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The Meal of the Mourners
The Meal of the Mourners

Burying one’s loved one is a traumatic experience that not only highlights one’s personal loss but also reminds one of his/her own mortality.

Lilith – Queen of the Demons
Lilith – Queen of the Demons

Although it is not a well-known aspect of Judaism, demons abound in Jewish lore. Mentioned throughout the Talmud and Midrash, they are forces that work against humankind except when they are “enslaved” to perform specific tasks (a feat accomplished…

Clothing Makes The Man – Clothing Makes The Woman
Clothing Makes The Man – Clothing Makes The Woman

Although it is often noted that traditional Jews dress differently than members of their  surrounding culture (particularly members of the Chassidic communities), there is not much written in the Torah defining a specific dress code.  Most of…

The House of Assembly
The House of Assembly

Did you know that the Greek word ‘synagogue’ is actually a translation of the Hebrew term Beit K’nesset (English = House of Assembly).

Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman – The Jewish Connection
Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman – The Jewish Connection

Name the first talking animated film. The answer most people usually offer is Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willy (1928). In actuality, however, the first talking cartoons were produced by Fleischer Studios.

The Three Mitzvot of Sarah
The Three Mitzvot of Sarah

Jokes about dominant Jewish mothers are abundant and frequent. Perhaps this is because, historically, Jewish mothers have been responsible for building the foundation for passionate Jewish living in the home. This tradition began with the matriarch Sar…

The Crémieux Decree The Crémieux Decree

On October 24, 1870, The French government issued a decree to recognize the Jews of Algeria as French citizens. The law had been written and passed after much campaigning by powerful French Jews such as Adolphe Crémieux. Like most of the North Af…

The Jazz Singer
The Jazz Singer

Breaking into show business has never been easy. Like many early twentieth century entertainers, Asa Yoelson (1886-1950), along with his brother Hirsh (Harry), moved from singing on the streets to performing in a traveling circus, a burlesque show and …

An Act of True Kindness
An Act of True Kindness

Death is one of the unquestionable facts of life. Yet, most people would admit being uncomfortable with the idea of being in a room with a dead body. Seeing a corpse is a “too close” reminder of our own mortality and that we mere mortals do not hav…

Heralded With Blessings
Heralded With Blessings

The opening prayer of Pesukei D’zimra is Baruch She’amar – Blessed is He who Said. It is a prose poem that uses an anaphora, a literary style in which the same word is repeated at the beginning of each sentence.  In this case, the word is baru…

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