Practical Judaism – Hanukkah

What is the difference between a ceremony and a holiday?

In a wedding ceremony, for example, you perform rituals and recite specific words with the intention that you will try your hardest to fulfill them. You are committing yourself to those ideas.

A holiday is a celebration of someone else that did the hard work of dedicating themselves to an idea. You are merely applauding their efforts.

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
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Practical Judaism – Vayishlach

“To wrestle with, or doubt, God is perhaps the strongest form of faith.

In the same manner that you may gently rebuke a loved one for not being there in a time of need, questioning the existence of God is about pointing out a lack for the sake of developing a stronger relationship.”
-Rabbi Misha Clebaner

“Thy name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast wrestled with God (sar el) and with men, and hast prevailed.’
-Genesis 32:29

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical Judaism – Vayishlach”

Practical Judaism – Vayetze

“Sleep, especially deep sleep, is like a balm for the brain,” says Dr. Joshi, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford.

“The better your sleep, the more clearly you can think while awake, and it may enable you to seek help when a problem arises. You have your faculties with you. You may think, ‘I have 16 things to do, but I know where to start.’

Sleep deprivation can make it hard to remember what you need to do for your busy… life. It takes away the support, the infrastructure.”

Sleep is believed to help regulate emotions and its deprivation is an underlying component of many mood disorders, such as anxiety, [etc].”

“Jacob came upon a certain place and stopped there for the night, for the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of that place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place.”

-Genesis 28:11

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical Judaism – Vayetze”

Practical Judaism – Vayera

“Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them.”
– Genesis 18:2

Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, etc.

“Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem.”

-Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology (NYT, March 2019)

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical Judaism – Vayera”

Practical Judaism – Lech Lecha

“And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.” -Genesis 17:5

“Everyone has a share in the World To Come except for some, this includes the one who humiliates another in public and one who calls another by a derogatory name. Even if the victim has grown accustomed to being called that name in place of his name, and they are no longer humiliated by being called that name, since the intent was to insult them, the perpetrator’s punishment is severe.”
-Talmud, Baba Metzia 58b

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical Judaism – Lech Lecha”

Practical and Embodied Judaism – Parasha Noach

“And the floodgates of the sky broke open.” -Genesis 7:11

“People who pray for miracles usually don’t get miracles, any more than children who pray for bicycles, good grades, or good boyfriends get them as a result of praying. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of they have lost, very often find their prayer answered.”
– Rabbi Harold Kushner in “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.”

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on Jewish concepts and will be experimenting with ways to take them out of the theoretical and turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical and Embodied Judaism – Parasha Noach”

Practical and Embodied Judaism – Parasha Beresheet

“And Adonai formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that would be its name.” – Genesis 2:19

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on the ideas of Judaism and will strive to take them out of the theoretical and instead turn them into the practical.
Continue reading “Practical and Embodied Judaism – Parasha Beresheet”