For a Jew to be a landowner, or the owner of an import and export business, or a tavern-keeper, was a rare feat. For a Jew to be all three and a woman who also raised eight children (a ninth died in infancy) was unprecedented.
The Talmud states that professional gamblers are among the four types of people who are deemed ineligible to serve as witnesses or judges (in addition to usurers, pigeon trainers and those who trade in the produce of the Sabbatical year).
The word Satan derives from the Hebrew satan, literally “hinderer.” However, the common Christian belief that Satan is a fallen angel who opposes God by tempting humans to sin is quite different from the Jewish concept of Satan.To underst…
Lumley and Selim Franklin moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1858, during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. The Jewish community was just starting to grow, and the first synagogue, Temple Emmanu-el, was established in 1863.
All of the 39 m’lachot (creative labors prohibited on Shabbat) are derived from the efforts involved in the creation of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), parts of which were composed of tanned animal skins.
The inherent desire to have one’s legacy last into the future is, most likely, the root of the laws of primogeniture (the special inheritance of the firstborn son).
The island of Madagascar has never been the home to a formal Jewish community. There is no synagogue, nor any formal Jewish congregation.
In the year that the Israelites left Egypt, on the 17th day of Tammuz, Moses descended from Mount Sinai to find the Jewish people dancing around the Golden Calf. In exasperation, Moses threw down the two tablets of law given to him by God, smashing the…
“When Av enters, we must lessen our rejoicing,” declare the Talmudic sages in Ta’anit 26b.
Everyone knows about Yom Kippur. There are, however, several other fast days in the Jewish calendar that are not nearly as well known. Tomorrow, on June 25, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz will be observed.As mentioned in the Talmud, five events are com…