Know everything about the Talit

Know everything about the Talit

(Also talet or taled), mantle of prayer that the Jews use in the religious ceremonies. Know everything about the Talit in Judaism and in Israel. In the Talmudic period, the term talit (possibly from the Greek stole) meant any sheet or mantle, including that used for prayer, because it had fringes on the limbs or nipples, in fulfillment of biblical law (Num. 15, 38), intended to remind the Israelites of the divine commandments.

The talit is usually rectangular. When it is made of silk, serve to cover the back and arms, extending it extended to the wide side. The pious prefer the talit of wool that is sometimes cast over the head and should reach below the knees, with the narrow part above. Usually, a decorated strip adorns the part corresponding to the neck or the head.

The four limbs are reinforced with square pieces of cloth and perforated in the middle, for the nipples (tzitzit). During the prayers it is customary to wear the partially folded talit, with the upper tips cast over the shoulder (Wis. 147 a, Men 41 a). Only men (over 13 years old) wear talit during daytime prayers, except on Yom Kippur, where it is used for a few minutes before the entrance of the night.

The officiant uses it for all ceremonies, except on the morning of Tisha be-Av. (Day of fasting). In some congregations, those who mourn are used to recite the Kaddish.

Originally, the nipples (tzitzit) were worn on dresses. That custom disappeared in the s. XIII, but the one of the mantle of prayer subsisted, whereas the lozenges were fixed in a garment called talit icatán (or small talit). The talit that is used in the synagogue usually has black or blue stripes of different widths.

A special blessing (concerning the tzitzit) is pronounced upon putting it on, and the pious kiss it in a sign of reverence, before using it. It is also customary to touch the Torah with the talit, when he takes the scroll in procession, and kiss the talit afterwards. At present it is customary in many places to use the small talit (silk), folded.

The use of talit is interpreted in the sense that it is one of the spirit of sanctity, and that this garment reflects the fundamental equality of all men before God. It is used to cover the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony. It is very interesting to Know everything about the Talit in Judaism and in Israel.

Holocaust lesson murdered one third of Jewish

Holocaust lesson murdered one third of Jewish community jcc

The ultimate Holocaust lesson that tortured and sadistically murdered one-third of the world’s Jewish community jcc from 1940 to 1945 (when the death of one in ten members of a human group was once considered an irreparable catastrophe), as well as ten Millions of Russians, a million Poles, Gypsies and all opponents of the Nazi regime, is the urgent need to respect the human being, of any origin, color or religion, and to avoid forever the repetition of a similar tragedy.

For evil to thrive, the indifference of honest people who suffers from apathy fails to show their disapproval of criminal acts.

Events such as the massacre between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, or the Pol Pot killings against their own people in Cambodia, should be avoided forever. If we know that something infamous is happening, we have a duty to report it and do everything we can to end it.

Prejudices can lead to horrors and infinite misfortune, especially when they are taught from infancy to children. I will only mention two cases that, if they make us laugh today, caused a lot of damage in their time. In ancient times the Phoenician merchants regarded the early Greeks as hopeless savages, as they adorned their foreheads with deer horns to hunt, and were so foolish! Which copied the Phoenician alphabet backwards from left to right.

The Phoenicians disappeared while the Greeks created a brilliant civilization, the basis of our Western culture. When he conquered England, Julius Caesar wrote that angels were mentally weak, for what could be expected of tall, fair-haired and blue-eyed beings? This prejudice only declined when a Pope of the Catholic Church saw angles in the slave market, and said that instead of angles, they should be called angels.

The prejudices that gave rise to so many nefarious events lasted 2000 years against the Jews; They are reproached until today to consider themselves as the chosen people, made wrong, since the priests only said this to the people in order to serve as an example and transmit the spiritual values ​​to the world. The Jewish people have also been slandered, accusing him of deicide.

Jesus Christ, who died as a Jew and prayed in Hebrew at age 33 on the cross, was the victim of a punishment inflicted by the Romans to punish modest people for the most insignificant reasons; For example, a maid who had stolen a loaf in the kitchen.

Western history has not reported that upon entering Jerusalem in 70 CE, the Roman general Tito had a 50,000-cross jungle planted in which the Romans crucified 50,000 children, women, and elders. And to think that Mozart wrote an opera called “The Clemency of Titus”!

The ethic and moral collapse of Roman society partly gave rise to the search for more solid moral and spiritual values ​​than those offered by paganism. They then turned to Christianity and Judaism. In order to confront Jewish competition, Christian writers such as St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine resorted to contempt for all Hebrew, claiming that the Jews brought to others the principles they were unable to understand.

This tendency was reinforced at the end of antiquity when Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The dilemma for the Romans then consisted in worshiping a god that they themselves had crucified. They found it essential to find a scapegoat, for which they found it easy to accuse the Jewish people.

During the Middle Ages the Jews were accused of usurers, since the Roman Catholic Church excluded them from all professions and trades and only allowed them to lend money, an office forbidden to Christians. Despite what is said, when a Jew lent money to alleviate illness or extreme poverty, the Talmud did not allow him to charge interest.

The ethic and moral of the Jewish religion is to sympathize with the suffering of others regardless of their origin, to try to alleviate it and share the benefits and scientific and technological discoveries with all, even their own enemies. I will mention as an example the case of doctors Sabin and Salk, discoverers of the vaccine against childhood poliomyelitis, vaccine that saved so many millions of children from death or serious permanent injuries.

Science and religion teach us that man tends to distrust the “other”, alien to his family, social environment or religion, due to a prejudice that starts from a very primitive fear. Only education can overcome these instincts that arise from the darkest strata of the human subconscious. That is why it is essential to banish from childhood all the irrational hatreds that still remain in the world and not allow contempt for any human being, since all deserve respect.

We must act, therefore, so that both sacrifice and pain have not been in vain and for all peoples to understand that at present, when the human being has succeeded, through his intelligence, to place men on the Moon and send spaceships to Other planets, recourse to violence is the most monstrous and aberrant to solve the inevitable divergences that arise in the development of the peoples that inhabit the Earth, and that we all learn finally to live or, at least, to coexist in peace.

Tablets for Life

Two Tablets for Life. Table bible verses

Comparing the two tablets for life: one contains obligations towards God, the other contains obligations towards the people.

The Torah contains 613 commandments. But on Mount Sinai – the only occasion in history when the Jewish people as a whole had a face to face encounter with God – The Lord chose to emphasize 10.

The first two of the Ten Commandments were heard directly from the mouth of God, without Moses as an intermediary, while the other eight were heard through Moses.

According to many commentators, the first is not really a commandment, but has the nature of an introductory statement to all commandments. But there is a common special denominator that unifies these 10, and sets them apart from all others; Are the only commandments that appear in the “Tables of the Law”, Tablets for life, Table bible verses.

The importance of being inscribed in the tables is explained by Moses as follows:

“The Lord (God) told you his covenant that He commanded you to fulfill, the 10 statements, and inscribed them on two tables of stone.” (Deuteronomy 4:13)

These 10 statements have a double aspect. Apart from being commandments for themselves, like the rest of the 613, they constitute a special covenant between God and Israel. We refer to them in the Pesach Haggadah as the “Two Tables of the Covenant.”, Tablets for life. It is the covenant aspect that we propose to explore in this essay.

The pact

A pact is not a mysterious and creepy bond, but simply an elegant term for a contract. Every contract is an agreement negotiated between two parties. In general, when such an agreement is reached, it is certified and each party receives a notarized copy so that they have a record of their rights and obligations in the contract. In describing the Ten Commandments as a covenant, the Torah informs us that the table bible verses represent a copy of the contractual agreement between God and the Jewish People. The tables we receive at Sinai constitute the notarized copy of Israel.

But this seems like an alarming idea. In what sense can commandments, which are basically orders issued by The Lord, be described as negotiated agreements?

To better understand the contractual aspect of these commandments, let us review the negotiation process that led to its culmination.

The offer

When Moses first ascended the mount, after the Jewish people encamped at his feet, God sent Moses back to the Jews with the following message:

You have seen what I did to Egypt, and I carried them on the eagles’ wings and brought them to Me. And now, if you obey Me and keep My covenant, you will be for Me the most beloved treasure of all peoples, for Mine is the whole world. You will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19: 4-6).

This discourse contains the offering of The Lord

Nachmanides explains what is being offered: The whole world belongs to God, but He placed the other nations under the rules of angels. A “beloved treasure” is something you never let escape from your own careful watchfulness. God offered the Jewish people His personal attention. He Himself will attend to the affairs of the Jewish People, rather than deliver them to the jurisdiction of angels as He does with other nations.

But this offer of personal Divine jurisdiction actually contains two parts. Apart from the promise of care in this world, it also offers an entrance into the world to come. Because a precious object never loses its value, and remains forever precious. Someone dear to God, who is eternal, will stay with God for eternity. If Israel accepts God’s offer and becomes his precious object, that immediately extends the deal to the dominion of the eternal.

These two ideas are contained in the two phrases “a kingdom of priests,” a reference to this world, and “a holy nation,” which is a reference to the world to come. Note that the word “holy” in Hebrew always implies separation from the physical. Therefore, a “holy nation” is a nation in a non-physical sense, a nation of another world.

The acceptation

Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which God had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that God has said we will do!” (Exodus 19: 7-8).

This verse describes the acceptance of the Jewish People to the offering of The Lord.

Moses presented the proposition to the elders so that they could circulate among the people, obtain their reactions and deliberate the answer, but the people advanced to this process of deliberation, declaring enthusiastically their immediate and unanimous acceptance with one voice.

The Jews obviously thought this was an excellent offer. They accepted immediately without prior deliberation. But there must be strong conditions involved.

In fact there are – the conditions are the commandments themselves.

To enter into the covenant you must accept the Ten Commandments. But what is so difficult about these commandments? A superficial reading does not show anything controversial or difficult to fulfill.

Logic leads us to a deeper look at these commandments for an answer.

It is immediately apparent that they are divided into two parts. Indeed the Jewish tradition teaches that there are two tablets: 1) one corresponding to the obligations towards God, and 2) another composed of the obligations towards the neighbor. But if we examine them more closely we can see that they are related.

Let us refer to the two tables, for the sake of simplicity, as the table of God and the table of Man, and let us see them in pairs.

I am God / Will not Kill

The first commandment on God’s table is the acceptance of The Lord as our ruler. He brought us out of the bondage of Egypt so that we may become His servants instead of being the servants of Pharaoh. Parallel to this commandment in the Man table, we find the mandate against murder. The implication is clear. The act of murder represents a violation in spirit of the first commandment in the Table of God, Tablets for life, table bible verses.

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; Because in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9: 6)

The prohibition against murder is based on the fact that man is the image of God. When you take a human life you are destroying the image of God.

And if a man commits a sin whose sentence is death, he must die and hang it on the gallows. You will not leave his body overnight by hanging, but you will surely bury him that day, for a hangman is an insult to God … (Deuteronomy 21: 22-23)

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 46b) says that murdering a human being is similar to murdering God’s twin brother. You can not imagine a greater violation of the spirit of the first commandment in the table of God.
The second commandment on God’s table is the command against idolatry. In the Table of Man we find the mandate against adultery.

The command against idols is a prohibition on obtaining the gratification of God against His will, obtaining it secondhand. The idolater wants to get a portion of the Divine gratification, but not according to God’s policy. As part of the granting of free will to man, God makes this possible.

The institution of marriage, whose holiness is violated by the sin of adultery, is the gift of God against loneliness. The human symbol of love that extinguishes loneliness is the woman.

The Lord explained the creation of the woman in the following way:

It’s not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper corresponding to him. (Genesis 2:18)

God did this by dividing the human being into two, thus curing the existential anguish of loneliness. Both man and woman, share this gift equally, but she is the symbol of Divine healing. In God’s scheme each marriage is formed with the idea that each member of the couple is the complement of the other.

Adultery is to take this Divine gift and go against the politics and desire of God. This cure for human distress was aimed at a different receptor. In this way adultery is similar to idolatry.

You will not swear in vain / you will not steal

The third commandment on God’s table is the prohibition against false oaths, which parallels the prohibition of theft on the Table of Man, table bible verses.

God is the source of all reality. Replacing the reality that God established by a false reality is a perversion of the work of God. The false oath is an affirmation that God is associated with a reality that He did not intend.

Just as God is the source of all reality, He is the source of all gratification. Something destined for Reuben can not support Simon. If God intended it for Reuben, Simon’s appropriation of that is also a perversion of the true reality.

Were it not for the fact that God’s connection with reality is hidden by nature to allow man free will, no one could stretch his hand to take what belongs to another. The hand would stretch and the stolen object would disappear as soon as it got into the wrong hands.

Watch the Shabbat / Give No False Testimony

The fourth commandment on God’s table is the observance of Shabbat. In its parallel in the Table of Man is the prohibition of giving false testimony.

The observance of the Shabbat is a testimony to the creation of God. If God is the creator, He is also the source of all creative power in the world. All that man creates and achieves is actually a channeling of God’s creative power. If the world were not designed to conceal the presence of God, to grant man free will, the laws of Shabbat would be an exact representation of creation. Only God creates; Man hardly enjoys the gratification of God’s creative power.

Failure to observe Shabbat is an act of false witness. This false testimony affirms that there is a world not created, without purpose and without final destiny.
Raising false witness against our neighbor puts our neighbor in a world that was not created by the channeling of God’s creative power. The false witness created this alternative universe in his testimony. Therefore, the lack of observance of Shabbat and the lifting of false testimony are exact parallels.

Honor Your Parents / You Will Not Covet

The last commandment on God’s table is to respect our parents. Parallel to this commandment, in the man’s table is the prohibition against coveting the neighbor’s wife or anything belonging to your neighbor.

Instead of starting with God’s table and then moving on to man’s, let’s take the opposite path in this case.

Ibn Ezra asks a provocative question about the prohibition of coveting: How is it possible to command a person not to desire something that is inherently desirable?

We can easily understand the prohibition of materializing illicit desires in real life, but these prohibitions with respect to materialization are already mentioned in the first four prohibitions of the Table of Man. How can we relate to this prohibition against desire itself?
Ibn Ezra responds with a metaphor. By the rules of human nature, the peasant greed the wife of his peasant companion and not the daughter of the king. When he sees the princess pass in his carriage, even if he finds her beautiful, he does not greed her. She is beyond reach. Any thoughts you may have about her are more than realizable desires, pure fantasies.

If a person is properly oriented in the world, everything that belongs to another person is in the same relation with him as the unreachable princess to the peasant. God gives everyone the things they need to have to successfully lead their lives. It is not the circumstances that determine who each person has; But is determined by Divine decisions, which are based on rational considerations about what is beneficial.

If the things that I desire are within my reach, then I have the right to assume that God put them there on purpose, because I can actually use them to achieve the goals He set for me. If they are not within my allowed reach, I must conclude that they are not good for me to have and my only relationship with them is the harmless fantasy world of my imagination.

Coveting things that belong to other people is the clearest sign of danger that life is out of focus. In the world according to the Ten Commandments, each person is unique in the eyes of God; Each person is a partner in the covenant. Each of these partners lives in their own world, surrounded by the things they need specifically to test their commitment to the covenant partnership relationship, and to help them grow in their full potential as a partner with God.

The world is not a jungle in which we all compete for the same prize, which correctly belongs according to the law of the jungle to the fastest and able. In a world like that, whatever else I have, is a clear possibility for me too, especially if I consider myself more appropriate. In the jungle world it is allowed to covet anything whatever. As long as you take things out of the hands of your current owner in ways that society does not forbid, you’re not doing anything wrong. The person who covets is living in the wrong world.

Returning to the table of God, Tablets for life, table bible verses, we find the same idea expressed in the command to honor the parents. This commandment has nothing to do with conventional respect and gratitude. For most of us who have had the good fortune of being raised in normal, loving homes, feelings of gratitude toward our parents are an inseparable part of our worldview. There is no need to strengthen human nature through commandments. But the honor referred to here is a totally different subject.

Honor is assigned based on what you consider important in life, not on the basis of gratitude.

Each person feels the attraction of the challenges of the world waiting for us out there. The appeal of new ideas and different lifestyles is a very powerful force among all of us. We tend to treat the world of our parents condescendingly, as if it were out of date or old. We feel the need to open our wings and fly in new directions.

But the world in which God has placed us is the world of our fathers. Three companions join forces in the creation of a person: God, the father and the mother (Talmud, Nidá 31a). God does not choose his companions at random. If He selected these particular companions, He wants the child to be subject to His world. The values ​​transmitted by our parents create the background of our life, selected by God himself. Parents should be honored, not merely loved.
Coveting what belongs to another and not honoring our parents have the same common source, the belief that one is in the wrong world.

In conclusion

The prevailing theme in the tables is that it is impossible to separate our interactions with other people from our interactions with God. In the world of the covenant, where Israel becomes a people of priests and a holy nation, the holiness of God is spread to encompass all aspects of life. There is no escape from Him.

The covenant is not about obedience to the orders of God, or the adoption of certain customs and practices. The covenant is about the will to inhabit a common and shared world with God, where every aspect and relationship in life is influenced by the fact that it takes place in His encompassing presence. For someone who wants to live in their own space, the pact is an intolerable burden.

It turns out that God’s offer to make us a people of priests and a holy nation is a double-edged sword. For we must also be willing to become a people of priests and a holy nation. This means inhabiting a world where it is impossible to draw distinctive lines between areas designated as sacred, and those that can be considered secular or common.

We become those sacred priests only by allowing the two tables of the law, Tablets for life, to converge into one covenant structure. The conditions related to the offering of God are the chains that bind the secular and the sacred to form a single coherent life.

Tablet with Ten Commandments

Tablets of the Law or The Tablet with Ten Commandments

The ten rules of conduct regarding God and man that form the basis of religious law and Jewish morality. According to the Bible, these laws deliver God to Moses on Mount Sinai carved in the two Tablets of the Law or The tablet with Ten Commandments.

  1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of bondage
  2. You shall have no other gods before me.
  3. Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You will not kill.
  7. You will not commit adultery.
  8. You will not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not speak of thy neighbor’s false testimony.
  10. You will not covet.

Vaetjanan (Deuteronomy 3: 23-7: 11)

The two tablets

Parashá contain a repetition of the Ten Commandments, with some minor changes. The Mabit (1) makes a remarkable remark about the two lujot ‘tablets’ – Tablet with Ten Commandments – upon which the Commandments were written. The rabbis explain that the two lujot focused on different areas of mitzvot: the first had the mitzvot bein adam leMakom (corresponding to the relationship between man and God), such as belief in God and observing Shabbat, while the second had The mitzvot bein adam lejaberó (corresponding to the relationship between man and his neighbor), as the prohibitions of killing and envy.

The Mabit notes that in the first tablet there are many more words than in the second, so that their letters must have been much smaller than those of the other (2). This, Mabit continues, was done by God on purpose so that the mitzvot between man and his neighbor are more easily noticeable than the mitzvot between man and God. The Mabit goes on to say that the cause is that the izer (negative inclination) will be greater in the area between man and his neighbor. God wanted people to focus more on the mitzvot between man and his neighbor because they require more effort to overcome the yétzer will (3).

The Talmud, in Baba Batra, gives evidence that supports the opinion of the Mabit (4). There, the Talmud discusses various sins with which people stumble. He says that a minority of people stumble in the area of ​​forbidden relations, a majority with guézel ‘robbery’ (5) and all with avak lashón will (6). Forbidden relationships generally fall in the area of ​​mitzvot between man and God (7), while robbery and lashón will clearly fall into the realm of mitzvot between man and his neighbor. In this way, the Gemara is telling us that people are more likely to sin in certain mitzvot that correspond to bein adam lejaberó.

The following story also illustrates this point:

On one occasion Rav Chaim Soloveitchik was asked to establish whether a particular animal was kosher or not. His verdict was that it was not. The butcher suffered a major loss, but he nonetheless accepted the decision with equanimity. A few months later the same butcher was involved in an economic dispute with another person, for a much smaller amount of money. Rav Chaim legislated against him, and this time the butcher was furious and insulted Rav Chaim. Rav Simja Reeger, who was watching the incident, asked Rav Chaim why the butcher had taken the verdict so calmly when he lost a much larger amount of money and was so angry for a small sum. Raim Chaim explained that on this occasion he had lost against another person, and that what had made him so angry was to have been defeated by another person.

Now, we remain unanswered why people are more likely to stumble over mitzvos between man and his neighbor (8). Here is a possible answer: the Vilna Gaon wrote that all mitzvah emanates from a certain positive personal trait, whereas every ‘sin’ emanates from a negative trait (9). However, it is possible for a person to have a negative personal trait and also to observe many mitzvot.

For example, a person who has a tendency to lose his temper will not necessarily have trouble complying with Shabbat, kashrut and many other mitzvot on the plan of bein adam leMakom. Anyway, this person will have very big difficulties on the plane of bein adam lejaberó. Every time you raise your voice improperly you will be very close to falling into the prohibition of onaat devarim (hurtful words) and if you shout at one person against others you will transgress the extremely serious sin of shaming someone in public. Likewise, those who have the negative trait of focusing on the evil of people will not have trouble praying three times a day and studying Torah, although it is very likely that they will encounter the lashon and will judge others unfavorably.

Obviously, there are certain personality traits that greatly hinder the fulfillment of the mitzvot between man and God; One of them is laziness. However, it is important to note that these traits will also greatly damage the observance of the mitzvot between man and his neighbor.

For example, a lazy person will not want to help their partner with household chores, causing relationship problems. Even the trait of taavá (lust and desire) may be the cause of great errors in bein adam lejaberó. For example, a person who is too attached to food will react in a bad way when his partner serves food he does not like, resulting in a transgression of onaat devarim again.

The obvious lesson that can be derived from the Mabit is that it takes an extra effort in the mitzvot between man and his neighbor (10). Moreover, since the cause of failure in that Area are the negative personality traits, it is essential to work on traits such as anger, jealousy and greed.

The Maharshá points out that when the Gemara says that everyone stumbles upon avak lashón will do only refers to those who do not strive to improve in that Area (11), but those who strive to improve studying the laws related to lashon will make and to improve their personal characteristics are not intended to speak avak lashon hara. This applies to all mitzvot between man and his neighbor; If one makes a considerable and consistent effort to improve, he will overcome the traps of the itizer and will cause him to stumble.


  1. The Mabit was one of the leading rabbis of the 16th century in Israel.
  2. In the version of the Ten Commandments of Vaetjanán there are 162 words in the first tablet and 27 in the second Tablet with Ten Commandments.
  3. Mabit, Beit Elokim, Sháar Yesodot, Ch. 12.
  4. Baba Batra 165a.
  5. See Rashbam, Baba Batra 165a, who explains what kind of robbery refers to the Gemara.
  6. Literally translated as ‘lashon powder will.’
  7. It is a more subtle form of negative speech.
  8. With the exception of having relations with a married woman, which obviously involves a transgression between the man and his neighbor.
  9. The following answer was suggested to my Rabbi, Rav Itzjak Berkovits Shlita, who approved it. Even Shlema, Cap. 1.
  10. Of course, this does not mean that one should not strive much to improve his actions in the mitzvot between man and God. It is also important to note that many people may feel inclined to focus on mitzvot bein adam lejaberó and abandon their responsibilities in those of bein adam leMakom.
  11. See Shmirat Halashon, Chapter 15.

Jewish identity, Judaism

Although the reflection on Jewish identity, Judaism, has historically been preceded by these attempts, and has left a persistent concern to the entire Jewish intellectual, I was also concerned about this desperate contemporary of the dominated peoples, so I can rule out that he could have been influenced by This One of their discoveries about themselves.

I would like to include the following possible itinerary in the correspondence, help to clarify and rejuvenate a methodological tool that, after having been so praised for its fruitful comfort, is sometimes censored by the new generations of blacks.

Jewish identity, Judaism

I do not want to insist on the three concepts that he proposed and defined: Judaism, Judaism and Judaism. When I decided to consider myself a Jew, I immediately need a word that could express (to the exclusion of other uses) the fact of being Jewish. He was both puzzled and shocked to see that such a word did not exist. To be more exact, there is the word “Judaism”, but it has too many different meanings to be used in a specific and unequivocal way. He needed, therefore, to adopt or coinage a specific word, so he invented the word Judeity.

I must insist that, without diminishing the importance of the meaning of this term, my first goal was to satisfy a methodological need. I needed better tools before I could embrace the complete reality that always escaped me. Just trying to explain the reality of the phenomenon of judgment, studying all the dimensions of the problem separately, which led me to define the following: a) to find a definition of Judaism that was as specific and appropriate as possible; B) distinguish it from all other dimensions; And c) distinguish and define each dimension separately.

The existence of various interpretations of the themes included in these definitions, unavoidable by a serious historical phenomenon that has always provoked strong emotional reactions and divergent opinions, should not be grounds for opposing the creation of story distinctions. On the contrary, such a confusing and annoying subject must be structured. Even today I am not sure that the three dimensions of Jewish reality have been exhausted with these definitions.

I am willing to accept criticism, but I am more convinced that it should never be separated to ensure an idea of ​​its specific nature.

It did not take me long to realize that the term Judaism, which encompassed multiple meanings, was not only complex and vague but also too restrictive and inefficient for an objective and accurate search. The term refers both to the traditional, religious and moral values ​​that govern the collective life of the Jews, of any Jewish community, of belonging to a group of a Jewish individual, and the degree of subjection of the Jew to traditional beliefs. Even, since the Zionist movement, its fidelity to Jewish values ​​that would not be strictly religious. (It would say: “Judaism of So-and-so”). Is it not clear, what could be recommended in one of these meanings to Judaism and find the different terms for the others? A little order, even at the expense of an apparent pairing of vocabulary, could only be healthy. It seems to me, therefore, that the most appropriate meaning for Judaism would be “the set of cultural and religious traditions.”

It is a serious problem to know the exact domain of the Jewish heritage

I immediately realized that I had to look for a more precise meaning when I tried to invent more fully the Jewish situation. Does not this set of cultural values ​​distinguish religious inheritance properly from the ethical prescriptions that form the moral philosophy of the Jews? Should all the new words of Jewish philosophers and essayists be called “Judaism”? Although these men may be said to be subject to cultural tradition, their findings are completely new. It is a serious problem, but less for the specialist, clearly knows the limits of judicial justice. Does it have a clear delimitation that makes it incompatible with innovation? Should it adopt a dynamic and evolutionary path that, although it enriches it, transforms it in the course of History?

To avoid unduly multiplying my initial concept of work, he included the same headline all institutions that organize Jewish collective life and uphold their values. We must realize, however, that in order to speak and write more accurately about Jewish ideology and its work, and about Jews – as individuals and as a group – who share this ideology and in varying degrees of incorporation into their lives, It is Urgent and important to consider the two facets separately.

In order to specifically designate the Jewish group, I chose the word Judeity. When I chose it, I also made a small discovery. I had a vague idea that this word already existed, and that I only needed to give it a single meaning. But the word was not in any dictionary. I therefore propose that your situation be “legalized.”

I suggest that we keep this concept with what I have called the term Judeity, but leave it open to discussion. Keeping in mind the demographic physiognomy of the Jewish people, it is necessary to define the term in both directions: wide and narrow. Judaism would thus encompass: (a) the total Jewish population – Judaism throughout the world; And b) each local Jewish community, in order to take into account the fragmentation of this Judeity into multiple communities throughout the world (eg, French Jude, American Jude, etc.)

It is essential, however, to preserve the demographic sense: Judaism designates a group of Jews.

Judaism, then, would describe exclusively the manner in which a Jew is a Jew, subjectively and objectively-the way in which he feels Jewish and reacts to the status of Jew. As I have previously stated, I had to invent a totally new word to express an indisputable original fact.

Of course, if one intends to adopt a sociological perspective, and more particularly, the perspective of the sociology of knowledge, the concept of Judeity can not have an isolated existence.

It would seem absurd to consider separate Jewish values ​​globally, which naturally do not exist in a vacuum. They should be seen in the light of the Jews as a group, and more specifically, in light of the evolution of socio-historical events that have shaped the particular fate of the Jewish group. I must, however, state that Judaism includes the ideology and institutional framework of Judaism. Judeity almost always refers to traditional Jewish values, though perhaps not in conscious and totally explicit terms. Contrary to the word Judaicity, Judeity objectively and subjectively measures the degree to which the individual belongs to the group. As a final component of the triangle, it is clear that belonging to a group is rarely defined negatively by the act of automatic solidarity in the face of danger. By belonging to a group, one always expresses recognition of one’s values ​​to a certain degree.

Above all, I would like to state that Judeity varies in intensity and composition from one individual to another. This is why my collaborators and I were able to talk about a “coefficient of Judeity”. We have even tried to establish the factors that enter into that calculation, knowing however that using a mathematical expression for a complex and difficult reality to understand, we were treading on a dangerous terrain. However, it is necessary to consider the individual Judeity of each individual.

In summary, it seems necessary to separate clearly the following distinct elements: a) the Jewish group, or Judaicidad; B) the values ​​of the group, or Judaism; C) the degree to which the individual participates in their group and shares their values, or Judeity.

I have always given detailed account of these three concepts and the following definitions will serve as a topic of remembrance:

“Judaism consists of the collective of the Jews, that is to say, in a broad sense, the total number of Jews of the whole world; In a reduced sense, a certain group of geographically situated Jews (for example, the Judaism of France or New York) ”

“Judaism is the group of Jewish doctrines, beliefs and institutions – whether or not they are written or spoken. It is the set of values ​​and organization that constitutes and regulates the life of a Jewish group. Judaism also includes culture in a broad sense – common customs, religion, philosophy, law and art ”

Judaism is the fact and the way of being Jewish – the sociological, psychological objective and the biological characteristics that make a person Jewish; The way a Jew lives, his belonging to Judaism and his place in the non-Jewish world. “

Jacob Taubes, Scatologist

Jacob Taubes, Scatologist

In 1947, Jacob Taubes arrived at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as a 24-year-old Orthodox rabbi with a recent Ph.D. in philosophy from Zurich, and with the nervous self-assurance of having begun to solve the mystery of Western culture. His first book, “Western Eschatology,” a dramatic study written in German on the influence of the messianic ideas of the Bible in modern times, had just been published and promised nothing less than to explain the “essence of history” encompassing “the whole Western existence “.

As a scholar of Judaism and Christianity, Taubes dealt only with the most provocative and weighty issues, which made him an unbearable selfish, but also one of the most fascinating thinkers of the mid-twentieth century in intellectual life bean. “Western eschatology” was finally published in English last year and this year a collection of his essays on modern religion has appeared under the title of “Cult of Culture”.

Son of a prestigious rabbi, Taubes was born in Vienna in 1923 but survived World War II in neutral Switzerland. There he obtained his rabbinic ordination upon completing his doctorate, in addition to attending the readings of a famous Swiss Catholic theologian. But Taubes had little desire to stay long in a Europe where many of his finest academics and students were absent.

Already in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, he encountered a generation of post-Holocaust American Jewish intellectuals once again preoccupied with European ideas and anxious to reconnect with the lost Jewish tradition. For them, Taubes was a true revelation, a young embodiment of the world of his parents. He taught the Talmud to people of the stature of Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol in New York, and enthralled a young Susan Sontag with his Harvard readings on the secularization of Christian ideas and how that process had determined the course of Western thought.

Many of the students wandering around Taubes stood out in addition to their erudition, the presence of a mysterious and disturbing sexual magnetism. “He was thin and short, with sallow complexion … seldom free of grain,” says the theologian Richard Rubinstein in recalling his first teacher of the Talmud. It was “fascinating to some class of cultured women who were perhaps more interested in exploring its unusual and mysterious character than in openly celebrating the pleasures derived from physical love.”

Apparently Taubes’ “resource”, both intellectual and sexual, was rooted in his will to push the boundaries. They knew him for coming to the synagogue with a ostentatiously large prayer shawl and for constantly talking about the value of transgressing Jewish law.

Perhaps it was Taubes’ fascination with these transgressions that led him to dedicate more and more time to the apostle Paul of Tarsus, historically the most famous of Jewish transgressors. This is evident when one reads “Western Eschatology” and the “Cult of Culture” and it is shown how the apostle Paul was never far from the mind of Taubes, even when he wrote on topics as far away as surrealism and psychoanalysis . It was in Paul that Taubes believed he had found the key to the mystery of Western culture. And over time, Taubes was getting closer and closer to the image that Paul gave his academic work. His version, of course, did not correspond to the Christian interpretation. For him, Paul was not the first Christian, but a “radical and jealous” Jew, or as he once said, an “arch-Jew.”

At first glance, the Paul of Taubes was not so radically different from the image we have received from the apostle. Paul was still that Pharisee who initially condemned the cult of Jesus to later radically change his position and reject the Mosaic law, which he knew so well, and address the gathering of the congregations of followers of Jesus throughout the Mediterranean arc, and this With the expectation that the end of time was near.

Taubes wondered what remained of a Jew in Paul after his “conversion.” His messianism was clearly of Jewish origin, but what about the law? Traditionally, Paul is regarded as the figure who replaced the Jewish law by faith and the circumcision of the body by the circumcision of the soul. But according to Taubes, it was crucial that Paul consider faith not only as an annulment, but also as the fulfillment of the Mosaic law.

According to Taubes, Paul believed that faith arose naturally outside the Mosaic tradition as its “self-cancellation,” and that it was in fact abnormal that such a message of law enforcement could be extended to the realm of non Jews. According to this reading, Paul was a messianic celestial of the law, an evangelical Jew.

This certainly had political consequences. “The dilemma can not be avoided,” wrote Taubes in 1979, “or messianism is nonsense and dangerous,” or “makes sense to the extent that it reveals an important facet of human experience.” It is what he sought to achieve in what he called his “intellectual testament,” a series of lectures on Paul held in Heidelberg a few months before his death in 1987 (he had re-taught in Germany since the 1960s).

It seems that it was very important for Taubes to give his will to a German audience, not only because it was his mother tongue, but because he thought there had been a long and extensive history of Paul’s misinterpretations that had encouraged disastrous consequences for that country, When religious prejudices are translated into political practice. The transcript of these lectures was published in English in 2004 as “The Political Theology of Paul,” and since then the Jewish version of the apostle proposed by Taubes has been receiving a long and extensive attention.

In these Heidelberg lectures, Taubes particularly analyzes the Jewish character of the Letter to the Romans. Unlike the other epistles of Paul (Galatians, Ephesians and Corinthians, for example), the letter to the Romans was addressed to a congregation of followers of Jesus composed of Jews and Gentiles, and located in the capital of Roman empire. When Paul wrote to them and told them to abandon “the law (nomos),” Taubes points out, “it was undermining not only the authority of the halacha but also that of the Roman state, whose Gentile laws were regarded as divinely ordained through the emperor, A representative of the gods on earth. ” In that sense, says Taubes, “the Epistle to the Romans is a political theology, a political declaration of war against Caesar.” And it was a “political declaration of Jewish war” because it celebrated a universal law superior to those other arbitrary ones dictated by an emperor who claimed to be a god.

Taubes’ reading of Paul was undeniably influenced by the experience of National Socialism and by his constant aim to be smarter than Carl Schmitt, the jurist who had presided over Nazi legal theory from 1933 to 1936, and who Taubes said to the Students of his lectures at Heidelberg, was “the greatest legal theorist of our time regarding the legal and juridical conformation of the state.” This praise should not be misunderstood. In his only meeting with this ex-Nazi in 1979, Taubes said that he and Schmitt were “opposed to death,” but that they took “splendidly”, at least “talking about the same subject.” Subject that was “political theology” – a phrase coined by Schmitt to argue that all theological metaphors have political implications, just as all legal systems are based on articles of faith.

During their visit, the two men sat down as in a Hevruta-process in which a pair of Talmudic students collaborate and become absorbed in the study -, and they read from the Epistle to the Romans the chapters IX to XI, those passages in the That Paul makes allusion in the most explicit way to the relationship between the followers of Jesus and the Jews faithful to the old law. Schmitt laid much of his reputation among the Nazis on this argument, largely inspired by a Catholic version of the apostle who represented him as a declared enemy of the Jews, and where the “unlawful orders of a leader who resembles God By faith deposited in him by the people, could not legitimately be violated. ” Taubes suggested he won controversy over Schmitt – “he always wins,” wrote Susan Taubes of his ex-husband in his autobiographical novel “Divorced” – but we will never be sure of that because there is no transcript of the conversation.

Taubes’ commitment to political theology has troubled some liberals who wished to keep the two kingdoms hermetically sealed together. For example, in a rather carefree review of recent literature on Paul in the New York Review of Books, Mark Lilla blames Taubes for “harassing” (ie claiming) reactionary thinkers like Schmitt in the eyes of German leftist students in The 1960s and 70s.

If it were alive today, it is likely that Taubes would have responded that if all thinkers who have detected a link between theology and politics were banned, most of The ones that make up the western canon of our basic curriculum.

If Taubes bequeathed anything in his intellectual testament, it was not a revaluation of Schmitt, but the inherent potential in Sigmund Freud’s work, the one Taubes explicitly calls a “direct descendant of Paul.” From psychoanalysis of Freud argued that he had approached the Pauline Jewish legacy in a “self-conscious” way, demonstrating the universal forces of guilt and repression that work both in the Mosaic law and in “bourgeois moral laws.”

For Taubes, to be a “Jew Partisan of Paul “meant to be a fanatical universalist. This did not mean trying to translate religious ideals into good government, but rather to preserve “religiously inspired universalism” as a sort of “realm of constant criticism of authority.” Hopefully, the new English translations of Taubes’ work will rekindle some of the enthusiasm it initially aroused, when it reached the US coasts, at a time when personal relationship with Judaism was an existential issue of political principle.

What is Sukkot festivity

What is Sukkot festivity ?

Sukkot is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated during autumn, in Israel it is celebrated for 7 days and in the Jewish diaspora 8. It is a festival of biblical origin that recalls the incidents of the Jewish people in the desert way to Eretz Israel. It also has an agricultural meaning, since it recalls when the Hebrew people gathered the harvest and prepared the fields for the future winter, reason why it is feast of agricultural thanksgiving, reason why often it is referred to as “the festival Of the harvest “or” the party of the cabins “.

During the festival, the Jews eat and sleep in the sukkah, which is a non-permanent outdoor hut, which intends to recall that time when the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. The Sukkah represents the temporary refuge that the Israelites lived during those forty years.

Much of the ritual and the party revolves around rejoicing and thanking God for the harvest and for all the good that gives us.

Traditions of Sukkot

It is a special mitzvah to rejoice in Sukkot. For this reason, the middle days of Sukkot are characterized by celebrations called Simchat Beit HaShoeva, commemorating the water libations that were offered in the Temple during Sukkot.

The festival of Sukkot is directly related to the “water”, since it is the day of the universal judgment regarding the blessings of rain and irrigation for the coming year.

Sukkot is also a time of universal blessing for all peoples – symbolized by the 70 additional offerings that were offered in the Temple during the festival, which corresponded to the 70 nations of the world.

The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, is read on Shabbat during Sukkot. The theme of Ecclesiastes is the vain persecution of worldly pleasures as opposed to the eternal spiritual quest. In fact, the fragile construction of the Sukkah reminds us that material possessions are transitory.

The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshaná Rabá, which is characterized by the procession of the seven circuits around the Bimá, with the Four Species in the hand. The procession culminates with the pounding of the willow branch on the floor. Hosanna Rabba is known as the day of the final seal of judgment that began on Rosh Hashanah. In Hoshana Rabba, some have a habit of reading the Book of Deuteronomy and staying awake all night studying Torah.

The four species of Sukkot

  1. The etrog is similar (not identical) to a lemon
  2. The lulav is a branch of date palm
  3. El Hadás is a type of myrtle
  4. The aravá is a type of willow very leafy

The Kaddish, hymn jewish Aramaic

The Kaddish, hymn jewish Aramaic

Hebrew Encyclopedia

The Kaddish is the Aramaic doxological hymn that is recited in the synagogue at the end of important sections of worship and has become the prayer par excellence in memory of the dead.


The Kaddish, hymn jewish Aramaic, this prayer is very old, although it has undergone remarkable development over the centuries. The first paragraph is probably prior to the destruction of the second temple, since the text does not mention the hope of its reconstruction.

The response of the congregation is a paraphrase of Ps. 113, 2 and corresponds to that used in the Temple but not recited in the prayers, but at the end of aggic expositions. The teacher said it in dismissing the messianic hopes.

From ancient times a certain mystical power was attributed to the congregation. The Talmud says that “Since the destruction of the Temple, the world was sustained by the Kedusha of the liturgy and the yahá sham-rabba (resting of the Kaddish) of the agadic discourse” (Sounds 49a). Prayer was added in the ordinary language (Aramaic) for the sanctification of the name of Gd (Yitgadal ve-yitkadash, Ezekiel 38:23) and by the coming of the celestial kingdom.

Also the Lord’s Prayer of Christians contains similar elements, indicating the antiquity of the Kaddish.


Translation of The Kaddish, hymn jewish Aramaic

Exalted and sanctified be the name of Gd, in the world that He created according to His will. Arrive his kingdom, germinate salvation and approach the arrival of the anointed. (Amen.)

In your life, and in our days and in the lives of all the people of Israel, soon and in near time (Amen.)

Blessed forever be the name of God great, blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, exalted, magnified and praised be his holy name. (Amen.)

Above all the blessings, songs, praises and consolations that are said in the world. (Amen.)

Come from heaven great peace and long life, abundance, salvation, consolation, liberation, health, redemption, forgiveness, atonement and spacious freedom be a guarantee for us and for all Israel. (Amen.)

He who establishes heavenly harmony, let peace reign among us and between all Israel. (Amen.)

Death in Judaism

Death in Judaism

From the point of view of Judaism, what is death?

Most people do not like to talk about Death in Judaism and fear it; So from here we speak with Rabbi Shai Froindlch, with Rabbi Abraham Tobal of the Mount Sinai Community; To Rabbi Marcelo Rittner of Bet El Community and to Mr. Isaac Shapiro.

For Rabbi Shai, death is a termination of life in this world, but it is not the end, but the human being is transformed into something else and migrates to another level, to another world. We fear him because we do not know what is going to happen and because, deep within us, we know that there is an afterlife.

In turn, Rabbi Abraham Tobal believes that death is the end of life from the perspective of the physical, but not the spiritual. Man comes from the earth and goes to earth. There is a continuity in the offspring, in the transcendence, in the name that the person leaves. On the one hand we are accustomed to accumulate and death takes away; That generates a deep pain in the people, a chaos in the mind and what we want is to reconstruct that puzzle that forms in our mind.

For Rabbi Rittner, the Jewish religion does not accept the worldly concept of death: life is fleeting and limited, regardless of the years we live, against eternity. As it is said that the death of God does not exist, neither does the soul die (which is part of God); The body is the garment of the soul. When the soul detaches itself from the body, it no longer has physical limitations, as in life. To the pantheon we call it Bet Hajayim (house of the living) because we consider that life is eternal.

Isaac Shapiro: “For a space of time our soul is anchored in a physical body, which has limitations; It does it to achieve overcoming. It reaches the moment when its phase ends and it goes to the eternal world. The destruction of a soul is when it has not reached its overcoming or created evil. Death is a stage of life ”

Suicide in Judaism

For Judaism, suicide is a great transgression. Life is a gift; We have to honor it and return this body as it was given. Taking life of its own goes against Jewish spiritual ideology. Life must be preserved until the last moment.

It is forbidden to commit suicide, to be hurt: avoid dangerous situations and attack. A person should strive to have a healthy life and take care not to get sick. Previously, suicide was considered a sin and the person who committed suicide was buried differently, against the wall; There were no prayers or sermons in the cemetery.

Currently the rules have changed and it is considered that a person who commits suicide is ill and acts at a time of illness, trying to avoid further pain to the family. Punishment for suicide was a punishment to the family and not to the person.

Life is invaluable and sacred because only in this world can we overcome ourselves.

What is left in the tomb

In the tomb there is nothing left: the soul rose. We say that the soul rises and only lowers each Yortzait (anniversary of death) because the tomb connects us with our loved one. The Halacha dictates that you should not put a picture in the tomb, because instead of connecting with the essence, we do with the concrete of the person.

The body of a deceased person is sacred in Judaism: he is considered as a Sefer Torah. It should not be cremated because it is a way of hurting it; So does the autopsy.

The gravestone

The Bible says that when they buried someone in the desert, they would put a pile of stones at the burial place. In the Ashkenazi community there is a tradition of visiting the tomb at very special times. It is the place where we can connect with our loved one and say what in life we ​​did not say. The custom is to place a stone is by continuity, saying we have not forgotten you, you are our point of reference and we are ready to finish what you did not have time to do

The Shivá

The higher parts of the soul come out of the tomb; What remains are sparks of the same that gravitate during the first 7 days, in the place where the body is buried and in the house where it is shiva (mourning), which is an important process for the soul as a pair of mourners.

The Kadish

This prayer in Aramaic helps the soul to rise, to heal the pain. Within 11 months of death, it is considered that the soul has reached its final place.

50 most beautiful jewish women

A US Journal chooses the 50 most beautiful Jewish women

The beautiful Israeli model Esti Ginsberg (photo) tops the list of the 50 most beautiful Jewish women elaborated by the American digital magazine Complex on the occasion of the Hanukkah holiday, which includes half a hundred Hollywood actresses, animators and models connected with the Judaism either from the halachic point of view (according to Jewish law) or for having become, even to get married.

“Traditionally, Judaism is passed on by the mother – this means that if your mother is Jewish, so are you – and if she is not, you are not, and no matter where your father prays; However, reformist Judaism admits a child with a Jewish father who grew up with Jewish qualities, “explains the introduction of the payroll.

“We have included all sorts of Jewish beauties: the devotees (Natalie Portman), those who are not according to law (Winona Ryder), conversations (Elizabeth Banks), non-religious (Sarah Silverman) and the Israelis (Bar Refaeli); When the rule is, we have love for all, “the conclusion adds.

Heading the list is the surviving model who has appeared in sports magazine Sports Illustrated for the last three years, followed by actresses Mila Kunis, who has Ukrainian Jewish parents and has said in several interviews that she is considered “quite Jewish”; Rashida Jones, daughter of legendary soul producer Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton.

Also appear on the payroll Gwenyth Paltrow, of Jewish father, in 36th place; Goldie Hawn’s daughter, Kate Hudson, in the 25th; And Sarah Michelle Gellar, 20th.

Among the Israelis are Portman, born in Jerusalem and a former student of the Hebrew University (7th); The model Bar Refaeli (5th) and the actresses Moran Atias (12th), Noa Tishby and Yael Bar Zohar.

“Just as a flame dancing on a candle emits heat, so do many of the Jewish women who have left their mark on popular culture in recent years,” writes the magazine, which is touted as “the main digital destination Of the most influential consumers in their twenties. ”

“Regardless of your faith or religious belief, after reading this list you will agree that the women of the Tribe of Judah are the second violinist on the roof,” the article added.

Bar Refaeli
Bar Refaeli
Moran Atias
Moran Atias
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder
Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones
Noa Tishby
Noa Tishby
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis
Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson
Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow
Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks