Judaism

Everything you need to know about Judaism and being Jewish: the weekly Torah portion, Jewish holidays, Jewish rituals and more.

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70
Fast of the 17th of Tammuz: Times and customs

See fast start and end times for your area.

08/07/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
03/07/2020
The Israelites and Midianite women: What really happened in the tent?

At the beginning of next week’s Torah portion, God steps forward and validates Pinhas for turning back His wrath from the Israelites, and is granted a covenant of peace and the pact of priesthood.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
02/07/2020
WHY WAS Balaam so amazed when he saw the tents in the Israelites’ camp?
Parashat Balak: Loyalty to family and nation

Balaam understood that family values require effort and that marriage requires effort, restraint and loyalty.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
02/07/2020
Democracy and the Jews: Democracy, its demons and interplay with religion

Though the world is not yet ready for the Torah’s version of utopia, we are grateful for even gradual improvements, as society evolves ever closer to that vision. Democracy is a Divine gift.

By MOSHE TARAGIN
02/07/2020
MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSON, the beloved Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Reflections on the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson

The Rebbe represents the all-too-rare ability to focus on others and motivate them to be the best neshama they can possibly be.

Lithuanian lawmakers honor an alleged perpetrator of Holocaust pogrom

The parliament’s Committee on Education and Science submitted the proposal June 23 in a draft resolution titled “The Announcement of the Year 2021 as the year of Juozas Luksa-Daumantas.”

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ/JTA
30/06/2020
Rare file reveals the escape of the Ruzhiner Rebbe from Tsarist Russia

The rare find reveals many new things including the Rebbe’s interests, integration and absorption into Sadhora’s communal life and even includes three handwritten signatures.

THE PAINTING ‘David Giving Thanks to God After the Death of Goliath’ by Charles Errard.
YouTube series addressing 3,000 of Jewish history premiers June 29

The first fifteen episodes (season one) will be released on the June 29th premier date, and will cover ancient Israel from 586 BCE until the Jewish dispersal in 1,000 CE.

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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
26/06/2020
JEWISH MUSICIANS in Russia, 1890: The exiled Jews in the second era of Judaism were perceived by Eur
The age-old question: Is God still with Israel?

The epic story of how the Israelis lost, then regained their deterrence.

25/06/2020
‘IT WOULD be mistaken to think that God gives commands that are meaningless.’
Parashat Chukat: Logic and obedience

The description sounds foreign to our modern ears, but this does not mean Western culture is better than ancient rituals.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
25/06/2020
BEIT MEIR Synagogue, named after Rabbi Meir Abuhatzeira.
So many synagogues – Ashdod

With a 95% Jewish population, of whom one third are observant, Ashdod’s many synagogues express a wide range of religious and cultural roots, narratives and customs.

By JACOB SOLOMON
25/06/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
19/06/2020
Israeli border policewmen chat with local residents at the entrance to Bnei Brak as Israel enforces
How has coronavirus impacted the Jewish world?

As Dr. Shuki Friedman, IDI director of the Center for Religion, Nation and State and a co-author to the report, explained, some of the developments triggered by the crisis are here to stay.

SOCIALLY DISTANT prayer at the Western Wall on March 15.
Praying for governments with disagreeable policies

Synagogues should remain free from the political divisiveness overwhelming so many countries around the world.

By SHLOMO BRODY
18/06/2020
WE SEE money-hungry traitors versus a devoted and incorruptible leader. But when the story was unfol
Parashat Korach: Which side to choose?

How are we to know, in situations we encounter in our lives, how to make the right choices?

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
19/06/2020
CHABAD EMISSARIES engage with IDF soldiers, offering to lay tefillin, at a staging area near the bor
Light unto the nations: Chabad’s relationship with Zionism

When once asked whether he was a Zionist, the Rebbe reportedly answered, "If Israel is a state of Jews, then I am not a Zionist, but if it is a Jewish state, then I am a Zionist."

MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSON, the beloved Lubavitcher Rebbe.
A meeting with Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

The Rebbe was rumored to be telepathic, and I could certainly vouch for the fact that as far as I was concerned, he certainly was.

Twenty-six years after his death...the Rebbe’s beat goes on

The image and vision of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, is as big and broad today as it was 26 years ago.

18/06/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
12/06/2020
Our Jewish ancestors: Harlot entrapment, premarital sex and mixed marriage

Mixed marriages are part of Jewish history. In our Israeli and Diaspora societies today, it cannot be stopped.

Reflections on Yom Yerushalayim

Why can’t we create a Yom Yerushalayim ritual that contrasts the suffering and the redemption, the dream and the fulfillment?

By RABBI RAYMOND APPLE
18/06/2020
‘TO BE involved in the modern world, ipso facto means to live a life of constant compromising of Ort
On modern Orthodoxy

I have found that students are confused about Modern Orthodoxy and perceive it as some sort of ‘Diet Orthodoxy’.

By AHARON E. WEXLER
11/06/2020
USING WOOL to prepare the thread for the making of tzitzit.
Parashat Shelah: Reality and tzitzit

The commandment of tzitzit is one of the special commandments in the Torah whose purpose is clearly written in a manner that cannot be ignored.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
11/06/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
05/06/2020
IS USING ketoret as a mystical means to combat death a hassidic innovation?
Can the incense prayer be used to combat plagues?

The potency of incense offerings dates back to biblical times. Ketoret was offered twice a day in the Temple, and on Yom Kippur it was brought into the Holy of Holies.

By LEVI COOPER
04/06/2020
DESERT WANDERINGS: The Jewish Nation’s beginnings.
Parashat Beha'alotcha: A story of humility and sensitivity

Eldad and Medad, two anonymous people who are never mentioned again in the bible, teach us of the importance of humility and sensitivity as a condition for spiritual distinction.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
04/06/2020
Border Police go about coronavirus inspections in Mea Shearim, a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Coronavirus and prayer: Embracing the impact of the virus on all of us

One of the givens of Judaism is that God continually tests man, sending us challenges that can be emotionally, economically and physically daunting.

Jewish history shows the consequences of tolerating police brutality

Historically, Jews have had an ambiguous relationship with the police.

By HENRY ABRAMSON/JTA
04/06/2020
Researchers: Ancient Israelis used cannabis in ceremony

It seems likely that the plant was used at Arad as a deliberate psychoactive • Levantine frankincense identified for the first time

31/05/2020
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Shavuot candle lighting times for Israel and US

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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
28/05/2020
Antisemitic graffiti near a London Underground station. The graffiti reads “dirty f***ing Jew”
Woman arrested in vandalism of Texas synagogue

The unnamed suspect was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is in custody of the McAllen Police Department with charges pending.

By MARCY OSTER/JTA
28/05/2020
Shavuot: Time for renewal of covenant and unity

In biblical times, Shavuot was primarily an agricultural celebration.

‘HAVING CHOSEN God, the Torah is God’s response to us.’ Pictured: The Yanov Torah, rescued from the
The Israeli Har Sinai

There is a distinctly human tone to Israeli stones as opposed to the desert ‘luchot'

By MOSHE TARAGIN
03/06/2020
IF THE woman in question is guilty, the bitter waters will have an effect on her body.
Trial by ordeal: The ritual used to test women accused of adultery

While the husband has all of the power and none of the responsibility, it is possible to see the ritual as having a positive effect for women.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
27/05/2020
AN AMERICAN synagogue sanctuary adorned with greenery in honor of Shavuot.
Shavuot 5780: A holiday of process

Every day, we decide if we are receiving the Torah and adopting the worldview and lifestyle it proposes.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
27/05/2020
‘MOSES WITH the Ten Commandments,’ Philippe de Champaigne, 1648: Why not read them every day?
Whatever happened to the Ten Commandments?

If the sages considered the Ten Commandments so important, why did they eliminate them from the daily prayers?

THE MISHNA describes people presenting their first fruits with the fanfare of a majestic parade thro
Israel and the Diaspora share a new song for Shavuot

This active opportunity to learn Torah and ask questions is the essence of what receiving the Torah is about.

By ILANA FODIMAN-SILVERMAN
27/05/2020
The state of conversion in Israel

The Conversion Authority is reluctant to perform conversions.

By SHERYL ABBEY
27/05/2020
YAEL BELENKY, manager at Giyur K’Halacha
The Giyur K’Halacha option

Giyur K’Halacha has become Israel’s leading alternative conversion court network.

By SHERYL ABBEY
27/05/2020
FORMER JEWISH Agency chairmain Natan Sharansky speaks at an ITIM Annual Conversion Conference with R
In Ruth’s footsteps: Israeli converts tell their stories

The Magazine and Giyur K’Halacha, Israel’s leading nongovernmental conversion court, present personal stories of Israelis who have recently converted to Judaism.

By SHERYL ABBEY
27/05/2020
Rabbi Wintroub's letter to Rabbi Kook, 1929.
1929 letter to Rabbi Kook over Jewish ownership of Western Wall discovered

"For my great astonishment I do not have the power to elaborate as I just learned the wall is to be registered as the Arabs' property due to the fear the government would carry out pogroms."

By LEON SVERDLOV
22/05/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
22/05/2020
THE MANAGEMENT team at Anchor Steel and Conveyor Company, 1965
The takeover of the Levites and emergence of a Jewish elite

As he planted the seeds for a new anchor of Judaism – Zionism, Herzl recognized the importance of having an elite.

21/05/2020
THE POWER of tzitzit: A haredi man gets dressed after immersing in a mikveh  near a water spring in
Parashat Bamidbar: The book of the holy nation

The commandment of tzitzit is for every Jew, and it teaches us that every Jew is part of a framework of identity and belonging, with a purpose and a role.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
21/05/2020
WOMEN PRAY at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood
May a woman be a leader in the Orthodox Jewish community?

“I fully believe that the Halacha [Jewish law] has to respond actively and positively to the burning challenges of the times, and, in our days, high on these priorities is the status of women."

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
21/05/2020
‘IT IS the text that brought the people into being.’
Torah: The unavoidable and disturbing text

Reading the text requires the courage to confront oneself. It means standing in front of a mirror and asking oneself the daunting question of who we really are.

Shavuot in American history

By being confirmed on Shavuot, a teenager in the 1940s was receiving and accepting the Torah as one of the chosen people.

By DAVID GEFFEN
27/05/2020
Rabbi Victor H. Weissberg: A legacy of Jewish life

Weissberg’s life is a testament to his passion for learning Torah.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Jews keeping up with traditions despite coronavirus outbreak

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in one of his recent daily news briefings, “Normal is something that’s a long way off.”

By ILANA BELFER/ JTA
16/05/2020
Orthodox rabbis are increasingly split over safety of communal prayer

In April, as the governor of Texas began reopening the state, the rabbis banded together again, telling their congregants that they all would keep their synagogues closed.

By SHIRA HANAU/JTA
16/05/2020
Zoom Judaism helps us in crisis - Opinion

This moment offers the Jewish community an opportunity to reconnect with home Jewish practice.

By AVIGAYIL HALPERN/ JTA
16/05/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
15/05/2020
MEN OBSERVE social distance during a morning prayer in Meron on May 1.
Introducing Jewish Law live: Halachic discourse in time of coronavirus

While I remain very interested in these topics, the coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the need for quick halachic answers to new types of questions that have emerged in this period.

By SHLOMO BRODY
14/05/2020
COLLECTING ONIONS in a field in the Judean Valley. The farmer must let his fields lay fallow during
Parashat Behar-Bechukotai: Humility as a condition for Torah

Every seventh year, farmers in the Land of Israel must let their fields lie fallow and surrender the harvest to society – Jews and non-Jews – and even to animals.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
14/05/2020
Tovia Singer: Gospel channel targets vulnerable Jews in attempt to convert

While Singer said there is “nothing new about Evangelical fundamentalist Christians seeking to convert Jews to Christianity,” he noted that the method that GOD TV is using is “completely novel.”

By JEREMY SHARON , JERUSALEM POST STAFF
09/05/2020
An Orthodox Jewish man wears a mask while talking on a cellphone in the Orthodox Jewish community of
Minyanim in our community a dangerous violation of Jewish law - comment

As an Orthodox Jew and an ordained rabbi, I am fully aware that the Torah and CHAZAL/Rishonim/Achronim/Halacha mandate that we pray every day.

By RABBI HERSHEL BILLET/JTA
09/05/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
08/05/2020
After a year of trial-and-error, the Hebrews built a Tabernacle – so that God could dwell within the
Parashat Emor: A life of ‘kiddush Hashem’ – sanctifying the Name of God

What is missing in our earthly existence that is filled by the sacred?

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
07/05/2020
AN EMBROIDERED hallah cover: ‘So it’s not proper to embarrass the inanimate bread, but your wife you
Do we worship Hashem or Halacha?

At the end of the day, as last week’s Torah portion proclaims, Hashem holds most dear the principle in which he packages His halachot and mitzvot: “And you shall live by them.”

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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
01/05/2020
Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim: Partnership, faith and humility

Man has the choice of being passive, enjoying the world as a guest, or being active and creative.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
30/04/2020
Then-Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper (right) looks at a Bible with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel
Who wrote the Bible?

Rabbi Prof. Joshua Berman tackles conflict between biblical criticism and traditional beliefs about the Bible’s authorship

By MARTIN LOCKSHIN
02/05/2020
Animal sacrifice in Judaism: From spiritual ecstasy to self-perfection

The main purpose of bringing a sacrifice is to clear ourselves of sin, exactly as Yom Kippur does for us today.

By JACOB DALLAL
30/04/2020
Animal sacrifice in Judaism: From spiritual ecstasy to self-perfection

The main purpose of bringing a sacrifice is to clear ourselves of sin, exactly as Yom Kippur does for us today.

By JACOB DALLAL
30/04/2020
Remembering the stories of Israel's military heroes on Independence Day

In the 222 pages of the paperback, Peter Bailey tells the fascinating and heroic stories of all 40 recipients of the Medal of Valor

27/04/2020
After 72 years, Israel's Declaration of Independence still stands

It is not easy for any society to maintain consistent adherence to the demands of its constitution.

By JANE BIRAN
27/04/2020
WILL THE bonds with the Diaspora break?
The 5 million members of the Palestinian Jewish Diaspora

Jews from Palestine – including my own father Harry – formed a Palestinian Jewish Diaspora in other parts of the world.

‘TODAY THE State of Israel’s identification with Jewish nationhood is under attack from all sides.’
What does ‘a Jewish state’ mean?

Should there be a separation between shul and state?

27/04/2020
Remembering why we are in Israel on the 72nd Independence Day

We found here a beautiful country, unique in the variety of its scenery and climate.

Remembering the surprising history of Israeliana

The uniqueness of Israeliana seems to be that it is the collection of material items produced by a society that may not have been wealthy, but had a powerful sense of ideology.

A murder-mystery story from the British Mandate era

The curious case of Major Farran’s Hat

27/04/2020
Our Common Destiny: The ties that bind Israel and the Diaspora

“Many people are deeply concerned that the challenges with which our people are wrestling today are leading to greater friction and division than ever before.”

The changing face and focus of Zionism 72 years after Israeli independence

As old connections to Judaism fade, Zionism is turning into a primary manner Diaspora Jews relate to their Judaism.

27/04/2020
Meet Naomi Stuchiner winner of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

Stuchiner is a beacon of light in a world darkened by the coronavirus outbreak.

Meet Prof. Noam Vered, the 1st woman to win the Israel Prize for Talmud

As a child I felt that Talmud is a conversation that links people and creates joy and also has something different from everyday life, something higher and beautiful.

By LINDA GRADSTEIN
27/04/2020
Rivlin's telediplomacy during the coronavirus pandemic

Rivlin says the coronavirus crisis ‘has made us feel more than ever that we are one family with a shared history, shared values and a shared destiny’

IDF intelligence’s constant eye on coronavirus and Iran

While the enemy may be different, “this is very similar to our usual work.”

The Israeli flag is displayed on the Tel Aviv municipality building on Rabin Square, as Israel celeb
Israel still stands strongly on 72nd Independence Day

It has not been easy, it has not been without pain and incredible sacrifice, but it has worked.

29/04/2020
Burial societies, funeral homes are busy. Cremation isn’t the answer.

Just as morgue workers will need to safely handle corpses of those victims who desire cremation, Jewish burial societies can efficiently and carefully bring our beloved to their final resting spots.

By RABBI SHLOMO BRODY/JTA
25/04/2020
'Final moments' prayer uploaded online for isolated coronavirus patients

The recorded prayer, fewer than ten minutes long, has since been played in a number of hospital rooms, allowing for patients, even among isolation, to have the prayer read to them.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
25/04/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
24/04/2020
Clock
Iyar: Making days count‏

The month of Iyar is filled with rich ideas focusing on time, making time count and improving who we are.

By DEVORAH KUR
23/04/2020
Limited priestly blessing takes place during Passover at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, April 12, 2020
Is the coronavirus revolutionizing the way Jews pray?

The closure of synagogues in Israel, the US, in Europe and elsewhere has raised questions about alternative strategies including online prayer services and online Jewish education.

By YOEL COHEN
07/05/2020
A mikveh [ritual bath]
Our proximity to holiness requires our utmost caution

The strict barriers put up between impurity and holiness mean that throughout their lives, humans will invariably be barred from approaching God’s presence in the holiest of places.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
23/04/2020
LEPROSY, PLATE LXX from Prince Albert Morrow, 1889
Parashat Tazria-Metzora: What benefit is there to quarantine?

When we examine these Torah readings, we must start with a basic premise: These were not contagious illnesses, and the purification process did not include any acts that were hygienic or medical.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
24/04/2020
Kaddish
How the Kaddish prayer can bridge two worlds together

The Kaddish reminds us of all that is holy and eternal in our lives and in the lives of those that have passed on.

By ZALMAN EISENSTOCK
23/04/2020
Shacharit sevice takes place over Zoom
Synagogues are planning for a socially distanced High Holidays

American synagogues have been conducting services virtually — or not at all — for more than a month.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA
22/04/2020
A Tango in Auschwitz - a song of optimism sung in the Nazi camps

“I’m still young, I want to live”; even in their darkest hour, the prisoners of the Nazi camps wrote songs of hope.

By AMIT NAOR / NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL
20/04/2020
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By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
17/04/2020
After a year of trial-and-error, the Hebrews built a Tabernacle – so that God could dwell within the
Inauguration of the Tabernacle first step in evolution of Judaism

THE INAUGURATION of the State of Israel on the fifth of Iyar is akin to the inauguration of the Tabernacle on the first of Nissan – the beginning of a new era of Judaism.

20/04/2020
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