Courage is the quality of great people. More accurately it is a quality that creates greatness. It is the quality of Abraham who recognized the Creator and was willing to give his life for this awareness.
It is the quality of Moses who approached Pharaoh and told him, "Let my people go." It is the quality of Mordechai who refused to bow to the wicked Haman; and of Esther who approached King Achashverosh on behalf of her people even though she was risking her life.
Courage is the quality of people throughout the ages who were willing to sacrifice everything to live a Torah life. It is the quality that will elevate and empower you throughout your life.
Love Yehuda Lave
Jewbilation - "The Sound of Shabbos" (for performance info, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jewish song parody of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound Of Silence". To arrange performance by Jewbilation for your event, contact us at email@example.com.
May A Single Man Fulfill The Mitzvah Of Pru U'rvu (procreation)? by Rabbanit Dr. Michal Tikochinsky
This is the introduction to the article found in total above at the link
Until the last generation, marriage and reproduction always went together. The only legitimate way of producing children was in the framework of marriage since non-marital sexual relationships are halakhically forbidden or, minimally, strongly discouraged. In our generation, technologies have evolved that enable reproduction outside the context of marriage that do not cross these lines. Consequently, the question arises – is a single man, who does not believe that he will find a marriage partner or there are impairments to his ability to marry, obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of procreation using existing technologies? Does he fulfill his obligation of pru u'rvu when procreation occurs outside of marriage through artificial means?
Practically, there are a number of ways this may be done. Some involve an active paternal role and some procreation without any acknowledgement of paternity:
Anonymous sperm donation: The sperm is donated to a woman requiring it in order to have a child. Generally, the father does not know the identity of the child. It is also possible that the sperm will be given to a non-Jewish woman and the child will not be Jewish.
Surrogacy: There are two possible options here. One, in which the surrogate mother contributes the egg and carries the child; the baby is then given to the father. This "traditional" type of surrogacy is illegal in Israel. The second type is when one woman contributes the egg and the surrogate mother is simply the carrier during the pregnancy and retains no relationship with the child. This is legal in Israel within certain limitations. One of the limitations involves our example. As far as I know, surrogacy is permitted only for married couples, not single men. However, law changes and it is entirely possible that this will be permitted in the future.
An agreement with a single woman to parent jointly. This may or may not involve responsibility to support the child financially.
The three arrangements reflect three models of fatherhood (respectively):
Minimal: The father contributes sperm and does not know either the child or the mother.
Full: The biological father raises and supports the child.
Partial: Parenting is shared at various levels as per the particular agreement between the mother and the father.
The creation story in Bereshit depicts mating as part of the natural order. All living creatures are created "male and female." Regarding Adam, an entire parshah is devoted to describing life in the absence of this relationship leading to the statement, "It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him" (Bereshit 2:18). From the text, it is clear that the natural connection between man and woman goes far beyond the biological need to continue the species. As the words of the Torah indicate, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh." (ibid.24). Appropriately then, as part of a discussion of the mitzvah of procreation, the gemara in Yevamot praises the value of marriage.
Said R. Tanhum said R. Hanilai:
"A man who does not have a wife lives without joy, without blessing, without goodness…" (Yevamot 62b)
This statement in Yevamot as well as many others reflect Hazal's view of the intimate relationship between man and woman as a source of emotional sustenance that brings joy and nourishes personal growth and development. Marriage and family are part of the complex of legal and religious elements that sanctify the natural bond. This intimate relationship is one of the foundations of the Jewish home and, consequently, the Jewish nation. It is clear then that we have an obligation to encourage marriage and to establish it as the ideal. It is also true that most people want to find a marital partner and to live a fuller life in this way. However, not everyone is successful in accomplishing this. When this is the case, we must ask whether the mitzvah of pru u'rvu still exists. Does the obligation remain? Should we support individuals for whom this is their only consolation, without which they are condemned to loneliness and childlessness, leaving behind no offspring?
The question may be divided into several sub-questions:
Does the mitzvah of pru u'rvu exist outside the context of marriage?
What are the conditions for fulfilling the mitzvah of pru u'rvu? Is there a way to fulfill the mitzvah outside a sexual relationship?
What is the position of Hazal and the halakhah regarding procreation in the absence of acknowledged paternity and financial responsibility? Which of these alternative is preferred by Hazal? Is it appropriate to recommend establishing families based on these kinds of arrangements?
Is there an Obligation of Pru U'rvu Apart from Marriage?
conclusions from the article:
Marriage in Jewish law is a fundamental value; no one disputes that the proper way for a man to produce a child is within the framework of marriage. This is a basic fundamental truth that requires no proof. I have discussed here tragic cases in which a man has little chance of marrying and wishes to, at least, produce progeny with the attendant joys that come from having children.
A single man is obligated in pru u'rvu. However, he is not obligated to use artificial means in order to perform this mitzvah. Therefore, he is not obligated in this mitzvah until he is married but he can fulfill the mitzvah even before marriage.
One may use artificial insemination. In my opinion, based on the understanding of most poskim, a man fulfills his obligation of pru u'rvu using artificial insemination.
If artificial insemination is being utilized, does halakhah recommend that it be done anonymously or is the preferred mode one where there will be a relationship between father and child? I argue that the creation of an ongoing relationship is preferable. This is learned from the father's obligation to feed his children until they reach the age of six even when they have independent means of support.
I would add that Shulhan Arukh paskens that a father's child support obligations include his children born to a single woman. Ran's opinion, which is not brought down li'halakhah, is that the father's obligation to feed his children is part of his obligation to support their mother. In my opinion, these views reflect a dispute whether the value of family overrides (Ran) or paternity (Rosh and Rivash, the ruling li'halakhah). Therefore, halakhically, one may not prevent a man who wishes to have a child from a single woman, through artificial insemination, provided that he does not renounce responsibility for his child, since the halakhah values paternity over family. However, in my view, the opinion of Ran must be taken into account in circumstances where marriage may still be possible or in cases where the father will not be able to fully realize his role as father.
Speaking of Births--here is the birth of a candy bar
This Is Judaism, And Stop Apologizing!
By western standards, the book of "Dvarim" would have to be defined as an ultra-nationalistic doctrine. Its concepts are the very opposite of liberal western concepts. Its laws are illegal by western standards. The book is based on conquest. Stressed over and over again is the uncompromising commandment to conquer the land of "Canaan" from the gentile nations who have lived there for thousands of years, and to change the name to "Eretz Yisrael".
If this isn't enough, we are even commanded to disinherit (to expel), and if necessary to annihilate the inhabitants of the land. This is an inseparable component of the positive commandment of "settling the land".
The Book of "Dvarim" also centers around the choosiness of the Jewish Nation. The concept appears most prominently in Parashat Vaetchanan (7: 6-8), in Parashat Eikev (10:15), Parashat Re'eh (14:1-2) and almost all other parshiot of the book. This "ultra-nationalism" continues right on through to the book of Joshua and beyond.
Judaism is not a Supermarket!
We want to now delve into the "morality" of all this. We do not do so in order to make the Torah more palatable for all the non-believers and Hellenists around who simply reject the book of "Dvarim" as they do the rest of the Torah, considering it primitive and racist. Rather we direct our words to G-d fearing Jews who understand that the Jewish Nation is dependent on the Torah, want to fulfill it, and ask all the same: These are the enlightened traditional Jewish ethics and values that everyone speaks about? This is the Jewish morality we so often hear about: Conquering, expelling, chosen people?
The answer is yes. What can one do when the "traditional Jewish values" that so many Jews speak of simply do not exist! Do not exist? There is no such thing as traditional Jewish ethics and values? Of course there is! But they are something entirely different. At the core of Jewish ethics and morality setting in apart from the ethics of mortal man is the concept of the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. That is, we DO NOT pick and choose the "merchandise". First and foremost, we accept upon ourselves the values of Hashem WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS. Only then do we "check the goods". While it is true that in the world of business one does not buy until he examines the product, the mitzvot and concepts of Hashem are not a business negotiation. They must be accepted unconditionally. Thus it is written, "It is better than all other goods" - for it is a product that one does not "check" before "buying".
Book of National Policy
The Book of "Dvarim" is the national policy guideline for the Jewish Nation. It is the morality that G-d conveys to us on subjects connected to Israeli nationalism. If someone wants to call it "ultra-nationalism", so be it, for it is true Jewish ethics. It is not a system of values that is subject to change according to the whims of one generation or another as another passing fad, but rather it is an eternal morality that we, our fathers and our forefathers clinged to for thousands of years. This value system withstood all the passing tides of the past thousands of years, while modern western culture which evolved during the last one hundred (100) years will melt away as did its "enlightened" predecessors: Greek, Rome, Assyria, Babylon, east and west, of one generation or another...
Precisely today when the sabotaging of all Jewish concepts are intensifying; at a time when the so-called "national" camp is non-existent, it is an obligation to read the parshiot in the Book of "Dvarim", and in particular "Ekev", to strengthen our "emunah" in these authentic Jewish concepts. We must do so in order that we, the spiritual right side of the spectrum, can speak our piece clearly, unequivocally, and without guilt: The Almighty is stronger than all the nations, and if we believe in Him and fulfill His difficult "immoral" mitzvot, so to speak, we shall overcome our enemies (both political and cultural), and re-establish the Torah Republic that we have dreamed of for 2,000 years
Aish HaTorah Educational Philosophy
I've been reading Aish.com for years. But the other day someone asked me to describe the principles behind Aish. I must confess that I didn't know. So what's the answer?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Aish HaTorah is guided by these core principles and values:
1) Judaism is not all or nothing; it is a journey where every step counts, to be pursued according to one's own pace and interest.
2) Aish HaTorah defines success as inspiring a commitment to grow Jewishly.
3) Every Jew is worthy of profound respect, no matter their level of observance, knowledge or affiliation. We never know who is a better Jew.
4) Every human being is created "In the image of God," and therefore has infinite potential.
5) Mitzvot (commandments) are not rituals, but opportunities for personal growth, to be studied and understood.
6) Torah is wisdom for living, teaching us how to maximize our potential and pleasure in life.
7) Our beliefs need to be built upon a rational foundation, not a leap of faith.
8) Each Jew is responsible one for another, and each is empowered to face the spiritual and physical challenges facing the Jewish people.
9) The Torah's ideas have civilized the world. The Jewish people's history and destiny is to serve as a light unto the nations.
10) The Jewish people are bound together. Our power lies within our unity. Unified, no goal is beyond our reach; splintered, almost no goal is attainable.
Aish HaTorah stands for Jewish education for all Jews everywhere. Our goal is to re-ignite Jewish pride by teaching Jews about their heritage and its contribution to humanity. We were founded to combat assimilation, alienation and indifference among Jews.
The Aish mission is to create a renaissance within the Jewish people, by tying every Jew to a pride in his heritage, to a confidence in our future, and to an appreciation of how precious his involvement with the Jewish people can be for himself, his children, grandchildren, and all humanity.
I would like to offer one example of how we are working to achieve our goal. The Discovery Seminar has to date been seen by 100,000 people on five continents – on college campuses, Reform synagogues, and JCC's. Follow-up surveys indicate that of Discovery attendees who previously would have considered intermarriage, 90% now say they will only date Jews. The implications of such numbers are exciting and give us hope for a Jewish renaissance.
Johnny Carson as Reagan, a "Who's On First" spoof
Johnny Carson is posing as Ronald Reagan preparing himself for a press conference. Originally aired in 1982, it is a spoof on the famous Abbott & Costello "Who's On First" routine. Except this time it is Hu (premier of China), Watt (Sec of Interior, James Watt), Where, Y (YMCA), and Yassir (Arafat). Fred Holliday (born Fred Grossinger) is the actor playing Reagan's Chief of Staff.