Jewish Prayer for the Sick: Mi Sheberakh

Posted on November 19th, 2017
BY RABBI SIMKHA Y. WEINTRAUB for myjewishlearning.com

A healing prayer for when a loved one is suffering.



One of the central Jewish prayers for those who are ill or recovering from illness or accidents is the Mi Sheberakh. The name is taken from its first two Hebrew words. With a holistic view of humankind, it prays for physical cure as well as spiritual healing, asking for blessing, compassion, restoration, and strength, within the community of others facing illness as well as all Jews, all human beings.


Traditionally, the Mi Sheberakh is said in synagogue when the Torah is read. If the patient herself/himself cannot be at services, a close relative or friend might be called up to the Torah for an honor, and the one leading services will offer this prayer, filling in the name of the one who is ill and her/his parents. Many congregations sing the version of the Mi Sheberakh written by Debbie Friedman, a popular Jewish folk musician who focused on liturgical music. (That version can heard in the video, and its lyrics read, at the top of this article.)


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Do Jews Believe In Angels?

Posted on November 12th, 2017
BY MJL STAFF
These supernatural beings appear widely throughout Jewish texts.


Angels are supernatural beings that appear widely throughout Jewish literature.


The Hebrew word for angel, mal’ach, means messenger, and the angels in early biblical sources deliver specific information or carry out some particular function. In the Torah, an angel prevents Abraham from slaughtering his son Isaac, appears to Moses in the burning bush and gives direction to the Israelites during the desert sojourn following the liberation from Egypt. In later biblical texts, angels are associated with visions and prophesies and are given proper names.

Later rabbinic and kabbalistic sources expand on the concept of angels even further, describing a broad universe of named angels with particular roles in the spiritual realm.

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The Many Ways to "Look" Jewish

Posted on November 5th, 2017
BY RABBI RACHEL M. SOLOMIN for myjewishlearning.com 
The Jewish world is more ethnically and racially diverse than many people realize.


While the majority of American Jews are of Eastern European descent, that's not the case in Israel and France. From Ethiopian to Sephardic, learn about the many types of Jews.         

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The Making of a Torah Scroll

Posted on October 29th, 2017
BY MICHAL SHEKEL for myjewishlearning.com
Written by hand, a sefer Torah is produced according to strict specifications.


Jews have often been called am ha-sefer, the people of the book. This designation underscores the importance of text in Judaism and the belief that God communicates with us through the written word. The central text in Judaism is the Torah . Enhancing the importance of its teachings is the fact that it is written in a special way.

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The most famous word in motion picture history

Posted on October 22nd, 2017
Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, Martini Judaism


This year, on Yom Kippur, we came up with a new tradition for the synagogue.

We played movie trivia.

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What is the most important one-word quote in motion picture history?

The answer emerges from one of the great American movies of our time – The Graduate – which celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year.

There was either nothing Jewish about this movie, or there was everything Jewish about this movie.

It is not only that it starred, in his first major role, Dustin Hoffman. Nor that Simon and Garfunkel provided the soundtrack. Totally Jewish.

Let’s face it: Ben Bradock could have been Ben Bronstein. Mrs. Robinson could have been Mrs. Rubenstein.

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