Sparks of Torah

Why 33?

We know that thousands of students of the great Torah scholar Rabbi Akiva died during this period. During this time, we pay tribute to their memory and avoid happy occasions such as marriage. The plague that engulfed them ended on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, the 18th of the month of Iyar. Therefore, we pause the national mourning in honor of their memory.

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This Week in Pictures

What a full week it was! It all started with a Shabbos Dinner last Friday with our Akiva Experience Department, a packed Sunday Shenanigans with the Family Experience, a special birthday and so much more. Here is this week in Pictures at The Jewish Experience.

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Women's Experience

Lag Baomer-The Holiday of Resilience

We are currently in the time period of Sefiras Haomer, counting down (or rather counting up!) the days between Pesach and Shavous.  These should be exceedingly joyous days as we move from celebrating the Exodus from Egypt on Pesach to becoming the nation who accepted Hashem’s Torah on Shavuot.    However, these days have become days of mourning, due to the death of the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who did not treat each other with the proper respect.  

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Sparks of Torah

Timeless Torah

We are obliged to guard the Torah. Rashi understands this to mean that we must be informed and know the sources of the mitzvos. Malbim expounds upon Rashi  clarifying that genuine preserving is in the heart, the storage facility of our knowledge. Certainly, we must study and realize this but it would seem that guarding has a much more profound intent.

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This Week in Pictures

It’s been a busy time at The Jewish Experience post-Pesach! Our weekly learning every Wednesday is going strong, we have many Shabbat dinner opportunities, and so much more coming soon! For now, here is a quick look at last week’s Mother’s Day Lunch and our weekly learning this past Wednesday. And stay tuned for more coming soon!

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Sparks of Torah

A Name Dropper

One of the many topics discussed in this week’s parsha is when a judge acts inappropriately and therefore one who should be exonerated is actually convicted or obligated to compensate for damages or otherwise. The terminology employed in defining this wrong act is that it is a disgrace. Of course, that in it of itself should alarm the judge and motivate him to pursue his office with diligence and integrity.

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Sparks of Torah

The Question Remains

We unfortunately leave the majestic and uplifting Yom Tov of Pesach and begin the counting of the Omer slowly but surely preparing ourselves for Shavuos. However, perhaps we should consider the possibility that although Pesach leaves us we should not leave Pesach. In other words, what can we continue to carry within us once we finish eating matzah and we again enter the world of chametz?

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Sparks of Torah

When Are We Leaving?

This is of course the quintessential uncertainty that shrouds our minds until this very moment. The severity of pogroms, holocausts, bestial treatment and abusive environments that our nation has endured for thousands of years seems to never end. And that was exactly what our forefathers in Egypt felt as well. They were worked to the bone and underwent tremendous cruelty at the hands of the Egyptian taskmasters. What was the necessity to undergo such difficulties in order to merit the exodus? 

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This Week In Pictures

It was a very busy week here at The Jewish Experience as all of our different divisions prepared for Pesach. From a Chocolate Seder at the Sunday Experience to a Scotch, Steak and Seder with our Akiva team, there was a lot of delicious learning happening! Here is This Week in Pictures.

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Sparks of Torah

Make Sure You Are In The Right Gear

The main cause for the appearance of tzora’as, a skin infection, is due to loshon hora, or slanderous speech. The offender is sentenced to remain isolated outside the entire camp of Israel until he repents and then miraculously, the malady will disappear and he will be allowed to enter. Why is his punishment so severe?

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Blog

This Week In Pictures

Let’s take a look at this week in pictures! We’ve got some fabulous photos from this week’s Olami Women’s learning night, plus a few important Mazels to our friends at Clean Speech St. Louis and Cleveland – and a look at the Strength in Dark Times Summit.

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Sparks of Torah

First Place

This Shabbos we will read the parsha that discusses the upcoming month of Nissan. It is considered the first and foremost of the months of the year. What indeed is so significant about this month. Of course, we bring the special Passover sacrifice in this month, however why would that make the month itself so important?

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