As my regular readers know, I am a biblioholic — books are my thing to the point that Amazon is on speed dial!
I have recommended countless books and I have many more but lately, I have suggested websites that offer amazing Jewish learning and you can find almost anything you need to know plus many interpretations of the particular question.
Jewish tradition believes in repetition — do the rituals again and again often, until they become a part of your life; read the Torah regularly and discover new ideas each time you read; be open to learning from all people and methods (from Pirke Avot: Who is wise? The one who learns from all people). All of the learning and experiencing is not just about growing as a Jew but growing as a person — the lessons enhance every part of your life.
Now I must recommend a pretty new website: bimbam.com. It is not one of my usual favorites of sites with lots of reading but a site filled with videos — YES, VIDEOS! And they are short, answer so many questions about Judaism and fun to watch. For some of us, this will work beyond the books and the reading so try it. Just this past week (you can get updates and have more to watch than funny cat videos because here you will learn) the topics were on halacha (Jewish law), bar/bat mitzvah and kosher. The less-than-five-minute video on “Keeping Kosher” was amazing! And not only was it filled with the what and how but there was a short segment on how to be a thoughtful guest in a kosher home. Wow! Got everything you need to know in less than five minutes.
Just imagine, if Rabbi Hillel could step into a time machine and transport to the present day, when asked to tell all about Judaism while standing on one foot, he could have simply said to go to this website! Of course, Hillel’s answer of, “Do not do to others what you do not what them to do to you” was followed by his admonition to “go and study.”
I guarantee that if you watch one video, you won’t stop there! So my advice this week is to go directly to bimbam.com and start learning. It is fun and easy and has really good stuff! A semi-disclaimer: Some people think that when a book or a video or a movie or a website is “for children” it means it is just for kids, but remember that we all are learning and perhaps a short video will lead you to more learning.
That is the hope!
Shalom…from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.