choni drew a circle based on the Gemara in Brachos 4b. The Gemara questions why there is no Pasuk that starts with Nun in Ashrei. The Gemara says that since there is a Nefila for the Jews therefore there is no Nun. The Gemara goes on to say that David HaMelech was Somech it on Ruach HaKodesh as it says Somech Hashem L'Chol ...


2

Wikipedia defines a Dervish as “someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity.” Rabbi Buchwald in an article for Re’eh 5773-2013, says In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we learn of the Biblical command that the People of Israel must destroy all vestiges of pagan and ...


2

According to Devarim 11:13-14 it is a reward from god: יג. וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְו‍ֹתַי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם: יד. וְנָתַתִּי מְטַר אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ וְתִירשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ: (Artscroll) ...


2

Gold, in the realm of metals, and awe, in the realm of human religious modes, are both connected to the sefirah of gevurah (and therefore connected to each other). (Silver, on the other hand, is connected to the sefirah of hesed, which is connected to love.) For the connection of gold to the sefirah of gevurah, one could cite the many mentions in the Zohar ...


1

Rav Yehuda made a siman for the 10 makkas D’tzach ,A’dash ,B’achav three distinct classes. The Kli Yakar explains why three separate classes. The מהרי"א explains that Paroh argued on three points 1)He didn’t believe in Hashem 2) Even if Hashem existed he created the world but doesn’t get involved. 3) He believed even if Hashem is involved he can’t change ...


1

There are many sources that deal with the plagues and their meaning as well as each plague individually, many of which are found in some of the different haggadahs that have been published. Rabbi Shimson Rafael Hirsch, in his commentary on Parshas Vaera (7:15) goes into detail on the subject. He also goes into more detail with each plague pointing out ...


1

The Mabit in Beis Elokim says it was to symbolize that the Jewish people were stuck operating in a natural cycle and were thus under the influence of the mazalot (constellations). That is why Choni walks into the circle in the beginning and then when its raining he walks out of it to show that now the Jews are operating outside of the normal system. Taken ...


1

Judaism has some very specific rules regarding idols, and Jews have been around Christians for a very long time; thus this question has come up before. Theologically speaking, we say that treating a human being as a deity is considered "idol worship", and it's generally assumed that medieval rabbis differed whether a non-Jew who worships both a ...



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