Ever since Moses saw the Israelites dancing around the Golden Calf and smashed the two tablets of the law, the 17th of Tammuz has been an inauspicious day for the Jewish people, a day on which numerous tragedies occurred. One of the famous tragic events of the 17th of Tammuz was the placing of an idol in the Temple.
One of the subcategories of the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh (saving a person’s life) is taking care of one’s own health. In this vein, the National Jewish Outreach Program has been involved in a campaign encouraging people not to smoke on Shabbat.
Spain in the Middle Ages was home to scholars of great renown such as Abraham ibn Ezra (1089 – c. 1164), Judah ha-Levi (1086-1145), Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides/Rambam 1135-1204) and Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Nachmanides/Ramban – 1194-1270). By the middle of the 13th century, however, the welcoming attitude of the Spanish kingdoms that had allowed Jewish life to thrive, had vanished.
Catherine II (AKA Catherine the Great, 1729-1796) was born Sophia Augusta Frederica, a daughter of the ruling family of Anhalt (a German state). In 1744, she married her second cousin, who was to become Czar Peter III. Six months after Peter III ascended the throne, he was deposed and assassinated, and Catherine assumed the throne.
Why is a donkey called a donkey? For Jewish Treats, a more interesting question is why is a donkey called a chamor?
One of the most common ways of addressing God in the Jewish liturgy is Avinu, our Father. By addressing God as Avinu, one can not only learn about humanity’s relationship with God, but also about Judaism’s view of fatherhood.
In what way is an umbrella similar to the Mishkan (Tabernacle), which served as the dwelling place of the Shechina (Divine Presence) during the Israelite’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness?
The Rod of Asclepius, a serpent wrapped around a staff that is associated with the Greek god of medicine, is commonly used as a symbol for medical centers.
Which is more “treif” (generic term used for non-kosher foods): a McDonalds’ burger or a ham sandwich from the corner deli?
The study of law appears to attract a disproportionate number of Jews, perhaps because expounding arguments, pro and con, is one of the great pleasures of Talmudic discourse. In fact, one finds the first prototypical Jewish lawyer, Geviha ben Pesisa, in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 91a).