When Celebrating Sukkot, ‘The More the Merrier’

During Sukkot, we are called to practice hakhnasat orchim   (hospitality to guests). It is said that on each night of Sukkot, magical guests known as ushpizin visit the sukkah. On this VIP guest list are....
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Healing the World with Two Simple Words

A child first learning to apologize, will typically hang their head low in shame, avoiding eye contact. The words “I’m sorry” will be soft and meek.  Apologizing is publically admitting to doing something wrong and causing suffering to others. The point of apologizing is to acknowledge where we have gone wrong so that we may do better going forward. Being forgiven is just the icing on the cake....
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Tekiah!

On Rosh Hashanah, it is a mitzvah to hear the blowing of the shofar. To fulfill the mitzvah, one must truly hear the shofar. An echo doesn’t count, and neither does a recording. It is a climactic moment in the cycle of the Jewish year. 
But what if you weren’t allowed to hear the shofar blown on Rosh Hashanah? 
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Something New for Rosh Hashanah: Be Like the Moon

Before there was a set calendar for the Jewish year, the beginning of a new month would be declared by the Jewish court when the new moon emerged in the sky. To let the people know, fires would be set on hilltops.

Today, as in ancient times, the moon’s journey around the earth takes approximately 29 days. The lunar cycle, however, doesn’t start when the moon is full. The new moon that marks the beginning of the month is invisible to the human eye, filling out mid-cycle before fading away again....

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Behind the Scenes: Rosh Hashanah with Uncle Max

Meet Varda Livney, Author and Illustrator of Rosh Hashanah with Uncle Max On Rosh Hashanah, Uncle Max dips his glasses in honey to make the whole world look sweet. Celebrating the Jewish New Year is so much more fun when he comes to
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Don’t Be a Fool, Read About Chelm

A wise person knows that knowledge of the universe is vast, and that he understands only a tiny sliver of it. A foolish person believes he understands the world in its entirety. The greatest fool is so clever that he outsmarts himself, unknowingly stumbling upon gems of wisdom in the process....
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Your First Languages Are Like Your First Love—They Stay with You Forever

“Baby talk” is universal. Regardless of where you are in the world, people change their tone of voice when talking to babies. That higher pitch sounds more musical, with exaggerated pauses, and changes in speed. This all happens subconsciously of
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Friends are the Best Medicine

When COVID-19 shut the world down, we suddenly found ourselves guinea pigs in a giant experiment of forced isolation. A second pandemic soon followed: loneliness.

We know that humans are social creatures, but being alone for too long can literally make one sick. Research has shown a correlation between loneliness and negative health outcomes. A few minutes of laughing with a friend produces “happy hormones,” like serotonin and dopamine, and boosts immunity. Scientists have also observed that people with greater social networks live longer and recover from illness faster. 

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What are You Afraid of?

Witches, monsters, goblins and hungry wolves—children’s stories are full of dangerous and evil creatures. The world, as seen through the eyes of a child, is indeed a scary place.  


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A Drop in the Ocean Makes Waves: The Power of One Kind Act

If we are fish in the ocean, every move we make creates ripples that reach from shore to shore. The impact of a kind act, a smile, or a heartfelt thank you can stretch for miles. Multiply that kind act by all the fish in the sea and the ripples become waves in the water. We have the power to change our world if we are intentional about the kind of energy we put out into the universe. We can change the tide.....
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