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A Whispered Line
A Whispered Line

The Shema is both a prayer and a statement of the most fundamental aspect of Jewish theology: God’s oneness.

Josephus
Josephus

Some historians are scholars, others are propagandists, and still others live the history that they go on to record. Yosef ben Matityahu, better known as Flavius Josephus (or just Josephus), was all three.Born around 37 CE, Josephus was the second son …

The Second Uprising
The Second Uprising

History is a study in cause and effect. Today, on the 9th of Av, the Jewish people mourn two additional tragic events that followed the terrible destruction of the Second Temple: the plowing over of the Temple Mount and the catastrophic defeat of the B…

The Book of Lamentations
The Book of Lamentations

On Tisha B’Av, the ninth of Av, one of the ways that the Jewish people demonstrate their mourning over the loss of both Holy Temples is by refraining from Torah study that brings pleasure to those who study it. Therefore, it is considered app…

Tisha B’Av is Tomorrow
Tisha B’Av is Tomorrow

The saddest day on the Jewish calendar, the ninth of Av, is tomorrow. 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, additional restrict…

Sponsoring Columbus
Sponsoring Columbus

Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon are, without question, the most famous monarchs in Spanish history. They were the sponsors of Christopher Columbus’ famous journey (although they are villains in Jewish history, having brought th…

Mourning Jerusalem: A Brief History of the First Temple
Mourning Jerusalem: A Brief History of the First Temple

On Tuesday, Jews all over the world will observe the fast of Tisha B’Av.It is on this day that the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Temples. The First Temple was destroyed almost 2,500 years ago and the Second Tem…

Mourning Jerusalem: A Brief History of the Second Temple
Mourning Jerusalem: A Brief History of the Second Temple

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 tho…

Shabbat Chazon
Shabbat Chazon

This Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon, the Sabbath of the Vision (prophecy), named after the opening word of the Book of Isaiah, the first 27 verses of which are read as the haftarah on the Shabbat before Tisha B’Av (the Ninth …

Cheer Up The Lonely
Cheer Up The Lonely

The most frequently cited reason for the destruction of the Second Temple is Sin’at Chinam, best translated as senseless hatred. The in-fighting among the Jews of Judea, not only weakened their defenses against the Romans, but caused God to turn His fa…

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