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How to Perform Tashlikh

Tashlikh or Tashlich (casting off) is a Jewish practice done in the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. This is done to symbolically “cast off” the previous year’s sins by throwing bread crumbs and praying into a flowing body of water (lake, spring, river). If possible, the body of water you are to visit should have fish […]

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How to Say the Havdalah Blessing

How to Say the Havdalah Blessing

Havdalah is a ritual that marks the end of Shabbat. It is usually performed before nightfall. It is celebrated at home with family and friends. Havdalah starts with the recitation of Biblical verses talking about God’s salvation (verses from the Book of Isaiah and Psalms). Fill a Kiddush cup with wine. Fill the cup until […]

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How to Observe Shavuot

Shavuot is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Sivan (late May or early June).  Shavuot is being celebrated in remembrance of the day God gave the Torah to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. It is customary for women to light candles on the first and second nights of Shavuot. […]

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How to Behave Inside the Jewish Synagogue

Learning how to behave properly when inside the Jewish house of prayer and worship is very essential especially if it is your first time inside the synagogue. Dressing for a prayer service in the synagogue is the same as dressing up for other churches. Wear a nice formal dress. Men should wear their yarmulke (skullcap). Married women […]

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How to Properly Affix a Mezuzah

In the Torah, God commands Jews to hang a mezuzot on doorposts. Two portions of Torah are written on the parchment.These are Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and Vehaya (Deuteronomy 11:13-21). The Shema is a reminder of God’s presence  in our lives and of our responsibility to keep God’s commandments in our hearts. Vehaya serves as an assurance of […]

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How to Put On the Yarmulke Properly

A yarmulke (skullcap), also known as kippah is a piece of cloth worn by observant Jews, often by men. Yarmulke is worn during prayer as a sign of respect to God. The yarmulke is one of the most important symbols of the Jewsih faith, thus, should be worn properly. Yarmulke should be worn during Shabbat […]

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How to Participate in the Celebration of Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is a Jewish holiday celebrating the conclusion of the annual reading of Torah. Simchat Torah is a Hebrew term which means “Rejoicing of the Torah.” Services for Simchat Torah begins with the Ma’ariv service or evening service. Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. Members of the congregation march around the synagogue in a ceremony called […]

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How to Locate a Local Synagogue

A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. The synagogue is also a beit midrash (house of study). Synagogues have libraries where members of the Jewish community come to study. Many religious and non- religious activities are also held in synagogues. Finding a local synagogue is easy when you know where to start your search. With the […]

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Rules in Sitting Shiva

Sitting Shiva is a week-long period of mourning after a Jewish relative has passed away.  The goal of sitting shiva is to comfort the bereaved and to honor the deceased. Mourners are considered Nihum Avelim (comforting mourners) after returning from the funeral. A shiva should be done in the house of the deceased. If possible, […]

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Bar and Bat Mitzvah Gift Giving Ideas

Like birthdays and other celebrations, a Bar ot Bat Mitzvah is an occasion to give gifts. Religious books, gift certificates or money are some of the most common gifts given to the celebrant.  Choose gifts that are appropriate for a 13 year old boy or a 12 year old girl. Giving money to the celebrant as a […]

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Guest Etiquette on Bar Mitzvah

Have you  been invited to a Bar Mitzvah? If it is your first time to attend one, it is very important to learn about the proper Bar Mitzvah etiquette. Maintaining proper decorum when attending such occasion will make a good impression on your host and will spare you from embarrassment. The most important part of Bar Mitzvah is […]

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How to Wear a Tallit Properly

A tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl worn during Shacharit, Shabbat, and Jewish holidays.  The tallit is usually made of wool or silk and is knotted on its four corners in accordance with the commandments of the Torah . The Jewish prayer shawl is an important symbol of Judaism and should be worn properly according […]

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Tips for Creating a Huppah

A Huppah or Chuppah is a Jewish wedding canopy with a piece of cloth or any covering draped over four poles.  The Huppah represents the home that the couple will build. There are no Halakhic requirements as to how big it should be and how it should appear. However, it should be big enough for the bride and groom to […]

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How to Dress Up for a Bar Mitzvah

If it is your first time to attend a Bar Mitzvah, you are probably wondering what to wear for the occasion. Whether you are Jewish or not, it is important to dress appropriately for Bar Mitzvah. If you are the Bar Mitzvah boy, you should know what to wear as you are the center of […]

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How to Clean the House for Passover

Preparations for Passover usually take a full month. Part of the preparation is to make sure that the entire house is free of chametz. Cleaning for Passover can be a big task but early planning and organized cleaning will make this task easier. Clean all areas of the house where chametz can possibly be found. […]

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How to Behave When Attending Jewish Funerals

Jewish funeral is a sacred ceremony. Attending a Jewish funeral is a sign of showing your respect for the Jewish faith. It is best to be prepared and learn how to behave when attending a Jewish funeral. Ask if the funeral will be held based on Reform or Orthodox customs. Know where the funeral will […]

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How to Observe Brit Milah

Brit Milah is a Jewish ceremony performed on a baby boy eight days after he is born. Also known as Covenant of Circumcision, this ritual is done as a covenant between God and the children of Israel as written in the book of Genesis 17:1-14 and Leviticus 12:3.  The circumcision is done by cutting the foreskin of […]

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Steps to Dancing the Horah

Horah is a traditional dance in Jewish weddings, bat mitzvahs, and bar mitzvahs. Many Jews refer to it as the unofficial king of the Israeli folk dances. The Hora is originally a Romanian folk dance and was brought from Eastern Europe by Jewish immigrants. In the past Hora was danced in the Kibbutzim and small […]

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How to Bake Sufganiyot for Hanukkah

Together with latkes and rugelach, sufganiyot is a favorite Hanukkah treat. Sufganiyots, also known as Hanukkah jelly doughnuts are usually ball-shaped and are deep fried then filled with either jelly or custard. This doughnut is topped with confectioners sugar or cinnamon. Many bakeries sell sufganiyots but nothing beats a fresh homemade sufganiyot for Hanukkah. Here’s how: Mix the dry […]

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How to Play the Shofar

A Shofar is a ram’s horn traditionally played on the month of Elul (last month in the Hebrew calendar) and on the first ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Shofar is blown in synagogues to indicate the end of  the Yom Kippur fast and in four occasions in the prayers of Rosh Hashanah. The sound […]

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How to Act Properly When Attending a Jewish Wedding

Jewish weddings are typically full of rituals representing the importance of the relationship of husband and wife and their obligations to a Jewish lifestyle.  As a guest, it is of much importance to understand the basics of Jewish weddings and to behave properly. I have listed below some tips on how to act appropriately when attending […]

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How to Bake Kugel (Jewish Noodle Pudding) for Shabbat

The Jewish Noodle Pudding, also known as Kugel is an absolute favorite during Jewish celebrations. It is usually made from egg noodles and potatoes although some variations are made from spinach, broccoli, cranberry or apples. Kugel is usually served as a side dish during Shabbat. Boil 1/2 bag of egg noodles until tender. Drain the […]

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How to Make a Jewish Beef Brisket

Jews love brisket. Brisket is a favorite entree in many Jewish holiday meals. In traditional Jewish cooking, brisket is prepared as a pot roast. Here are some tips in preparing a Jewish brisket. Choose a good quality of brisket. Brisket is a meat cut from the lower chest or breast. The term ‘brisket’ refers to […]

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How to Choose a Father’s Day Gift for Your Jewish Dad

Wondering what to give to your father on this special day when he’s got almost everything? There are a wide variety of Jewish gifts that you can give to Dad. You can also make Father’s Day more special and fun by crafting your own gift. One thing to remember when picking a gift for your Jewish Dad is […]

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Greeting Jewish Family and Friends on Passover

Passover is a widely celebrated Jewish holiday. It is a holy day commemorating the story of Exodus in which ancient Jews were freed from Egypt. A seder is a part of the celebration. The Passover Seder is when the family gathers together and enjoy a festive meal. It is also a great time to catch up and […]

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How to Make Matzo (Unleavened Bread) for Passover Seder

It is customary to serve Matzo (cracker-like unleavened bread) during Passover Seder.  Matzo is the substitute for leavened bread during Passover. Eating chametz (leavened products) are prohibited during this Jewish holiday. Matzo is eaten during Passover to commemorate the ancient Jews exodus from Egypt. Matzo is a symbol of redemption and freedom and serves as a reminder […]

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Things to Consider When Planning for a Jewish Wedding

Planning for a Jewsih wedding can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Aside from the usual wedding details, the bride and groom need to consider important factors with regard to the wedding ceremony. Whether you’re planning for an Orthodox, Conservative or Reform wedding, the list below will help you plan for a beautiful […]

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Celebrating Passover Seder with Children

Hosting a Passover Seder for kids is very easy. It is a fun way to celebrate Passover and bond with your family at the same time. Here are some tips in holding a Passover Seder for kids. Look for a special Haggadah created for kids. This type of Haggadah are colorful and contain pictures that […]

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How to Observe Passover

Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays. It is during this time of the year that we celebrate the freedom that God gave to ancient Jews from slavery in Egypt through the prophet Moses. Passover starts at sundown on the 15th of Nisan and ends on the 22nd.  It is an eight days celebration but […]

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How to Organize a Tu Bishvat Seder

A Tu Bishvat Seder is a fun way to celebrate Tu Bishvat. This is similar to the Pesach (Passover) Seder. This tradition started during the Middle Ages. The concept of Tu Bishvat Seder is to eat ten specific fruits and to drink four specific cup of wines in a particular order. Tu Bishvat is a […]

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