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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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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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