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Who Was Achashverosh?
Who Was Achashverosh?

“Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus–this is Ahasuerus who reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and seven and twenty provinces…” (Esther 1:1).While academic scholars struggle to identify Achashverosh (perhaps Ataxer…

The Four Mitzvot of Purim
The Four Mitzvot of Purim

This year, Purim will be celebrated on Sunday, March 16th (beginning Saturday evening, March 15th, after sunset). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday…

The Purim Commitment
The Purim Commitment

What does the holiday of Purim have to do with Jews reconnecting to their Jewish heritage?

Aishet Chayil and Esther
Aishet Chayil and Esther

On Friday nights it is customary to sing a selection of verses from the final chapter of the Book of Proverbs (31:10-31) known as Aishet Chayil, A Woman of Valor. At this time of year [pre-Purim], one particular Jewish heroine stands out…

The Whole Megillah
The Whole Megillah

Whether it’s a long-winded tale, or a story overloaded with details — it’s called a “whole megillah!” (In “the old country” they would have said…

Counting Shabbat
Counting Shabbat

“And the maiden [Esther] pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily provided her with…

House of Devotion
House of Devotion

It is often said that the foundation of Jewish life is the home. This statement acknowledges the vital role of the family in bringing Judaism to life. If a love and passion for Judaism is expressed in the home, most often these feelings will be transmi…

The Reward of Honoring Shabbat
The Reward of Honoring Shabbat

According to the wisdom of the sages, there is no way to “over-spend” on Shabbat. As it is said, “One who lends to Shabbat…

Five Ways To Prepare
Five Ways To Prepare

Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy (Zachor et yom HaShabbat l’kadsho - Exodus 20:8). This commandment alludes to all the positive mitzvot of Shabbat, such as…

Just A Half Shekel
Just A Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read as the Maftir portion after the regular weekly Torah reading has concluded. It refers to God’s commandment that a …

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