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Animal Soul vs. Yetzer Hora

Some of you might be familiar with the term “Yetzer Hora” or evil inclination. The Talmud describes the two voices inside our heads: Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hora, the former tries to influence us towards good, the latter towards bad. In … Read the rest

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Caring for & Working with Animals

This year (2019) for the Shabbat of Noach we did an animals theme, and asked several students to share their personal experiences caring for and working with animals. It was quite beautiful and surprising what students shared:

Rachel K. – Read the rest

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The Carob Tree Story and Tradition

by Mordechai Rosen

In our Sunday Talmud class we learned the story of Choni the Circle Maker (in tractate Taanit) and how he once encountered an older man planting a carob tree. That surprised him because carob trees (at least … Read the rest

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Another Mo Willems’ Gem: “Listen to My Trumpet!”

Recently we’ve enjoyed reading some of Mo Willems’ “Piggie and Gerald” series of beginner books. Here’s another gem from that series that has far more depth and insight into human character than the silly children’s book it appears to be. … Read the rest

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The Treasure Under the Bridge and Parents Weekend

There’s an old classic tale from Jewish Poland in the 1600’s that we’ve shared before many times, but would like to share it again now that we have many parents in our Sukkah for Homecoming Weekend 2019. 

There was a … Read the rest

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A Sukkah Abroad, and 3 Miles Yet!

A faculty member visited our Sukkah for lunch on the second day and shared a memory from Sukkot in Ireland during the year she was on a recent research sabbatical there. She and her family rented a place on the … Read the rest

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Lulav in the Sukkah, a Glass Among Barrels

Here’s a Chassidic story, we shared it once before, that also ties into an explanation of why there’s a (Chabad) preference (not an obligation) to shake the Lulav inside the Sukkah, even though they are two separate Sukkot Mitzvot, … Read the rest

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Mishna Sukkah Life Metaphors

by Seth Brooks (UAlbany 2020) at Sukkot Nights I and II Farbrengens 2019 UAlbany

LAVUD – The Gap in the Wall

As someone growing in my Jewish learning and observance, we often feel that there are gaps and spaces in … Read the rest

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Sukkot & Elephants of Babar vs MoWillems & The Knufflebunny

We happened to get a big anniversary edition of Babar (the elephant king) out of the library. It dates back to to France in the 1930’s but it is an enduring classic remaining popular with children to this day. Babar … Read the rest

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Sukkah: Comfortable with Uncertainty

In some ways our generation has opportunities and abilities that surpass anything in the past. We have technology at our fingertips that used to be the stuff of science fiction, ease of communication, incredible access to information, and much more. … Read the rest

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