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Showing posts from March, 2015

What Is Your Digital Breastplate?© Vayakhel-Pekudei 2015/5775

What Is Your Digital Breastplate?© Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh
About once a year, one of our teens sent me a You Tube clip of a new trend – a bar mitzvah invitation from a young man.Last year, it was Sam’s bar mitzvah party.To refresh your memory, the video was of a 13 year old boy surrounded by beautifully scantily clad women, on a large stage, performing a complicated choreographed dance.It was ornate and over the top, but, to be honest, I didn’t have much of a problem with it because Sam seems like, overall, a really great kid.His parents are long time members of their synagogue, he led the service at his synagogue and did a wonderful job, and, according to his rabbi, William Gershom, he also raised $36,000 for tzedakah!
Now, let’s move on to the next video.The next video is from Michigan, and it’s a new trend – a YouTube clip invitation to a bar mitzvah by Brody Criz.
Here are some quotes from the video.Regarding his family, he sings, “They’ll all do what I say;…

A Kavanah for Fair Trade Chocolate and Coffee for your Mishloach Manot by Rabbi David Baum©

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A Kavanah for Fair Trade Chocolate and Coffee for your Mishloach Manot by Rabbi David Baum©


This piece of chocolate that I hold in my hand is much more than what it seems.As I hold it, smell it and feel the texture of it, I know that I have helped to bring the workers who planted and picked the cocoa beans that made this chocolate a chance to create their own lives; to be self-sufficient.[1]The taste of this chocolate is the taste of freedom and dignity.Holy Blessed One, I ask that you help me realize my potential as a partner in creation with You – that with this small piece of chocolate along with this small bag of coffee, I can help create a more just world, a world where what we ensure that no one is oppressed with the foods we buy and sell.[2]
Baruch Attah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, She-Hakol Nihyeh Bidvaro

[1] Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of the Gifts to the Poor 10:7 [2] Leviticus 25:14
(photo from The Frog Blog)