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Fast of the Firstborn
March 26, 2010 – 10:03 am
Fast of the Firstborn

There has always been a lot of pressure on firstborn children, as they were often expected to care for the family property or business in order to ensure stability within the community. Even in modern society, the firstborn usually receives the most attention, the most responsibility and the most mistakes…

Taste Test Your Way to True Love
March 25, 2010 – 6:02 pm | 3 Comments
Taste Test Your Way to True Love

Imagine people were like ice cream and you could taste test every flavor (without packing on a pound) until you found the one you liked the best? In her new book, “MENu Dating: Taste Test Your Way to the Main Course,” author Tristan Coopersmith posits that finding love is a lot like test-driving lots of new product. Now she shares her smart and sassy insights with JDate.com readers, courtesy of SingleEdition.com.

Charoset Tasting
March 25, 2010 – 5:54 pm
Charoset Tasting

The seder is the highlight of the Passover holiday. The dramatic retelling of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt is punctuated with foodstuffs that symbolize events and stir our emotions. Charoset symbolizes the mortar that the Jews used to cement the bricks. It is eaten in combination with the maror or bitter horseradish to remind us of the sweetness of life, even in bitter times.

Miriam
March 25, 2010 – 10:03 am
Miriam

From a young age, the Biblical Miriam was noted for her prophetic voice, declaring that her mother would bear a son who would redeem the Children of Israel (Talmud Megillah 14a). In fact, the Midrash tells us that, after Pharaoh decreed that all male babies be thrown into the Nile, Miriam s parents, Amram and Yocheved, divorced, leading other Israelites to divorce as well…

The Talmud And The Popes
March 24, 2010 – 10:03 am
The Talmud And The Popes

If the Torah is the heart of the Jewish people, then the Talmud is the spine–without either one, the Jewish people could not survive. But while the Talmud is essential for Jewish life, it is a work that became the foremost fascination for one historic dynasty –the Popes of the Middle Ages…

Setting The Seder Table
March 23, 2010 – 10:03 am
Setting The Seder Table

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No Seder table is complete without the following…

Karinne and Amos
March 23, 2010 – 9:15 am | 2 Comments
Karinne and Amos

“Due to your site and your efforts in bringing Jewish singles together, I have met my husband, the love of my life, my best friend, and the father of my daughter.”

Development of the Haggadah
March 22, 2010 – 10:00 am
Development of the Haggadah

On Passover night we are commanded v’hee’ga’d’ta and you shall tell, the story of the Exodus. (Notice the shared root of hee’ga’d’ta and Haggadah.) The Passover Haggadah serves as a step-by-step guidebook for telling the story of Passover.

Before the destruction of the Holy Temple, most Jews traveled to Jerusalem to offer the Pascal lamb. Because the lamb had to be eaten before midnight, it was the common practice for several families to purchase a lamb and partake of the festive meal together while retelling the Exodus story, discussing the Midrashim (legendary commentary on the Torah) describing the Exodus, and reciting the ten plagues. These early Seders also incorporated the other basic mitzvot of the Seder: eating matzah and maror (bitter herbs) and drinking four cups of wine.

After the Second Temple was destroyed (70 C.E.) and the Jews dispersed, the oral law was written down (Mishna and Talmud) in order not to be lost to future generations. By the year 200 C.E., the basic outline of the Passover Haggadah had been set, including the order of questions and discussion (Mah Nishtana – the Four Questions).

The oldest existing Haggadah that we have today is from 8th or 9th century Palestine. While there have been modifications and additions over time (as people have added prayers of devotion and songs of praise), the basic form of the Haggadah has not changed. With the advent of the printing press in the Middle Ages, the Haggadah text was set, based on the prayer book of Rav Amram Gaon, who headed the Babylonian Yeshiva of Sura between 856-876 C.E. While certain parts of the Haggadah, such as Chahd Gad ya ( One Kid ), were not added until much later, the basic text of the Haggadah has remained the same to this day.

Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

Don’t Let Love Pass Over YOU
March 19, 2010 – 9:30 am | One Comment
Don’t Let Love Pass Over YOU

Another year, another Seder. Bring on the kreplach, maybe a holishke or two and don’t dare skip the tzimmes or your mother will go mad! Even if you’re a devout weight watcher, you’ll be so compressed with matzah by the end of the fress fest, you’ll vow to swear off JDate until the “I swallowed cement” feeling subsides.  Before you do, I am here to remind all that redemption is only one component of the Passover story.

Kosher and Delicious for Passover and Every Other Day
March 18, 2010 – 5:27 pm | One Comment
Kosher and Delicious for Passover and Every Other Day

One sure sign that Spring has sprung is the plethora of Passover products that start appearing on grocery store shelves. Each year, I look forward to checking out what new foodstuffs were invented. Usually these products are meant to counterfeit their non-Passover counterparts. Each year, I hold my own personal contest to see what the strangest and most Pesadich-y thing will be…

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