Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nisan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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Hail to the Chief

“A blessing for the czar? Of course. May God bless and keep the czar... far away from us.” So jokes the rabbi of Anatevka during the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof. This was a…

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This Surgery Is Elective

In the late twentieth century there was, according to anecdotal evidence, an epidemic of “deviated septum” among American Jewish girls. The implication, along with many not-so-funny…

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Fast of Esther

"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so…

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For The Mothers And Their Children

Sophie Irene Simon Loeb had no children of her own, but she dedicated her life to fighting for government support for widowed mothers. Her passionate campaign, which started after she did…

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Hester Panim

One might think that the Book of Esther is a heroic tale about Mordechai and Esther saving the Jewish people through diplomatic skill (Click here to read a summary of the Book of Esther),…

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Educating American Girls

When Vichna Kaplan (1913 - 1986) arrived in America in 1937, her experiences confirmed the country’s reputation as a place where Jewish tradition was in danger. This was particularly true…

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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be worshipped…

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The Rebbitzen

Esther Jungreis became a rebbitzen when she married Rabbi Meshulum Jungreis in 1955. She became “The Rebbitzen” when she founded Hineni in 1973. Born in Hungary in 1936, Esther and her…

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The Torah’s Special Genetic Code

During Biblical times, our ancestors did not understand genetics, DNA codes, chromosomes and the transmission of physical attributes, as we understand them today. While the sages do note…

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Dancing on Ice

Competing for artistic and athletic mastery on ice has been part of the fun of winter long before the Winter Olympics, and Jews have often taken part in the joy of ice skating. In fact,…

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Post Labor Day Whites

When is it fashionably acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? On Yom Kippur!Many people have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur. In the synagogue you will often see women…

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Wayward Sons

While the Biblical canon has many stories of redemption and miracles, it also records narratives that demonstrate the true struggles of real people.  Real people know of the commonly…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nissan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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Fast of Esther

"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so…

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The Shabbat of Song

Music speaks to the heart, and, not surprisingly, the heart often speaks through music. Thus, when the Israelites crossed the Sea of Reeds (aka the Red Sea) and witnessed the destruction…

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Muscular Judaism

As the Zionist Movement developed, one of its secondary goals was to transform Jewish life by freeing it from what was considered a ghetto mentality, a societal mind-set of being weak and…

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The Maiden

Among the many remarkable women who appear in the annals of Jewish history, the Maiden of Ludmir stands out as a unique and holy woman. Her actual name was Chana Rochel Verbermacher, and…

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The Thing About Nails

If you are a fan of manicures, you might be surprised that Jewish law has a thing or two to say about nail care. For instance, traditional Jewish thought discourages cutting one’s…

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A Chanukah Heroine

Have you ever heard of Yehudit (Judith), the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, who saved her city, Bethulia, from destruction at the hands of the Syrian-Greek general Holofernes? As…

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Celebrating with a Parade

Name a Jewish celebration that is not a wedding that includes a chuppah, music and dancing. The answer is a Hachnassat Sefer Torah, literally “Welcoming the Torah Scroll,” the ceremony of…

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Al Hanisim, For The Miracles

Most Jewish holidays are marked not only by feasting and celebrations, but also by special prayers. On Biblical holidays, such as Passover and Rosh Hashana, these special prayers include…

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For Her Protection

Most people look at the world through the perspective of the society in which they were raised. Their views on everything from beauty to manners to equal rights are framed by the history…

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Before They Knew Viral

Martha Wollstein, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Germany, began her medical education when she was 16 years old. The Women’s Medical Society of the State of New York was also…

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Water, Water Everywhere

Sukkot is considered the holiday on which God determines the world’s water allotment for the year to come. During the time of the Temple, the week of Sukkot was highlighted by the…

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Post Labor Day Whites

When is it fashionably acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? On Yom Kippur!Many people have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur. In the synagogue you will often see women…

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Both Oral and Written

The development of the printing press had an incredible impact on Western civilization. Prior to the printing press, all documents were hand-written, limiting their dissemination and…

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Wise and Understanding

For the “person-in-charge,” one of the most difficult, yet important, jobs is delegating responsibility. Choosing the men and women with whom one will work most closely requires knowing…

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Cooking to America

Lizzie Black Kander, who passed away on July 24, 1940, has been a household name for generations via the simple cookbook she created. The Settlement Cook Book (full title: The Way to a…

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More Than A Braid

Since the earliest days of record, women have spent time “doing” their hair. While some generations have favored simple styles (like the “bob” of the 1930s), others relished incredibly…

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