The following is an edited version of a post that appeared on this site in 2014.
Candle lighting this week is at 7:41 PM in Brooklyn, New York. Candle lighting time is 18 minutes before sunset, which marks the start of Shabbat. To find the local candle lighting time in your location you can visit Chabad.org, which has a section of their site for this purpose. Another good web site is Aish.com.
It should be noted that the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah, is in little over two weeks. Both Aish.com and Chabad.org have articles that shed light on this festival, its background and its practices.
A recurring theme in Jewish history is the tension that occurs when the law of the land is a fundamental odds with human decency, either by written statute, such as the Jim Crow laws, or bad faith in upholding the laws, such as juries in the Jim Crow South that refused to punish murderers of blacks. Conversely, some have noted that civil rights laws are almost never used to prosecute hate crimes committed by non-whites.
Sometimes it is necessary to make the grave decision to violate the laws of the land when such laws are indeed unjust. In light of the recent events in Baltimore, Maryland, these questions have taken on increasing relevance. Aish.com has an article that addresses these questions.
Chabad.org has an article that addresses the question of why many Jews insist on still speaking Yiddish. On the one hand, there is a long-standing tradition of reserving biblical Hebrew for sacred matters and using a more mundane language for secular matters. On the other hand, Yiddish, which has become a language of religious study, has achieved a sort of sanctity that compromises its status as a “secular language.”