The position of Chief Rabbi is to be found in almost every major Jewish community except in the United States. Perhaps this is due to America’s separation of church and state, as the position of Chief Rabbi in most countries is a recognized government office.
The Jewish people observe the commandment to “guard” the Sabbath by refraining from any of the 39 m’la’chot, the 39 acts of creative labor that were employed in building the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
While the Torah goes into considerable detail about the birth and early years of Moses, nothing is written about his successor, Joshua (Ye’hoshua) bin Nun. The only real information given about him in the Torah is that he was from the tribe of Ephraim and was originally named Hoshayah.
In 1919, Henry Ford, already a famous industrialist, purchased the Dearborn Independent (The Ford International Weekly) newspaper and used the paper as a vehicle to spread his anti-Semitic, anti-labor and anti-immigration rhetoric.
Ever since Moses saw the Israelites dancing around the Golden Calf and smashed the two tablets of the law, the 17th of Tammuz has been an inauspicious day for the Jewish people, a day on which numerous tragedies occurred. One of the famous tragic events of the 17th of Tammuz was the placing of an idol in the Temple.
One of the subcategories of the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh (saving a person’s life) is taking care of one’s own health. In this vein, the National Jewish Outreach Program has been involved in a campaign encouraging people not to smoke on Shabbat.
Spain in the Middle Ages was home to scholars of great renown such as Abraham ibn Ezra (1089 – c. 1164), Judah ha-Levi (1086-1145), Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides/Rambam 1135-1204) and Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Nachmanides/Ramban – 1194-1270). By the middle of the 13th century, however, the welcoming attitude of the Spanish kingdoms that had allowed Jewish life to thrive, had vanished.
Catherine II (AKA Catherine the Great, 1729-1796) was born Sophia Augusta Frederica, a daughter of the ruling family of Anhalt (a German state). In 1744, she married her second cousin, who was to become Czar Peter III. Six months after Peter III ascended the throne, he was deposed and assassinated, and Catherine assumed the throne.
Why is a donkey called a donkey? For Jewish Treats, a more interesting question is why is a donkey called a chamor?
One of the most common ways of addressing God in the Jewish liturgy is Avinu, our Father. By addressing God as Avinu, one can not only learn about humanity’s relationship with God, but also about Judaism’s view of fatherhood.