Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the Father of Modern Hebrew

The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but until the end of the 19th century, almost no one spoke Hebrew colloquially. Lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue, was used only for prayer and…

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Four Cups of Wine

Like almost all festival meals, the Passover seder begins with Kiddush, the sanctification of the day. On Passover, however, the first cup of wine is followed by three more mandatory…

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The Jews of Finland

For most European countries, the history of its Jewish presence begins some time in, or before the Dark Ages and is accented by varying periods of exile or oppression. Since Jews were not…

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Who Knows One?

How does one transmit basic theology in a fun manner to tired seder guests? The answer is--with song. Many see this as one of the purposes of the Nirtzah, the final section of the…

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The Most Important Meal

Across the country, school breakfast programs are offered in order to ensure that students will be properly nourished and capable of putting forth their best efforts during their day of…

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Rabbi Judah The Pious

Unlike so many stories one hears about famous scholars (which usually reflect on their childhood brilliance), the tales regarding Rabbi Judah Hachasid (the Pious) describe him as a…

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Flag of Israel

The Israeli flag was specifically designed with stripes to recall the image of a tallit - the Jewish prayer shawl. Its top and bottom blue stripes are reminiscent of the sky and…

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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 (today). However,…

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Purim Katan

In a Jewish leap year, a second month of Adar is added to the Jewish calendar, creating Adar I and Adar II. The question that arises is, in which Adar does one celebrate the important…

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Tzav 5781-2021

"Understanding Shabbat Hagadol" (updated and revised from Tzav 5762-2002) This week, we read the second parasha of the book of Leviticus, parashat Tzav. Because it immediately precedes…

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Can You Count to 49?

There is a commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. This period…

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Singing Praises

“…The prophets of the Jewish people ordained that the Hallel (Psalms of Praise), be recited on special occasions and celebrations [like Yom Tov], and at times of national deliverance from…

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Naso 5781-2021

“The Challenge of the Priestly Blessings” (updated and revised from Naso 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the very beautiful…

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The Fast of 17 Tammuz

The Fast of 17 Tammuz(Shiv'ah Asar B'Tammuz)Jews across the world will fast from sun-rise to night fall. This…