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In Rio, the biggest congregation is Reform, the 900-family Associação Religiosa Israelita (ARI). Founded by German Jews in 1942, it now attracts Jews of all kinds drawn to modernity, egalitarianism, and the balancing of spirituality and rationalism. The congregation is always bustling with religious, cultural, and social activities.
Rabbi Leonid Bimbat is rabbi of Congregation Le-Dor va-Dor in Moscow. What should travelers not miss in Moscow?
For children, traditions and rituals are significant; they provide predictability, support, and familiarity, while bringing families together and creating unity and a sense of belonging.
Rabbi Lennard Thal, senior vice president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, has served as visiting rabbi of United Hebrew Congregation in Singapore for the past 20 years.
I heard from a rabbi in our community that there was once a man who wrote down the Baal Shem Tov's torah - all that he had heard him teach. One day, the Baal Shem saw the man walking along, clutching a book in his hand. He said to him, "What is this book you are carrying?" The man answered, "This is the book that you wrote," and he disappeared. Later the Baal Shem gathered all of his disciples and asked them, "Which one of you is writing down my torah?" The same man stepped forward and handed over the book. The Baal Shem took a moment, glanced at the pages, and said, "There is not even one word here that is mine."