Quick quiz: Who were Abraham’s sons?
Most people probably answered Isaac, and, of course, they are correct. Others might have said Ishmael, and they are also right. Few people, however, are likely to have said, Zimran, Yakshan, Medan, Midian, Ishak or Shuah–but, if they had, they too would have been correct.
The great World Wars, both involved armies of nations from all across the globe. But, in both wars–historians would agree–the balance of power shifted when America joined the allies. And while historians may quarrel over whether America’s entry into World War I was good or bad, at the time of the war, that decision was in the hands of the politicians. For Jewish Treats, it is intriguing to note that, during the course of the war, the House Military Affairs Committee was chaired by Julius Kahn.
For nearly 2,000 years, the Jewish people have been in exile. During this time, Jews have lived in nearly every country and under nearly every form of government, while, at the same time, maintaining their own laws as the basis for Jewish society. These Jewish laws (halacha) are based on the traditional understanding of the Torah by the great sages as set down in the Mishna and the Gemara (together called the Talmud), and later codified in the Shulchan Aruch.
The word Hebrew, according to etymological sources, is a transliteration of the word Ivri, which is a descriptive term used for Abraham in Genesis 14:13: “And there came one [from the captives of Sodom] that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew…”
One of the main mitzvot of the holiday of Sukkot is the waving of the four species: citron (etrog), palm, myrtle and willow. Trying to understand this mitzvah metaphorically, our sages compared the four species to four different types of Jews:
At this time of the year, Jews around the globe head out in search of the perfect Lulav and Etrog (Lulav refers to the grouping of lulav, hadassim and aravot, which, together with the etrog are referred to as
the four species.) Since the lulav and etrog are used for the mitzvah of waving the four species, it’s important to find a set that is as perfect as can be.
Now that the Jewish people have repented on Yom Kippur and, hopefully, received Divine forgiveness, it is time to sit back and relax…
Food on Yom Kippur? Isn’t Yom Kippur the most famous fast day on the Jewish calendar?
The observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, calls for abstention from five activities: eating, drinking, anointing/washing oneself, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.
Respected Biblical commentators are rarely university professors or radio personalities. Even less common is for them to be female. And while her credentials were certainly not the norm, Nehama Leibowitz was unique beyond even that.