Those who first hear about the custom of Purim costumes might assume that the tradition began as an imitation of Halloween. Research, however, places the origin of Halloween costumes in the 18th century, while Purim disguises are mentioned in rabbinic texts as far back as the 13th century.
As the only territory completely under the control of the Federal Government, it is not surprising that Washington, D.C. is home to the only synagogue whose existence was enacted by an Act of Congress and signed by a U.S. President.
What does the holiday of Purim have to do with Jews reconnecting to their Jewish heritage?
On the 4th of Adar 1307, the Maharam of Rothenberg was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Worms–fourteen years after his death. The rabbi’s remains were released from the fortress of Ensishem when a ransom was paid by Alexander Suskind Wimpfen, who asked only that he be buried next to the Maharam.
There are some people in this world who always seem to be right in the thick of the action. As described in the Book of Esther, this was Mordechai.
At the end of a 180-day feast, the King of Persia-Medea, Achashverosh, banished (some say executed) his wife, Vashti, for refusing to appear at his banquet. He then staged an elaborate beauty contest to find a new queen.
The month of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar year, begins today. The Talmud (Ta’anith 29a) states:“Mee’sheh’nichnas Adar, marbin b’simchah,” With the beginning of Adar, rejoicing is increased.
This Shabbat is Shabbat Shekalim, the Sabbath of 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 c…
The Book of Malachi is the last of the Twelve Prophets, and there is no reference to its historical period in the text other than the fact that sacrifices are once again being offered in the Temple.