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Costume Time
Costume Time

Those who first hear about the custom of Purim costumes might assume that the tradition began as an imitation of Halloween. Research, however, places the origin of Halloween costumes in the 18th century, while Purim disguises are mentioned in rabbinic texts as far back as the 13th century.

Read At Mincha
Read At Mincha

The climax of the Shabbat morning service is the Torah reading, which is often accompanied by great ceremony and beautiful chants. It is also an “interactive” ritual, since numerous congregants are involved. In contrast to this ceremony of great fanfare is the Torah reading of Shabbat Mincha (afternoon service).

Who Was Achashverosh?
Who Was Achashverosh?

“In the third year that Achashverosh, who reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, sat on the throne in Shushan the capital…With the army of Persia and Medea…(Esther 1:1-2)

Relating to Sacrifices
Relating to Sacrifices

“Rabbi Aha said in the name of Rabbi Hanina ben Pappa that God regards the study of the laws of sacrifices equal to offering them” (Leviticus Rabbah 7:3).

The Power of Propaganda
The Power of Propaganda

In recent weeks, several celebrities have achieved notoriety for making anti-Semitic slurs. Their slurs were far from original and, thank God, far from potent. Indeed, such attacks against the Jewish people are hardly new. Even the authors of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, however, were not original in their intentions.

Corned Beef, Pastrami, Pickles…Oh Rye!
Corned Beef, Pastrami, Pickles…Oh Rye!

With Brent’s Delicatessen & Restaurant as a launch partner, JPicks’ very first deal, offering $50 worth of deli-licious sandwiches, soups and salads for only $25, good for redemption at either of the deli’s two locations (Northridge or Westlake Village), sold out completely before lunch.

Abraham Ibn Ezra
Abraham Ibn Ezra

Biblical scholars study his Torah commentaries, poets read his verse, grammarians look to his linguistic work and a lunar crater is named in his honor. Meet Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra.

Shabbat’s Angel Companions
Shabbat’s Angel Companions

In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying:

On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel represents the positive forces and one angel represents the negative forces. When the person arrives home and finds the candles lit, the table set and the house in proper order [in other words, a house prepared for Shabbat], the positive angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The negative angel must affirm this and say “Amen.” If, however, the house is not ready for Shabbat, the negative angel says “May it be thus for another Shabbat!” The positive angel must affirm this and say “Amen.”

Why day Seven?
Why day Seven?

The number seven plays a significant role in Jewish thought. There are seven days of the week, with the seventh day being the holy Sabbath. The holidays of Passover and Sukkot are each celebrated for seven days. In ancient Israel, every seventh year the land is to lie fallow (shemita) and every seventh cycle of seven years was* a Jubilee year (Yovel).

The Final Analysis
The Final Analysis

After the soul departs, it journeys to the gates of heaven where it must present its case for entry. The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states, “When an individual is brought before the Heavenly court for judgment, the person is asked:

1. Did you conduct your [business] affairs honestly (literally – with faithfulness or trustworthiness)?

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