May the Fourth be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day! May the fourth be with you! To celebrate, enjoy this silly explanation of the day by Tim Russ, Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager. His antics and misinformation are ridiculously hilarious.

#StarWarsDay #MayTheFourth #MayTheFourthBeWithYou 

חברים יהודים בצפון אמריקה

זכור אם שכחת לספור אתמול בלילה, שתוכל עד השקיעה, בלי ברכה. וזה הוא היום חמישי ימים לעומר

Torah portions through the eyes of a parent

Torah portions through the eyes of a parent
This column is one of dozens that make up Grinblat's new book, all inspired by her experiences of parenting two young children and how she related those events to the Torah portion of a particular week. First published in Jewish newspapers such as the …
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Torah's life-giving rain
Rashi explains the simile of rain to be an indication of the life-giving properties of the Torah that Moshe is teaching them. Just as physical activity is advantageous to our physical health, spiritual activity is advantageous to our spiritual and …
Read more on Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

My Most Memorable Simchat Torah. Ever.
On Simchat Torah, I usually put on comfortable shoes for hours of dancing and lively festivities. My most memorable Simchat Torah, though, was spent in a quiet hospital room. In the wee hours of the night, my husband softly sang a holiday tune and …
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Tony Abbott: We will provide refuge to Syria migrants

Tony Abbott: We will provide refuge to Syria migrants
Other minority groups may include Syrian Orthodox Christians, the Yazidis, Armenians and the Catholic Maronites. Facing growing calls for the government to do more to respond to the Syrian crisis — with more than four million refugees having fled the …
Read more on The Australian

Assyrian Plight: The Untold Story
Assyrians traditionally belong to Syriac churches including Syriac Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic, and Church of the East confessions. Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent collapse of the Iraqi state, Assyrians have been exposed to …
Read more on AINA (press release)

PR Newswire reports on 'Muslim and Christian Religious Leaders Rally Together
The meeting will bring together Christian and Muslim religious leaders from across the Middle East, including representatives from the Armenian, Catholic, Evangelical, Rum (Greek) Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Sunni, Shi'a and Druze communities.
Read more on Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The New Orleans restaurant scene flourishes post-Katrina

The New Orleans restaurant scene flourishes post-Katrina
Keisha Henry outside her Cafe Dauphine in the Lower Ninth Ward. For now, the post-Katrina restaurant boom has only one outpost in the Lower 9th Ward, one of the city's hardest-hit neighborhoods. Henry opened Cafe Dauphine with relatives, marking a rare …
Read more on New Haven Register

Jeb Sells Catholicism to Evangelicals
Catholics and Evangelicals haven't always played well together. In 2008, Rev. John Hagee—a Texas pastor and one of the country's most powerful evangelical leaders—apologized to Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for intimating that the Catholic …
Read more on Daily Beast

Ingrid Bergman: Portrayer of nuns and saints, but much more
Then, this observation: "She respects Catholicism, which she likes but is not familiar with at all." That might be interpreted as an uppercut to Sr. Mary Benedict. But more likely Bergman was merely trying to remind Doncoeur that actors are not to be …
Read more on The Catholic Register

An Honest Call to Introspection

Why do you go to Church/Synagogue/Mosque/Temple etc.? Be honest. This is for internal dialogue. I don’t expect or need any response at all. This is all for you. Think about it for a little bit. Why? Why do you devote an hour or two at least once a week, or even every morning to being present in a building dedicated for religious purpose? What do you gain from this action, this loss of time?

No, don’t just say “because I believe in…” and dismiss yourself from scrutiny. That is a cop out. Let’s think about it logically and reasonably.

  • Do you look around to see who else is there when you arrive, and sit near people you know and enjoy?
  • Do you give proper respect and go straight to your place to pray and to meditate?
  • Do you glance around during services, paying more attention to anything other than what is going on spiritually?
  • Do you focus on what is going on, respond, participate and make yourself part of what’s going on?
  • Do you rush out before services are complete because you have more important things to do?
  • Do you remain after the conclusion of services to say a few private prayers or devotions?
  • Do you stand around in the sanctuary socializing as soon as services conclude while others pray?
  • Do you leave after services and socialize outside, giving proper respect to the sanctuary?
  • Do you understand or even care to understand what is actually taking place up front?
  • Do you study, learn and investigate the meaning behind the service and strive to understand what is being done?

These are a few small points for consideration. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. It is only meant to get you thinking. Now then, I ask you again, Why do you go? Is it because that’s just what you have always done? That’s how you were raised? That is just what is done? You don’t want others to notice that you aren’t there? Or is it for a deeper and more profound reason? Be honest with yourself. If you can’t have an internal dialogue without falsehood, that is a sad thing indeed. Remember – I don’t want or need your answer. You do. If you want to comment, feel free. But that isn’t the purpose of this post.

99 legal sites to download literature


The Classics

Browse works by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and other famous authors here.

  1. Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
  2. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania hosts this book search and database.
  3. Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online.
  4. Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
  5. Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
  6. Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
  7. Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
  8. Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here, from Dostoevsky to D.H. Lawrence to Joseph Conrad.
  9. The Spectator Project: Montclair State University’s project features full-text, online versions of The Spectator and The Tatler.
  10. Bibliomania: This site has more than 2,000 classic texts, plus study guides and reference books.
  11. Online Library of Literature: Find full and unabridged texts of classic literature, including the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain and more.
  12. Bartleby: Bartleby has much more than just the classics, but its collection of anthologies and other important novels made it famous.
  13. has a huge selection of novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Flaubert, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.
  14. Free Classic Literature: Find British authors like Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plus other authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and more.


If you don’t absolutely need to pay for your textbooks, save yourself a few hundred dollars by reviewing these sites.

  1. Textbook Revolution: Find biology, business, engineering, mathematics and world history textbooks here.
  2. Wikibooks: From cookbooks to the computing department, find instructional and educational materials here.
  3. KnowThis Free Online Textbooks: Get directed to stats textbooks and more.
  4. Online Medical Textbooks: Find books about plastic surgery, anatomy and more here.
  5. Online Science and Math Textbooks: Access biochemistry, chemistry, aeronautics, medical manuals and other textbooks here.
  6. MIT Open Courseware Supplemental Resources: Find free videos, textbooks and more on the subjects of mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry and more.
  7. Flat World Knowledge: This innovative site has created an open college textbooks platform that will launch in January 2009.
  8. Free Business Textbooks: Find free books to go along with accounting, economics and other business classes.
  9. Light and Matter: Here you can access open source physics textbooks.
  10. eMedicine: This project from WebMD is continuously updated and has articles and references on surgery, pediatrics and more.

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