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Becoming a Mohel

A Mohel is a Jewish person trained to perform the mitzvah of Brit Milah. Becoming a Mohel is a serious job. There is a shortage of trained and qualified Mohelim around the world. To become a Mohel, you need to undergo both religious and surgical trainings. Get a medical training relevant to performing circumcision. File […]

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Netilat Yadayim - The Jewish Ceremonial Washing of the Hands

Netilat Yadayim is a traditional washing of the hands with a cup. This practice is commonly observed in Orthodox Judaism. Netilat Yadayim is usually done upon rising in the morning and before eating challah. Netilat Yadayim is a ceremonial cleansing. Your hands should already be clean before doing this ritual. Fill a large cup with […]

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Converting to Judaism

Becoming Jewish is a truly life-changing decision. The conversion is a serious act. Converting to Judaism would mean dropping the religious beliefs and customs of your previous religion. Your relationship with your family and friends may change. Your lifestyle will also change. If, after serious consideration, you still want to become one, here are a […]

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How to Bless the Children

Blessing the children on a Friday night is a nice Jewish custom that is practiced by many parents to bring spirituality into their families. There are many different customs practiced by different families in blessing their children. In some families, only the father gives the blessing, in others both parents. Some parents give the blessings […]

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How to Get Up From Shiva

Getting up from Shiva refers to the conclusion of the seven day period of mourning after a loved one has passed away. The last day of Shiva is a time which reminds the mourners to move on to shloshim, a less intense 30 days  of mourning. During the last day of Shiva, Shacharit services starts […]

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How to Observe Shloshim

Shloshim is a 30 day period of mourning following an intense week of Shiva. Some of the restrictions observed during the shiva week do not apply to shloshim anymore. Mourners can now leave the house and resume working. However, they are still restricted from attending social gatherings and festive occasions. They should also refrain from […]

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Visiting a Jewish Gravesite

Visiting the gravesite is a way of showing our respect to the departed. While visiting the cemetery anytime after the grave marker has been erected is allowed, there are certain days when it is appropriate to visit the graves of our loved ones. It is especially appropriate to visit on the last (7th) day of […]

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How to Unveil a Jewish Tombstone

Even in the past, it was already part of Jewish custom to mark the grave of a loved one with a tombstone. In Genesis 35:20, Jacob built a tombstone for the grave of his wife Rachel. The purpose of erecting a tombstone is to indicate where a dead loved one is buried. It is also […]

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How to Celebrate Yahrtzeit

Jews celebrate death anniversaries solemnly. Yahrzeit rituals allow  mourners to honor the memory of the deceased. During Yahrzeit, we allow ourselves to re-experience the pain of losing our loved one while at the same time celebrating the life they lived . Light a Yahrzeit candle at sundown on the night before Yahrzeit. A Yahrzeit candle is a […]

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Death and Afterlife in Judaism

Jews view death not as a tragedy but rather a part of life and of God’s plan. The Jewish faith believes in an afterlife in which the deceased’s soul will dwell in a place where they will be rewarded or punished depending on how they have lived their life here on earth. Death is a means […]

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How to Plant a Tree in Israel to Memorialize a Dead Jewish Loved One

One of many ways to pay respect to the death of a Jewish loved one is to plant trees in his honor. By contacting the Jewish National Fund, a tree will be planted to memorialize your loved one. JNF offers memorial certificates to honor your deceased loved one. Visit the Jewish National Fund website. If […]

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How to Observe the Yizkor Service

Yizkor is recited four times a year as part of the memorial service. It is recited after reading the Torah on Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, on the last day of Passover, and on the second day of Shavuot. Some synagogues say Yizkor for those who died during the holocaust before the private Yizkor prayers. Light a […]

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The Jewish Way of Mourning

The Jewish way of mourning provides us a way to face our grief while at the same time help those who are grieving. The Jewish mourning tradition is based on two principles: Kavod Hamet (paying respect to the deceased) and Nichum Avelim (giving comfort to the mourners). The body of the deceased should be treated […]

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Jewish Memorial Gifts

Jewish funerals are unique in a way that it involves honoring the deceased while at the same time offering comfort to the mourners. Offering memorial gifts during this time is a great way to show the mourners your support and and to pay respect to the deceased. Jewish customs discourage sending flowers to the mourners. […]

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Guidelines in Planning a Jewish Funeral Service

A Jewish funeral service is usually short and simple. The funeral service may be held at the funeral home, at the grave site or in the synagogue. Arranging a Jewish funeral service is easy when you know the details to consider. Seek the help of the Hevra Kadisha. A Hevra Kadisha is a burial society […]

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Making a Shiva Call

It is considered mitzvah to pay a home visit to the mourners or pay a shiva call. The focus of paying a shiva call is to give comfort and show compassion to the family of the deceased. Plan your visit. Listen for announcement during the funeral service for the mourner’s  schedule of receiving guests. Ideally, […]

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How to Prepare a Seudah Mafseket

Seudah Mafseket or the Yom Kippur Pre-Fast meal should provide enough sustenance for the day of fasting. You can still prepare a delicious meal for Seudah Mafseket despite a few food restrictions. However, keep in mind that the meal served should be low in salt and high in carbohydrates. Plan your menu. Rice and potato […]

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How to Create a Tzedakah Box

A pushke or Tzedakah box is a small container used to collect money for charity. It is a Jewish obligation to give to the needy. A Jewish home won’t be complete without a Tzedakah box. Prepare an empty plastic lid. Clean it up with soap and water. Remove the paper label. Make sure that the […]

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How to Bake Mandel Bread for Hanukkah

Mandel Bread or mandelbrot, which literally means almond bread is a Jewish  favorite especially during Hanukkah. Mandelbrot is similar to a biscotti but slightly softer. This can be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. It can also be snacked in between dreidel games. Combine 2/3 cup of oil, 1 cup sugar, and 2 […]

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Jewish Housewarming Gift Ideas

A simple and symbolic gift is still the best to give when invited to a Jewish housewarming. The idea of giving presents during housewarming is to give your wishes of hope for a peaceful, happy and prosperous future for the new resident. Giving bread, salt, and sugar is a traditional gift you can give. This tradition symbolizes that […]

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How to Put Stones on Jewish Tombstones

How to Put Stones on Jewish Tombstones

The reason for placing stones on a Jewish grave dates back to ancient times when Jews pile stones on graves as marker. The act of placing stones on grave is a sign of respect to the deceased and to his family and an indication that someone visited the dead. Prepare a small stone to put […]

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How to Prepare Tzimmes

Tzimmes is a traditional Jewish dish made from carrots, sweet potatoes and dried fruits and is usually prepared during Sukkot and Rosh Hashanah.  Carrots symbolize the good deeds that we will continue to do in the coming year. Preparing Tzimmes is easy. You can even make your own version and add other ingredients to make it more flavorful. […]

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How to Guide Your Child in Saying the Jewish Blessings

There is nothing more rewarding for a Jewish parent than to see his child observe the Jewish faith. One way to train your child to be an obedient Jew is to teach him say the Jewish blessings. The key to teaching a child to say Jewish blessings is to have lots of patience and to […]

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How to Plan a Jewish Wedding Meal

Just like any other celebration, a Jewish wedding culminates with a festive meal. The food that will be served will mainly depend on the historical background of the couple - Ashkenazi or Jews of European origin, and Sephardi or Jews of Middle Eastern , Spanish and Portuguese origin. Traditionally, kosher food is prepared for the Jewish […]

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How to Make Your Own Tallit

How to Make Your Own Tallit

A tallit is a shawl worn during prayer. Construction of a tallit is very easy and requires only minimal sewing. A tallit is traditionally made of wool or silk. There are no rules in choosing the right fabric for tallit. Make sure though that your tallit is not made of fabric combining wool and linen […]

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Observing Kosher Rules

Kosher dietary laws should be observed all throughout the year, not just during Passover. Keeping kosher is a way of showing our obedience to God. Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep kosher: According to Torah, there are certain animals that should not be eaten at all. Refrain from eating the flesh, […]

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How to Make Hamantashen for Purim

Hamantashen are Jewish cookies traditionally prepared during Purim. The three-cornered shape pastry symbolizes the victory of the Jewish people against Haman. Hamantashen are made with different fillings including the traditional lekvar, poppy seed, apricot, fruit preserves, dulce de leche, caramel, and cheese. Mix 2/3 cups of butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add a cup of […]

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How to Observe Purim

Purim is one of the most festive Jewish holidays. Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in Persia from extermination. This festive holiday is celebrated annually on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. Purim is celebrated with a celebratory meal (Seudat Purim), wine drinking, wearing of costumes, gift-giving, and giving charity to the […]

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How to Perform the Ritual of Kaparot

Kaparot is an ancient Jewish ritual related to the Jewish Day of Atonement. This ritual is usually performed after dawn before the day of Yom Kippur although it can be done anytime between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Kaparot is performed to symbolically admit that we are sinners not deserving of our life but are […]

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Learning the Talmud

The Talmud is an authoritative compilation of Jewish laws, ethics, philosophy, and history. Learning the Talmud is easy with these tips: First of all, understand the essence of learning the Talmud and how it works. It is a record of rabbinic discussions and has two divisions: Mishna (text of the Oral law) and Gemara (discussion […]

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