Blog Archives

What Happened to the Menorah?

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

Hanukkah is the festival which celebrates the regaining of Jewish religious and political independence in the land of Israel. Our ancestors liberated Jerusalem from Greek occupation in 164 B.C.E. When they entered the temple they found enough olive oil to fuel the menorah – the seven-branched … More

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Who will Live?

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

It is amazing, everything that can happen in just one year — the good and the bad. On the upcoming High Holy Days, when we will look back on the year that ended and look forward to year ahead, we will be particularly aware of the … More

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Honoring Parents

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

The moral value which states that adult children should care for their elderly parents is deep-rooted in Judaism. The commandment of honoring parents is one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12): “Honor your father and mother. You will then live long on the land that God … More

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The Meaning of the Shofar

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

For many, the blowing of the shofar – a ram’s horn prepared for use as a musical instrument – is one of the most moving moments of the High Holy Days services.  It is one of the earliest musical instruments known to man that is still … More

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The Jewish Spark

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

I recently read the moving story of a 91-year-old Dutch Jew who celebrated his bar mitzvah ceremony last month at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

He  was the child of an assimilated family living in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Judaism was only part of  their family’s past, not … More

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This is the Torah that Moses Set Before the People Israel

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

The Torah is the foundational text of Judaism. The Torah scroll is our most revered physical possession. When it is lifted after it has been read during the religious service, the congregation chants “vezot haTorah asher sam Mosheh lifnei benei Israel al pi Adonai, beyad More

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How the Six-pointed Star Became a Jewish Symbol

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

When people think of Jewish symbols, which one comes to mind first?  For most people, it is probably the Magen David, the familiar hexagram or six-pointed star, consisting of two interlocking triangles.

The Magen David –  literally “Shield of (King) David” – is now  the most … More

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How Important is Religious Literacy?

By Rabbi Mordechai Levin

It is well known that Americans are a religious people, but a recent survey showed that this does not necessarily mean they know much about religion. Researchers from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life interviewed some 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about … More

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Rabbi Levin is the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Munster, IN. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, and is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly. In 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City for his years of dedicated service to the Conservative movement and the Jewish community...Full bio