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Mishpacha Propaganda


When you live out of town, you don’t get the frum magazines until months down the line. You might absentmindedly walk out with the shul’s edition, the one that says DO NOT REMOVE written across it in black marker, and it’s such a relief to have new Jewish reading material in this outpost of frumkeit […]

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Is Google Glass Jewish?


Even though the last name Glass is often associated with Jews, no, Google Glass is not Jewish. Google Glass is a shiny piece of technology and as such does not have a personal religious affiliation. But the fine folk at Rusty Brick software are busy at work developing JewGlass - apps for Jews who use […]

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Why is Everyone Suddenly Anti-Uman?


Hey Hesh, Just wondering if you’ve seen all of the anti-Uman stuff as of late, as if suddenly the entire frum community has woken up to something that’s been going on peacefully for many years already. Why all of the animosity? No one seems to have a problem with folks going to kever rochel, maaras […]

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Prinz, Persecution, and the Pursuit of Justice


I’ve been working at the Jewish Women’s Archive since the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2011. In my almost-three years here, I have learned one thing above all else: in order to understand ourselves, to know our past, and to build our future, we must tell our stories. And this past week […]

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Is Sex Expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer Jewish?


Yes, sex expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a Jew, a holocaust survivor and a former Israeli Haganah scout and sniper. Wikipedia reports: Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Wiesenfeld (near Karlstadt am Main), Germany, the only child of Orthodox Jews Irma (née Hanauer) and Julius Siegel. In January 1939, she was sent to Switzerland […]

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Rosh Hashanah 2013 - 5 Things You Should Know


Here is my “5 Things You Should Know About Rosh Hashanah” article, originally published in the AOL/HuffingtonPost Patch.com in 2011: The Jewish New Year celebration, Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew, meaning “the head of the year”) begins this week on Wednesday evening and lasts until Friday. Here are five things that everyone should know about the holiday. […]

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Announcing the Rising Voices Fellowship for Teens


Prozdor and the Jewish Women’s Archive are thrilled to announce the pilot year of our Rising Voices Fellowship! The fellowship is open to female-identified teens in grades 11 and 12 who have a passion for writing, a demonstrated concern for current events, a commitment to improving their writing skills, and a strong interest in Judaism—particularly as it relates to […]

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Am I Really Being Honored


I got an email from the shul last night, informing me that I was to be honored with gelilah for the second Torah on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Being the cynical conspiracy theorist that I am, I immediately called Harav Eliyahu Fink to ask whether this required me to sit through long periods […]

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50 Years On: 5 Things I Learned About the March on Washington


As a kid I read everything there was to read about the Civil Rights Movement—from the Freedom Rides, to sit-ins, to Freedom Summer. I wrote my biggest high school term paper about the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and the closest thing to a history class I took in college was called simply, “The […]

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Celebrating My Right to Vote: Women’s Equality Day


With Women’s Equality Day just around the corner, voting has been on my mind. And, I’ll admit it, voting isn’t usually on my mind—especially during August. But Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates women’s right to vote, has me thinking about voting. I’m a pretty civic-minded person—fast to roll my eyes at people who tell me […]

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Dayenu. Dayenu. Dayenu.


This past year, I took a group of seven teens on a tour of the American South. The trip was inspired by my desire to infuse young people with a sense of history and context as it relates to Judaism in the South and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement. We began in Atlanta, then […]

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Summer and the Educator


Somehow summer has flown by—it’s August 19, which pretty much came out of nowhere. If you’re anything like me, summer started with grand plans and lofty ambitions. The pages in the calendar stretched on and on, and great adventures were planned for sometime later this summer. And, somehow… summer is coming to a screeching, halting […]

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“It Could Lead to Mixed Dancing” is Antiquated and Needs to be Replaced


Whenever something is banned or restricted in the frum community, people like to jokingly say that it could lead to mixed dancing. This line is from our parents generation, yet somehow it has remained the one line that people can say half jokingly in response to some of the crazy chumros and bans in recent […]

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What Can We Do About the Tuition Crisis?


Dear Readers, H-E-L-P! I may sound like a broken record to Matzav readers, and yes it is always an issue every year around this time, but so many of us are suffering and nobody is helping us. Please, there is probably no bigger issue facing Klal Yisroel today than the tuition crisis and what it is […]

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Do Not Interrupt Lil’ Dicky’s Jewish Flow


Thank you, Jewlicious, for giving me something to smirk about on this ever-so-gloomy Monday: Lil Dicky‘s epic rap battle with Hitler. (For you sensitive types, please be warned that “Jewish Flow” contains egregious use of Nazi symbolism, prolific drug use via a gas mask bong and many instances of the word “vagina” to make a […]

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Is Sam Horowitz’ Bar Mitzvah Dance Video Kosher?


Sam Horowitz performed a dance at the Omni Hotel in Dallas to celebrate his bar mitzvah. Sam danced on stage in November 2012 with eight (visibly taller) women dancers in a number that lasted less than three minutes where he appears on stage about halfway through. As of 8/18/2013 the video has received 726,000 views […]

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My Favorite Segulas


There’s a lot of talk about how crazy some segulas are and it’s nice for someone to showcase the ones we actually use. I’m not sure these are real, but here you go anyway. Courtesy of Avromy L. from Facebook: Segulah for recovery from illness: Go to a doctor (Berachot 60a, Bava Kamma 46b) Segulah […]

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Israeli Tech Startup Wants Silence

Silentium Israel Tech Startup (2)

It’s no secret that Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. With thousands of tech companies and start-ups, Israel has become just as well-known as a center for technology innovation as it is for hummus. Between two visits to Israel earlier this year, I made my annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land for […]

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Dear Heshy: Can One Actually be Frum if They Live Out of Town?


Dear Heshy, I know that you live out of town and consider yourself frum, so I hope that you and your out of town readers don’t take this the wrong way, but I always felt that those folks who moved out of town were sacrificing on their yiddishkeit for a higher quality of life in […]

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Is Steve Lonegan, the Anti-Spanish Former Mayor of Bogota, Jewish?


No, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan is not a Jew. He is Catholic and attends St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Bogota. Back on 7/17/2006 here is what we posted on our blog about Mr. Lonegan when he tried to get a Spanish advertising billboard removed from his town… Don’t confuse this town […]

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Blame It on the Bossa Nova: Remembering Eydie Gorme


Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme—never Eydie and Steve.  But theirs was a relationship where she never took a back seat. I am old enough to remember the duet’s appearances on every conceivable variety show in the 1960s and 70s.  (By the way, whatever happened to the concept of a variety show?)  The Hollywood Palace, the […]

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What We Can Learn from Shabbos Davening Times


I have to be honest, I never gave the times people start shabbos morning davening much thought until I realized that the whole world didn’t just start at 9am. In general the orthodox Jewish way is to start shachris at 9am, but in reality once you start to nitpick you will find that the more […]

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Laughing Until I Cried: Hebrew School


My father always insisted that Hebrew school vitally important, and certainly more important than secular school, which seemed ridiculous. Regular school had its moments of strangeness—why did we spend much of third grade learning how to knit, or take at least three field trips to cemeteries?  Hebrew school, on the other hand, involved more regular […]

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Elul Already?


This new moon brought more than the end of Ramadan and a little PMS: It marks the beginning of Elul, the last month of the Hebrew year before we repent and do it all over again. Some Eluls I get really hairshirt-y about it and list an alphabet of sins I’ve committed over the past […]

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That “Aha” Moment


Every teacher has a reason why they entered the world of education. Some say it’s because they love working with children, others say it’s because one teacher made a difference in their lives, and some will admit that it’s because they get holidays and summers off. When people ask why I became a teacher, specifically […]

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Divorce from a Jewish Perspective


As a Man floating in the purgatory between married and single, I am torn.  I am torn between many things.  Between forgiveness and judgment, between sacrifice and greed but mostly between right and wrong.  But mostly I am lost.  There is so much buzz about shidduch crisis yet almost none about the divorce crisis, the […]

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Women and Tallit


Why do some women wear Tallit? Why shouldn’t women wear Tallit? What’s the big deal? If you’re like me, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time pondering these questions. As someone who falls somewhere outside of regular observance, a tallit, or prayer shawl, isn’t usually on the forefront of my thoughts.  (Even defining a […]

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Selichot are Not Outcries

My teacher, Rav Soloveitchik taught that the selichot prayers are an outcry to God, a form of prayer that is out loud and hence a blatant public event. Outcry prayers he says, are different from more ordinary request prayers, more dramatic and more emotional. The obvious repetition in those liturgies makes sense to the Rav because […]

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Facebook Doesn’t Have “Shidduch Requests” for a Reason

“Hi there” Shalom — notice how this is the first conversation I have ever had with this person on Facebook, and mind you, the last time I saw this person panim el panim was probably 6 years ago, and I think that conversation consisted of various ‘hello’ synonyms. “Just putting out the word that we […]

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Female Panic

You’re a holy yeshiva bochur, you’ve gone 3 days without seeing a woman, now you have to go to CVS for some narishkeiten, what do you do? The life of a yeshiva bochur revolves around controlling thoughts that lead to illegal erections. A quality yeshiva bochur will do everything he can to not see or […]

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