The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem. Many chose not to return, but those who did rebuilt the Temple, although on a far more modest scale than the First Temple.
One of the most repeated instructions in the Torah is that judges must do everything possible to provide equitable justice. In Deuteronomy 1, Moses reiterated this point once again, saying: “And I charged your judges at that time, saying: ‘Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. You shall not respect persons in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike; you shall not be afraid of the face of any person…’” (Deuteronomy 1:16-17).
Swimmer Garrett Weber-Gale made his Olympic debut in 2008, where he won a pair of relay gold medals. At just 26-years-old, this Jewish athlete will return to the Olympics yet again in 2012.
Since its first official overseas program in 1955, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem has attracted hundreds of young Jewish adults from both North America and Europe. Hebrew University is the oldest institute of higher learning in Israel and predates the State by several decades.
Known as “one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” Merrill Moses is the standout goalie for the US Olympic Water Polo Team. This skilled Jewish athlete leads by example, and his vocal chords! He’s constantly directing his teammates from his spot in front of the net by shouting, screaming and hollering as loud as he can.
In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with an angel and emerged as Israel, “He who struggles.” In the 20th-21st century, Western Jews spend a great amount of energy wrestling with the world of tradition and the demands of the modern world. Few writers have portrayed this inner conflict of the American Jewish community as engagingly as Chaim Potok (1929-2002), a man who lived this struggle himself.
At age 5, Jason Lezak joined the Irvine, California Novaquatics swim team and has never left. In fact, he still trains and lives in Southern California today! This 36-year-old Jewish athlete been to the Olympic Games three times since 2000 and will return to London to compete in the Olympics for the fourth time this summer.
A Boston-born gymnast, a sprinter from Australia and a sailor from New Zealand meet at a synagogue. While that could be the start of a joke, it could also actually happen with so many Jewish athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics this July.
Alexander is certainly not the type of name one typically thinks of as a traditional Jewish name. It may surprise you to learn that the name originated as a way of honoring none other than Alexander the Great.
For those who suffer the loss of a close relative, Jewish tradition provides a distinctive mourning ritual, the most prominent aspect of which is shiva, the seven days of mourning. Mourners, however, only begin sitting shiva after their deceased family member has been buried. And while it is considered best if burial takes place as close to the time of death as possible, there are reasons for which burial might be delayed. In this interim time period between death and burial, mourners enter an in-between state known as aninut (the mourner is known as an onen).