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Mourning for Pets, the ‘Jewish’ Way?

Mourning for Pets, the ‘Jewish’ Way?

As I peer down at her cotton-puff head, my sense of guilt sets in. Peeps, my bichon frise associate, has just taken a cocktail of three different medicines meant to keep her ticker ticking. Her eyes water, and her mouth turns downward, quivering slightly. It’s obvious she is not digging this new regimen. At 13, [...]

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Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, Head of Vizhnitz Hasidic Dynasty, Dies at 95

One of the Haredi community’s most veteran leaders passed away overnight Tuesday in Bnei Brak. Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the head of the Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty and president of Agudath Israel’s Council of Torah Sages, died aged 95. His funeral will be held on Wednesday afternoon, and is expected to draw mass crowds. With the [...]

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Today Is The Tenth Of Tevet

Today is the Tenth of Tevet, an important day on the Jewish calendar. A day on which in 425 BC (2,436 years ago!) the walls of Jerusalem were surrounded by the army of Nebuchadnezzar. This was the first of a series of events that eventually led to the tragic destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem, [...]

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Mourning Over The Real Jerusalem

There is a well-known Gemara in Tannis which states, “Those who mourn over Jerusalem will merit to see her happiness.” The commentators ask, why does it say, “zoche” in present tense and not “zacha” in future tense? Yaakov was never fully comforted over the supposed death of Yosef. The Midrash notes that this was because [...]

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Is Tisha B’Av Jewish?

Is Tisha B’Av Jewish? No we do not think that the fast of Tisha B’Av is Jewish anymore. We need a holiday from Tisha B’Av. That day was for a long time a commemoration through fasting and prayer over the destroyed city of Jerusalem and the Temple. We’ve visited Jerusalem in May of this year [...]

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21 Days of Ahavas Yisroel

There is a site called 21 days of Ahavas Yisroel which is a great idea for this time of year. Here is the description (with permission) from their home page: This time of year is traditionally one of mourning for the Jewish people. Starting on 17th of Tammuz (July 19) and culminating on the 9th [...]

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Leiby Kletzky’s family thanks community: ‘We are forever grateful and thankful’

In their hour of grief, the family of Leiby Kletzky is thanking their community and their city for helping them through the tragedy of losing their 8-year-old son to a murderer. A neighbor posted this statement from Nachman and Itta Kletzky outside their Borough Park building Friday morning: “We are forever grateful and thankful to [...]

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Rabbis: Save the Sabbath, Change Lag BaOmer

A religious-Zionist rabbinical organization is working to have Lag BaOmer bonfires postponed by a day, in order to prevent Sabbath desecration. The Tzohar Rabbis Organization, which calls itself a “window between worlds” – the secular and the religious – has contacted the Education Minister, the Chief Rabbis, and others in an effort to effect the [...]

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Macy’s and Israel

At the turn of the twentieth century, two of the wealthiest and most famous men in America were a pair of Jewish  brothers named Nathan and Isidor Straus. Owners of R.H. Macy ‘s Department Store and founders of the A&S(Abraham & Straus) chain, the brothers were multimillionaires, renowned for their philanthropy and social activism. In 1912, the [...]

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The Purpose of Sitting Shiva

Shiva is the Jewish period of mourning observed the first week after the funeral of a parent, spouse, sibling, or child. From the time of death until the conclusion of the funeral, the primary focus and concern is on the care of the deceased and the burial preparations. Once shiva begins, the focus shifts to [...]

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Kever Rachel

There is a certain mysterious aura about Kever Rachel. What is the magnetic pull that draws so many Jews to pray there? Why was Rachel not interred in Me’arat Hamachpeila? According to Rashi, she was buried on the way so that the Jews being led to exile could pray at her grave. In Parshat Vayeitzei, [...]

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Jewish Shiva: the first seven days of mourning

Shiva is a week long period of mourning done immediately after the funeral of a close relative which includes the father, mother, siblings, sons, daughters and spouse; they assume the role of “Halakhic” from the Hebrew word, which means mourner. Shiva is simply the Hebrew word for seven. The seven-day period of mourning gives the [...]

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Traditional Jewish ceremonies

Baby naming ceremonies Every individual is born different. They say that no two individuals are alike, twins may look identical, but not everything about them is the same. But what’s special and unique about each and every one of us, is our names. One of the most exciting times for a parent is naming their [...]

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The Stages of Jewish Mourning

The Stages of Jewish Mourning

Judaism provides a perfect approach in coping up with the emotional and spiritual difficulties a person may feel in the event of a loved one’s death. Judaism’s approach to mourning is divided into five stages: Aninut. The period from the moment one learns the death of a loved one until the burial. Aninut is when [...]

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How to Observe the Tradition of Sefirat HaOmer

Sefirah or Sefirat HaOmer (Counting of the Grain) is a Jewish tradition that lasts for 50 days. It is a period of mourning. It is during this time of the year that we symbolically count the process between the freedom of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and the granting of the Torah. Start counting. [...]

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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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How to pay a Shiva call

We are not alone. This message of Judaism conveys about death and bereavement, were every law and every custom of Jewish mourning and has at its core the overwhelming motivation to surround the dying and the grieving with a supportive community. Some may say that facing death and grief elevates a person’s feeling of aloneness, [...]

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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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Thinking about women and food on Tisha B’Av

Thinking about women and food on Tisha B'Av

This Tuesday marked Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Tisha B’Av is a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, but over the years, it has come to serve as a symbolic day of mourning for tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the course [...]

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Tisha B’Av - A Day of Mourning and Repentance

Tisha B’Av or the Ninth of Av is a Jewish holiday commemorating a number of catastrophes in Jewish history. Tisha B’Av is the saddest date on the Jewish calendar and is observed through fasting. Many aspects of mourning are observed by the entire Jewish community - no parties, listening to any kind of music, shaving [...]

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Half the Public Wants to See Holy Temple Rebuilt

Half the Public Wants to See Holy Temple Rebuilt

Half the Israeli public wants the Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) to be rebuilt. This is the main finding of a poll commissioned by the Knesset Television Channel and carried out by the Panels Institute. The poll was taken in advance of this Tuesday’s national day of mourning, known as Tisha B’Av, on which the two Holy Temples in [...]

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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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The Three Weeks

The gemara relates the story of Rabbi Akiva who was walking with several sages when they saw a fox emerge from the site of the destroyed Beit Hamikdash. The Chatam Sofer explains that a fox represents crafty slyness. In exile, we are less afraid of physical death and more afraid of our oppressors’ devious use [...]

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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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How to Follow Jewish Customs During Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, also known as the “the Ninth of Av,” is one of the fasting days in Judaism. Fasting is done to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. This Jewish holiday falls on the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in Hebrew calendar. Fasting on Tisha B’Av lasts [...]

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Basic Guide to Observing the Tenth of Tevet

The Tenth of Tevet, also known as Asarah b’Tevet is a Jewish holiday which is observed as a Day of Fasting. Fasting begins at dawn and concludes by nightfall. The Tenth of Tevet marks the onslaught of the siege of Jerusalem by the King of Babylonia,  Nebuchadnezzar. Ancient Jews were exiled for 70 years, which led to [...]

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In Memory Of Our Fallen Soldiers

In Memory Of Our Fallen Soldiers

During the time of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans, a plague killed 24,000 students of our great sage, Rabbi Akiva, in this seven week period between Passover and Shavuot. Over the centuries, the Jewish People experienced many more tragedies (massacres, pogroms, …) during this seven week period. To commemorate these tragedies, we observe [...]

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Tisha B’av - A Communal Day of Mourning

Tisha B’av is a Jewish day of both fasting and mourning. This day occurs on the ninth day of Av. Av is the fifth month of the Jewish calendar. In the western calendar that you are more familiar with, this day usually occurs in either late July or early August. The purpose of this day [...]

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Tisha B’Av Explained

5 CD-ROM Set - A Riveting Tisha B’Av Experienceby Rabbi Berel Wein Please Note: This CD-ROM Series can be played on standard CD Players in your car or at home. The Three Weeks of Mourning, which commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples and the ensuing exile, have significance for every Jewish [...]

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