As far back as the mid-1800s, rabbis wrestled with the question of the growing mobility of the populace. Since there were no new lands to be discovered, those of an exploring nature were drawn north, to the great white unknown.
Moses’ job of leading the Israelites was not easy. Not only were the people “stiff-necked,” they also spent a great deal of time complaining. When the nation cried out that they wanted meat (Numbers 11), not manna, Moses asked God why he alone was to bear the burden of an entire nation. God told him to appoint 70 elders whom He would endow with the prophetic abilities of Moses-but only for a limited time.
If one were to create a list of the great European learning centers, Moscow would probably not be on it. After the establishment of the Soviet Communist regime, Jewish life was systematically oppressed, as the Communists viewed all religion as the “opiate of the masses.” It is therefore surprising to note that in 1956, during the premiership of Nikita Khrushchev, the opening of a rabbinical seminary in Moscow was announced.
In discussions of World War II and the decade leading up to the war, history tends to mainly focus on the major players in Europe (Germany, France and England) and the Pacific (Japan and China). Even Jewish historical accounts (which tend to be quite detailed) overlook the destabilizing impact that the increasing nationalism in other countries had during the 1930s. For instance, most people have not heard of the Thrace Pogroms of 1934. In fact, many readers might even be wondering where Thrace is-certainly not on any 20th century map. Thrace is a region in Southeast Europe, between the Balkan Mountains, the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea. The incident in question actually occurred in “Eastern Thrace,” which is part of Turkey.
Where are you going on your honeymoon? Rather than announce an exotic location like Hawaii or Tahiti (or even Niagara Falls), most traditional Jewish couples answer that they are going to Sheva Brachot.
Born in 1856, in Louisville, Kentucky, Louis Dembitz Brandeis was the child of European immigrants who maintained a minimal Jewish identity. However, his maternal uncle, Lewis Dembitz, lived a more Jewish involved life-style and inspired Brandeis’ subsequent Zionist activities.
Although many Jews were active in the leadership of the Russian Revolution, and the government of the Czar was less than friendly to the general Jewish population, there were many anti-Semitic overtones during the revolution. One well-known chant during the revolution was : “Tea of Wissotzky, Sugar of Brodsky, and the Czar is Leiba Trotsky!” (inferring Jewish domination).
It is human nature to value privacy. This value, probably dates back as far as Adam and Eve. Once they had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they instinctively wished to hide.
Ruth was the Moabite wife of Machlon, one of the sons of Elimelech and Naomi, a wealthy couple who had fled Bethlehem during a bitter famine. Elimelech’s family had settled in Moab, a neighboring country with which Israel had a history of conflict.
According to Leviticus 23, the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, including Shmini Atzeret) lasts for eight days. Creative labor, however, is prohibited only on the first and the eighth days. Why then will Jews around the world (except in Israel) celebrate the first two days and the eighth and ninth days as festival days, refraining from creative labor?