Bruriah, the daughter of Rabbi Hanina ben Teradion and wife of Rabbi Meir, is one of the more intriguing personalities of the Talmud.
If there were a Cliff Notes version of the Ten Commandments, Commandment #2 would simply read: “You shall have no other Gods before me.” But, in truth, the commandment itself is more detailed.
Why make your own sorbet when you can just as easily go out and buy it? Simple. It is 100 times better when you make it yourself. Just like anything else, when you control the ingredients and their quality, the end result is always better.
In war, a common means of humiliating the enemy is to refuse them burial of their dead (which is also forbidden by the Geneva Convention). Certainly, demoralization was the goal of the Romans when they forbade the Jews from burying the dead after the fall of Betar on 9 Av, 133 C.E. And there were many dead–enough for the sages to pronounce that, “For seven years the gentiles fertilized their vineyards with the blood of Israel without using manure.”
The Book of Isaiah is famous for its rich, metaphorical language. Isaiah ben Amoz was a prophet during the reigns of the Judean kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The inhabitants of Judah, unlike those of the Northern Kingdom, had generally maintained the religion of their forefathers. However, they too had their share of idolatrous kings, such as Ahaz, who was considered to be so wicked that he was not permitted to be buried in the royal sepulcher.
What happens when a Torah scroll is so worn it can no longer be used, or a prayer book is torn beyond repair? Should objects such as these, which not only include the name of God but have an intrinsic holiness themselves and are also essential elements of mitzvah fulfillment, be thrown into the trash?
Before his death, Jacob gathered his sons to him and gave them each a blessing that specifically reflected their personalities and their futures. To Issachar, Leah’s fifth son, Jacob said: “Issachar is a strong-boned donkey, crouching between the saddlebags. When he saw how good security was, how pleasant the country was, he bent his shoulder to the burden.”
On the big day, wedding guests “oooo” and “aaaahh” while bride walks down the aisle in a beautiful white dress. The bride enjoys a shower with important women in her life where gifts pour in like a hurricane into her lap. The bride receives an engagement ring that she proudly wears and presents to all those who gush over the exciting news. But what does a groom get? The groom gets perhaps the most exciting part of the Jewish wedding experience: He gets to break the glass!
Today, Jews all over the world observe the fast of Tisha B’Av. It is on this day that the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and the Second Temples. The First Temple was destroyed almost 2,600 years ago and the Second Temple 1,938 years ago. It is therefore not easy to understand what exactly it is that the Jewish people mourn.
Tonight, at sunset, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar begins. Known as the Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the observances of the day are very similar to Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In addition to fasting (no food or drink) for a 25 hour period from sundown Monday to nightfall on Tuesday, additional restrictions include refraining from washing, using lotions, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.