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This week's email



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Do Women Have Something to Hide?

image of a women

By Aron Moss

Why does Judaism tell women to keep their bodies covered? Is there something shameful or evil about a woman’s body? If men can’t control their urges, then it’s their problem, not women’s. Why should a woman have to hide herself just so others shouldn’t be tempted?


You are assuming that the only reason for modest dress is to avoid temptation. While this may be the case in other religions, for Judaism this is not true. The Jewish way of modest dress is not merely about how other people view women, but more about how women view themselves.
Covering something doesn’t always mean being ashamed of it. Have you ever noticed how we treat a Torah scroll? We never leave it lying around open. It is hidden behind many layers. The Torah is kept inside a synagogue, in the Ark, behind a curtain, wrapped in a mantle, held tightly closed with a belt. It is taken out only when it is to be used for its holy purpose, to be read during the prayer service. For those special times we carefully draw the curtain, open the doors of the ark, bring out the Torah, uncover it and unwrap it. As soon as we have finished, we immediately wrap it up again and put it away.
Why do we do all this? Why do we go to such trouble to conceal the Torah? Are we ashamed of it? Is there something to hide? Is there something ugly about the Torah?
Of course not. The opposite is true.
Because the Torah is our holiest object, because it is so sacred and special and precious, we never leave it exposed unnecessarily. We keep it under wraps because we don’t want to treat it lightly; we don’t want to become too casual with it. Were the Torah to be always open and visible, it might become too familiar and its sanctity minimized. By keeping it away from sight, and bringing it out only for the appropriate times, we maintain our reverence and respect for the Torah.
The same is with our bodies. The body is the holy creation of G‑d. It is the sacred house of the soul. The way we maintain our respect for the body is by keeping it covered. Not because it is shameful, but because it is so beautiful and precious.
This is true for men’s bodies too, and laws of modest dress apply to them as well. But it is even more so for women. The feminine body has a beauty and a power that far surpasses the masculine. The Kabbalists teach that a woman’s body has a deeper beauty because her soul comes from a higher place. For this reason, her body must be kept discreetly covered.
In a world where the woman’s body has been reduced to a cheap advertising gimmick, we need no proof for the truth of this wisdom. Where all is exposed, nothing is sacred. But that which is truly precious to us, we keep under wraps.

Why Is Torah Law So Restrictive of Contact Between the Genders?  click here

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Все, что вы хотели знать... про пейсы

image of a boy


Р-н Шауль-Айзек Андрущак

Что собой символизируют пейсы и каково происхождение этой традиции?

В Торе есть запрещающая заповедь: "Не закругляйте углов ваших волос головных" (Ваикра, 19:27). Раши поясняет этот запрет: "То есть стричь виски в уровень с волосами за ухом и на лбу так, что край волос со всех сторон образует круг, ибо за ушами корни волос расположены намного выше, чем на висках". Иными словами, запрещено брить волосы на висках. Вследствие этого во многих общинах сложился обычай оставлять на висках волосы длиннее чем на остальных частях головы (чтобы подчеркнуть их особый "заповеданный" статус и наше рвение в исполнении Б-жьей воли и в этом пункте). А в некоторых общинах стало принято вообше не трогать пряди, растущие на висках.

Очень скоро в этих общинах пейсы превратились в непременную часть специфической "еврейской" прически. По ним, помимо прочего, евреи узнавали своих и отличали их от чужих.
Это одна версия. Наиболее, наверное, популярная.
Но Рамбам, например, считает, что отращивание пейсов – это следствие безграмотности. Т.е. Тора предписывает только не сбривать волосы на висках, а неучи вообразили, что есть запрет вообще трогать волосы на висках и т. д.
А у йеменских евреев (знаменитых своими очень специфичными пейсами-антенами, которые они называют симаним – "знаки отличия") есть предание, согласно которому они начали отращивать пейсы в 1667-ом году. Изначально – по указанию мусульманских властей, чтобы выделяться и в качестве унижения. Но, как это было со многими "позорными" знаками в нашей истории, евреи превратили свои "симаним" в предмет особой гордости, тщательного ухода (завивка, умащивание и т.д.) и пр.

Духовная голограмма 
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High Holidays

On a Lighter Note

A patron at a restaurant was continually bothering the waiter about the air conditioning:
first he would ask for the air conditioning to be turned up because it was too hot, then he would ask it be turned down because it was to cold, this went on for about a half an hour.
To the surprise of the rest of the customers, the waiter was very patient, walking aback and forth and very pleasant.
So finally a customer asked; why don’t you just throw out the pest?
Oh, I don’t care, said the waiter with a grin, we don’t even have an air conditioner.





  Rabbi Belinsky's Video Blog

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Недель-ная глава Торы:
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Стоя вместе
Когда евреи стоят вместе "пред Б-гом", объединяясь для союза со Всевышним, 
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