Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And tonight, we say l'chaim...

Rabbi Mordechai Friedman tells me the following every year, and I think it's quite pertinent:

The two days of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are very precious. Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneersohn, fifth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, stated:

The 48 hours of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah should be highly treasured. Every moment is an opportunity to draw bucket- and barrelfuls of material and spiritual treasures. And this is accomplished through dancing...

I also remember something along the lines of, "What can be accomplished through the 48 hours of Rosh Hashanah through penitenting can be accomplished in the 48 hours of Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah through dancing," but I can't find a source for it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prince of Bloomington

I know I've been remiss in my blogging over the last year or so, but hey, I've been busy. I also know that I may have offended some people at some point in the last year, and for that I'm sorry. Even if it wasn't intentional, it wasn't nice, and as everyone knows, TRS is all about being nice. I don't G-d forbid rue the performance of good deeds, i.e. I don't regret not blogging, because I was probably busy with other, more important things.

Meanwhile, in other news, I was recently emailed some interesting shtuff by a loyal reader, and I'd like to know all your's opinion on the matter.

Virtual Mincha - A Taste of the Future?

The Jerusalem Post recently published an article about a new phenomenon in the Jewish world: virtual mincha. Although many synagogues now webcast services for people who can't make it to schul in person, two new websites are creating Jewish communities that are 100% online. was created by two young Jews in Atlanta who hosted their first online prayer service in June, while Cincinnati based is led by Rabbi Laura Baum. Both websites aim to bring Jews together regardless of geographic location. "I can be your rabbi even if you're not in Cincinnati," says Rabbi Baum. "We are your rabbis and this is your community."
While online prayer groups meet the needs of those unable to get together in person, they also raise questions. As the JPost article notes, certain prayers require a minyan - a group of 10 Jewish adults - in order for the prayer to be recited. "But in an age of webcams and the Internet telephone service Skype," said Jewish Jumpstar founder Shawn Landres said, "spatial relations become altered and who's to say what 'together' means?"
Here's the question: At what point does start up a similar thing?