Shakespeare’s Jew

From 1290 until the 1650s, Jews were not permitted to settle in England. However, marranos/anusim--Jews from Spain and Portugal who had converted to Christianity in name only in order to…

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Presidentially Approved

As the only territory completely under the control of the Federal Government, it is not surprising that Washington, D.C. is home to the only synagogue whose existence was enacted by an…

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On Account of the President’s Feet

How did President Abraham Lincoln’s foot problems affect both the Civil War and the Jewish population of the United States? In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, Jewish Treats…

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The Ghetto Of Venice

The Jewish ghetto of Venice, made famous in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice ( “Shylock” ), was actually the very first “ghetto.” That does not mean that when the Venetian…

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Moonbeam

December 21, 1968/30 Kislev 5729 was the day on which the world held its breath as American astronauts set out for the moon. On this day, Apollo 8, with its three member crew, was…

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Jews and the American Revolution

In 1776, there were approximately 2,000 Jews in America. This rather small part of the population took an active role in the American Revolution. One company of soldiers in South…

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Alas Poor Yorick

William Shakespeare used the imagery of the skull of Yorick as a means for Prince Hamlet to wax poetic about the futility of life. While Yorick’s may be the most famous skull in…

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IPO Music

On December 26, 1936, corresponding to the 12th of Tevet, the Palestine Orchestra, founded by Polish-Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, held its initial concert in Tel Aviv. At that…

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Kosher in Gracie Mansion

Although New York has one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States (the first Jews arrived in 1654), the first openly Jewish mayor of New York City was not elected until…

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A Taste of Shakespeare

Yiddish theater, which saw its heyday in the early decades of the twentieth century, played an important role in the lives of the American Jewish community. More than just entertainment…

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Shakespeare’s Jew

From 1290 until the 1650s, Jews were not permitted to settle in England. However, marranos/anusim–Jews from Spain and Portugal who had converted to Christianity in name only in order to…

Read More

Metzora 5771-2011

"We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On July 4th 1776, the Continental Congress adopted a statement written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, known as the…

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Laws and Customs of Shavuot

ShavuotLaws and Customs Table of Contents Festival Laws The Book of Ruth Customs Shavuot is a low-key, pensive holiday,…

Tu B’Shevat

Tu B'ShevatNew Year for Trees Tu B’Shevat is a rabbinical, not biblical holiday. In fact, it is first…

Why is Jerusalem Not Mentioned in the Torah?

In the first aliyah of parashat Re’eh, the Torah mentions 16 times an unknown place where God will choose to rest His Presence. Now, thousands of years later, we know that place to be the…

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Sand, Sun and Jewish History

Ninety-nine years ago today, Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas (as well as the smaller surrounding islands) were transferred from the dominion of Denmark to the possession of the…

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Matot-Masei 5769-2009

"The Lesson of the Journeys" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Masei, the second of this week's double parashiot (Matot-Masei), opens with a summary of the travel itinerary of the…

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The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

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The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

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The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

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The Great Hoshana (Hoshana Rabbah)

Rosh Hashana is known as the Day of Judgment (Yom Hadin), the day on which God judges the world. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the day on which God finalizes His verdict on the…

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The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

Read More

The Great Hoshana (Hoshana Rabbah)

Rosh Hashana is known as the Day of Judgment (Yom Hadin), the day on which God judges the world. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the day on which God finalizes His verdict on the…

Read More

The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

Read More

The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

Read More

The Great Hoshana (Hoshana Rabbah)

Rosh Hashana is known as the Day of Judgment, the day on which God judges the world. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the day on which God finalizes His verdict on the judgments of…

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The Board of Deputies

The contemporary Jewish community of England began to form in the late 17th century, after a nearly 400 year ban on Jewish settlement. While the majority of the Jews who initially came to…

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The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

Read More

The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

Read More

Left Jab

Even those who are unfamiliar with boxing can picture the subtle dance of the boxer in the ring. The art of moving subtly about the ring, the elaborate footwork, sparring and…

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