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Reincarnation & Jewish Tradition November 25, 2009

Posted by Yaakov Astor in Afterlife.
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Does Judaism espouse belief in reincarnation?

The word eschatology is defined in the dictionary as a branch of theology concerned with the final events of the history of the world. The truth is that eschatology is not exclusively the domain of religion. The most striking example of a secular eschatology would be Marxism: the convulsions and agonies of the class war, its evils resolving themselves into the classless society, the withering of the state and the blissful existence ever after.

Jewish eschatology is made up of three basic pieces:

  1. “The Era of the Messiah.”
  2. “The Afterlife.”
  3. “The World of Resurrection.”
  4. (more…)

Rabbi Wein’s History Classes December 6, 2009

Posted by Yaakov Astor in History, Rabbi Wein.
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I am in the middle of a major project for Rabbi Berel Wein’s organization, The Destiny Foundation.

In the late 80’s Rabbi Wein put together, over a period of four years, 116 tapes on Jewish history. They quickly became a classic and touched all types of Jews from the very uninformed to the most scholarly.

My assignment is to take those tapes and turn them into online classes that will be offered for free on his subsidiary website: http://www.jewishhistory.org

Yes, free. (Not the CDs or MP3s, but the written versions.)

I plan to create a new blog with a name like “A Taste of Wein” or “A Sip of Wein” which will excerpt from chapters I am currently working on or have worked on in the past.

If you sign up for an email subscription to my blog you can receive these automatically as I post them (after I create the blog).

Death March – Tisha B’Av 1944 November 25, 2009

Posted by Yaakov Astor in History, Holocaust.
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Facing defeat, the Nazis marched 6,000 Jews. A survivor’s account.

Between 1939 and 1945 hundreds of thousands of Jews perished in death marches. This was especially true in the last year of the war as the Third Reich crumbled. Even when it was clear that Hitler’s Germany was doomed, the Nazis continued to march hapless Jewish prisoners aimlessly and mercilessly from one place to another.

This is the story of one of those “death marches” as related by Mr. Reuven.[1]

It’s Your Universe November 25, 2009

Posted by Yaakov Astor in Most Recent.
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Our planet is truly a miracle.

When you think about it, we are incredibly small. The Earth is nothing but a speck of dust in the sea of an ostensibly infinite Universe. In fact, a speck of dust in your room is larger by comparison.

Yet, the Talmud teaches, “Each person is required to say, ‘The entire Universe was created for me.'”

As strange as that may sound, some scientists have found evidence that this is truer than the average person thinks. (more…)