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Friday, March 27, 2009

New Feature: "What if?"

"What if?" is a brand new feature from Chabad.org that gives families a place to watch, learn, play, and talk about Jewish ideas. Centered around a computer-animated adventure through imagination, "What if?" follows the whimsical imaginings of Eli, Ezi and Dina, as they ponder such questions as: "What if we never left Egypt?" Each "episode" is really a complete experience including videos, hands on experiments, games and discussion starters—making "What if?" a truly unique and immersive Jewish experience.

Click here to visit the new "What if?" section.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Blog: Parshah Dashboard

Each week, Joel Cohen poses questions on the weekly Parshah (Torah reading). These questions are addressed by Rabbis Adam Mintz and Eli Popack.

About the Participants:
Joel Cohen, a former federal and state prosecutor, practices criminal defense law at a prominent NYC law firm, and is an Adjunct Professor of Professional Responsibility at Fordham Law School. He also authors a column at the New York Law Journal.

Rabbi Adam Mintz is an adjunct professor in Jewish History at Queens College, the immediate past president of the New York Board of Rabbis, and lectures widely on a variety of topics. Rabbi Mintz served in the pulpit rabbinate for over twenty years.

Rabbi Eli Popack grew up in South Africa, and is the founder and president of Map International, a socially responsible business engaged in Electronic Financial Infrastructure in Africa. In the summer he serves as spiritual guide to the Beach Minyan in Westhampton Beach, NY.

Click here to read the new Parshah Dashboard blog.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Birthday Thought

This Shabbat, the 25th of Adar, marks the birthday, in 1901, of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson of righteous memory, wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory. On this date in 1988, only a few weeks after her passing, the Rebbe launched a Birthday Campaign.

The Rebbe encouraged everyone to use this personally auspicious day to express gratitude to G-d for the most precious gift of life that He granted on this date; to rejoice—together with family and friends; and to take some time to reflect upon the past year—to assess what we’ve done well and what should be redressed, and to commit to do so much more in the coming year.

There’s more:

Visit our Jewish Birthday Section to find the date of your Jewish birthday, learn more about these special birthday observances, and discover the spiritual significance of your “personal Rosh Hashanah.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Feature: mobile.chabad.org

Chabad.org has launched a mobile simulator to help visitors get acquainted with their mobile site – m.chabad.org.

The feature simulates how Chabad.org’s mobile site would appear on a mobile device, such as Black Berry, Treo or pocket PC, giving visitors the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the mobile site from the comfort of their desktop.

The mobile site features articles from a number of sections on Chabad.org including Jewish Holidays, Society & Living, Spirituality, Parshah, Jewish Women, Chabad News and Daily Dose. The site also offers a number of features that can be accessed from mobile devices including ask the rabbi, find a center, shabbat times, date converter, zmanim and site search.

Click here to access the mobile simulator.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thinking of Summer

This past Saturday night we moved our clocks forward one hour—Daylight Saving Time. The warm days are not far away. The question many parents are asking around this time of year is: What will occupy my children during the interminable summer vacation? How can I provide them with a fun yet educational experience?

Camp Gan Israel is the largest Jewish camp network, with chapters in hundreds of cities in more than forty countries. At Gan Israel, children of all backgrounds experience firsthand the excitement and warmth of Judaism—in a fun, activity- and trip-filled setting.

If you want your child to be inspired and excited about his or her Jewish heritage, this is a good place to start. Click here to check out our Global Camp Directory, there’s probably one not far from you!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Purim and the Surprisingly United Nation

"There is one nation," Haman declared to King Ahasuerus, "scattered and dispersed between the nations . . . if it pleases the King, let it be written that they be annihilated." The wicked Haman wished to capitalize on (what he perceived to be) the Jews' lack of unity, a byproduct of their global dispersion.

How wrong he was. The Jewish People united in prayer and resolve, and a miraculous victory soon followed. To this day, we celebrate Purim by strengthening Jewish unity -- charity to the poor, food gifts to friends, and large celebratory feasts. (There are more Purim and pre-Purim observances. Check them out in our Purim guide.)

We may live on different continents and speak different languages, but as Jews, we are one -- one G-d and one Torah.

In that spirit, we offer you Purim in:

English: Purim
Français: Pourim
Deutsch: Purim
Español: Purim
Русский: Пурим
עברית: פורים

Many languages. One message.

L'chaim (that’s a universal word...)!

Happy Purim to you and yours!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Birkat Hachamah in English, Hebrew, French, German, Spanish and Russian

Every 28 years the sun returns to the exact position, at the same time of the week, that it occupied at the time of its creation—at the beginning of the fourth day of creation. A special blessing – called Birkat Hachamah, "the sun blessing" – is recited to mark this event. Due to the rarity of this event, this blessing is customarily recited amid large public gatherings of men, women and children.

This year, 5769, we will perform this special mitzvah on the morning of April 8 (the morning before Passover).

A detailed guide has been made available on Chabad.org in 6 languages:
English: Birkat Hachamah
עברית : ברכת החמה
Français: Birkat Ha'Hamah
Deutsch: Birkat Hachama
Español: Birkat HaJama
Русский: Биркат-Ахама

Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Kabbala Toons: Purim Secrets

Purim Secrets