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Getting our B’nei Mitzvah to Understand (and Love) Torah Study


Too often, preparing students to become bar or bat mitzvah feels like “studying for the test.” And as anyone who has ever “studied for the test” knows, the day after the test, all the information goes in one ear and out the other. Instead, becoming bar or bat mitzvah should truly be about making a transition — namely, from being a child in the Jewish community to becoming an adult. And so as our 13-year-olds grow and develop, and as we celebrate their entrance into the Jewish community, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to teach them skills for life-long learning.

Why Can Judaism Embrace Science So Easily?


While some people think of science and religion as being inherently in conflict, I think it’s because they tend to define “religion” as “blind acceptance and complete certainty about silly, superstitious fantasies.” Quite honestly, if that’s what religion really was, I wouldn’t be religious! In fact, it’s not “religion” in general, but that particular definition of religion that is so often in conflict with science. Instead, my experience with Judaism has been that it embraces science quite easily. So why is that?

Creating Holiness

What makes a moment truly special isn’t the moment itself — it’s how that moment changes the future. Holiness is about marking a transition,but the crucial thing to remember is that the implications of a holy moment can’t end at that moment.