Pursuing Communal Needs “Be’Emunah”
Posted on 12/03/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
In the third paragraph of a prayer that is recited on Shabbat immediately after the Haftorah is completed, but before the Torah is returned to the Ark, we beseech God that 1) He Bless and duly Reward not only...
Feeding the Hungry
Posted on 11/03/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
Feeding the Hungry Yaakov Bieler Many years ago, I recall a student’s once asking me about the wording of the first blessing of the Grace after Meals: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the...
Praying to Avoid Embarrassment
Posted on 10/02/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Holidays
Praying to Avoid Embarrassment In the prayer that is offered by the congregation between Shacharit and Musaf, on the Shabbat prior to the advent of a new Jewish month, commonly known as “Birchat...
A Blessing of Appreciation upon “Surviving”
Posted on 09/01/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that based upon four extremely dangerous situations listed in Psalms 107, any individual who has experienced an overt, life-threatening situation and survived, should give...
The Values of “Pleasantness” and “Peacefulness”
Posted on 08/05/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
Derachecha Darchei Noam On days when the Torah is publicly read, i.e., Shabbat morning and afternoon, Yamim Tovim (holidays) mornings, Rosh Chodesh (the beginning of a new Jewish month) mornings, Fast Days...
Keeping in Mind Those Who are Unwell
Posted on 07/01/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
Jewish liturgy reminds us regularly of the fundamental Jewish value to direct our thoughts, wishes, concerns, as well as helpful actions, to those who are ill.Sometimes we are called upon to have in mind...
Appreciating and Acknowledging the source of Human Intelligence
Posted on 06/02/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
When I taught in Jewish Middle and High Schools over the course of more than forty years, I would always make clear to the members of my classes that when I returned a quiz or a test, the results were...
“Peace” as a Key Jewish Value
Posted on 05/09/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
Some are presently contending that Judaism in general, and the Jewish people in particular, in their pursuit of autonomy, respect in the eyes of the world, and an independent state, are overly militant and...
Posted on 04/07/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
A Talmudic passage describing God in a dialectical manner. At the end of each Shabbat, a lengthy prayer, beginning with the words, “VaYetein LeCha…” (“And may He Give you…) is...
No One Should Feel Alone
Posted on 03/05/2019 by Rabbi Yaakov Bieler in Beliefs and Practices
When a person engages in prayer, it seems to me that it is very important for him/her to personalize the prayers as much as possible. The goal is to make the statements and supplications your own, even if...