Some of the most interesting figures of history may be discovered in obscure historical references. For instance, few have heard of Bishop Bodo (c. 814 – 876), but his fascinating story exposes a short but unique time period in medieval history.
The first time a musical instrument was played to enhance a Shabbat Service was well before the Common Era. In days of yore, it was customary that the Levites would both sing and play instruments to enhance the Shabbat service in the Temple.
While Judaism may appear to be a religion with many holidays and an interesting history, those who explore the religion more deeply soon realize that it is a lifestyle based on a complex set of laws. It is then that they discover that the incredible energy of Jewish life is drawn from the fact that questioning, and answering the questions, is the driving force of Jewish learning.
Jewish Treats pop quiz: Name the country whose first Jews arrived as convicts.
Schmuck! Schlep! Schmooze! Yiddish terms abound in American usage, but none as loaded as the Yiddish term for non-Jews: Goy. While often used with self-aware cheekiness, the word carries historically derisive connotations, apparent in traditional (and often amusing) Jewish idioms.
In Sanhedrin 67b, Rabbi Ashi states that he saw “Karna’s father blow his nose violently and streamers of silk issued from his nostrils.”
“You look very nice.” “That was an excellent presentation.” “Your house is so lovely.”
The song Eliyahu Ha’Navi, Elijah the Prophet, is customarily sung on Motza’ay Shabbat because ultimately, Elijah will be the harbinger of the Messianic age.
Thousands of blue boxes and a dream that encompassed a nation…that was the foundation of the Jewish National Fund (JNF or Keren Kayemet L’Israel). Today, JNF is best known for its commitment to environmentalism and its dogged campaign to reforest the land of Israel (you know, plant a tree in honor/memory of a loved one).