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April 16, 2014 | 16th Nisan 5774

Jews who continually deepen our commitment to and experience of Judaism through lifelong learning

Whoever teaches their children also teaches their childrens'children--and so on to the end of the generation of humankind. (B Talmud, Kiddushin, 30a)

O Adonai our God, let the words of Torah be sweet in our mouths, and the mouths of Your people Israel, so that we, our descendants, and the descendants of all Your people may know you, by studying your Torah for its own sake. (V'haarev Na, from the Morning liturgy, derived from B Talmud, B'rachot 11b)

Every Jew is required to study Torah, whether poor or rich, healthy or ailing, young or old and feeble. Even a man so poor that he is maintained by charity or goes begging from door to door, as also a man with a wife and children to support, is under the obligation to set aside a definite period during the day and night for the study of the Torah...Until what period in life is one obligated to study Torah? Until the day of one's death. (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws for the Study of Torah, Chapter 1).

Culture is the memory of what did not happen to us. This is the memory of family stories that we may have heard at our grandfather's knee, images in films, tales in books, events in history. Our memories are crammed with such materials out of which we can form a larger story about who we are. People who come out of the continuous familial or ethnic tradition possess a self that is intimately connected to other selves as part of the family tree...Part of what it means to be a Jew is to develop this [aspect of] memory and to develop it in relation to the history and the myth-theology of a Jewish tradition. (Peter Pitzele, Our Father's Wells)

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