What do gold, silver and copper; aqua, purple and red-dyed wool; linen, goat hair, animal skins, acacia wood, olive oil, spices and gems have in common? These were the primary items that the Israelites needed to gather and donate in order to build God a sanctuary in the wilderness.
Well sit right back and I’ll tell a tale…Alas, this ship’s tale is no three-hour tour, but the story of the birth of Jewish life in North America.
The concept of “Chilul Hashem,” desecration of God’s name, is first mentioned in the Torah in Leviticus (22:32), when the Jewish people are commanded: “You shall not shame My Holy Name; and I will be sanctified amongst the people of Israel, I am God.”
Kugel. Brisket. Gefilte fish. These are the familiar foods that are thought to make up Jewish culinary history. But one common and much-loved food has a longstanding but little-known connection to the Jewish community. Behold—chocolate, the forgotten Jewish food.
Some of the most interesting figures of history may be discovered in obscure historical references.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.”