The Tribe of Gad

As the ancestors of the tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob significantly impact on the history and behavior of the tribe members who…

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Musical Politicians in Victoria, B.C.

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…

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The Bride’s Shabbat

One of the greatest mitzvot, and one of the most enjoyable, is that of “Simchat Chatan v’Kallah,” bringing joy to a bride and groom. One way in which this is accomplished is through the…

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Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel

The death of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, which occurred in 70 CE, on 20 Sivan, is part of the well-known and tragic episode of the deaths of the Ten Martyrs, that is included in the liturgy…

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Two Pillars of Five

Jewish law, and thus Jewish life, rests on two pillars, the mitzvot between a person and God and the mitzvot between one person and another. These two pillars of law are laid out in the…

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The Fascinating Life of Judah P. Benjamin

Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Judah P. Benjamin (1811, St. Croix - 1884, Paris) was 14 years old when he left home to attend Yale Law School. (For unknown reasons, he did not…

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Chol Hamoed

Most holidays in western society last for a single day, which is often extended into the weekend. And while most people are aware that Chanukah is celebrated for 8 days, many people are…

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Yom Ha’atzma’ut – Israel’s Independence Day

On the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, in the year 5708, corresponding to May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was born. On that day, the British Mandate was terminated and David…

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Purim! Again?

Unique to the Jewish calendar, Purim is actually observed on different days depending on location. The majority of the Jewish people celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar (yesterday).…

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Purim Drinking

"A person should drink on Purim up to the point where they cannot tell the difference between ‘Blessed is Mordechai' and ‘Cursed is Haman'” (Megillah 7a).What does the Talmud mean by…

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