Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Solar Eclipse In Judaism

Last week the world witnessed another wonder of our universe, the Solar Eclipse. This eclipse was visible from Southeast Asia and was the longest eclipse in 18 years and will remain the longest for the next 123 years.

The eclipse has long been associated with mythology and supernatural acts. If you are a fan of the TV show, Heroes, you know what I mean.

In Southeast Asia, many Hindus were gripped by fear. According to Hindu  tradition, the eclipse can cause harm to unborn children. Many ancient cultures attached mythological meaning to solar eclipses. Today, we know that the eclipse is part of the solar pattern that is predictable to the second.

What about Judaism? What do we say about the solar eclipse?

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Too Many Questions

I read a really interesting column this week.

Whenever I find a convergence of ideas between the Legal field and Torah I get excited.

This time I found a divergence. Not quite as exciting, but very interesting.

The NY Times followed up on a study conducted a few years ago by a 2nd year Georgetown Law School Student.

The study was groundbreaking. It focused on the amount of questions from the Judges to lawyers and its effect on the outcome of cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Structure and Philosophy of Torah 3 | Connections 5/4/09

The third and final class in a very exciting series concluded our preparations for Shavuos.

Catch up by listening to Part 1 and Part 2.

Today we sought to resolve the burning question we began our series with. Why is Talmud study the focus of Torah scholarship? Why do Yeshiva students spend the bulk of their time studying Talmud? Why is Talmud our connection to the Oral Law transmission?

Those questions plus much more are covered in this week’s class.

The participants truly challenged me and asked some really great questions today. As always your attendance and contributions are much appreciated.

Click the link to listen to the class. Read the rest of this entry »

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Structure and Philosophy of Torah 2 | Connections 5/4/09

Happy Lag B’Omer.

We had a great turnout this week despite the fact that we lost some attendees to Lag B’Omer celebrations this week.

This week Connections was the second of a series of classes about the history, philosophy, structure and benefits to Torah study.

In preparation for Shavuos, when the Jewish people accepted the Torah, this was the perfect time for the series.

Tonight we did a quick review of last week, though listening online would be a better option. You will get the full picture that way.

Our journey this week took us from the writing of the Mishna through the the beginnings of the formation of the Talmud.

There was a great discussion about “machlokes” and the differing opinions among Tanaic and Amoraic literature.

To be continued next week. See you there (or here).

Click through to listen to the class.

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Structure and Philosophy of Torah | Connections 5/4/09

This week Connections was the first of a series of classes about the history, philosophy, structure and benefits to Torah study.

In preparation for Shavuos, when the Jewish people accepted the Torah, this was the perfect time to begin the series.

This class is the foundation for the next few classes so I highly recommend checking it out. The reviews of the class were great and we hope more people will join us next week.

Our discussion ranged from history of the Jewish people, the connection between the spiritual and material world, astrology and much, much more.

Looking forward to next week. See you there (or here).

Click through to listen to the class right now.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Intro to Talmud 1

Today I gave a lecture for a local Aish Campus retreat. My friends Rabbi Bloom and Rabbi Quinn run Aish Campus in Los Angeles and they invited me to give a 2 part lecture on the Introduction to and Philosophy of Talmud.

Today we had a very engaging session with a lot of great questions. We covered some very interesting ideas which are central to Torah study and understanding how our forefathers kept Torah before it was given to the world at Sinai many years later…

Just click the audio player to listen to the lecture (40 minutes).

Download

Part 2 is posted here.

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This Is My Blog

You have arrived at a place in cyberspace featuring the thoughts, ramblings, musings and Torah of Eliyahu Fink.

If you like what you have found come join us at the The Shul on the Beach. You know the Shul on the Venice boardwalk - you've seen it, right?

Scroll down to the bottom of this sidebar to see some of my pictures of the Pacific Jewish Center just before sundown on a Friday Evening.

Well, we are there every Friday Night and Saturday Morning for services.

Come check us out! You will feel something special in the air. I guarantee it.

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If you have any questions for the Rabbi please click here to privately and confidentially send me your question.

Please include, gender, religion, level of observance and age in your question.

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- Eliyahu Fink

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