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Delhi’s last ten Jewish families guard an ancient heritage

Delhi's last ten Jewish families guard an ancient heritage

In the capital of one of the world’s most religiously-diverse countries, a Rabbi who has never been ordained bends ancient customs, ensuring New Delhi’s ten Jewish families a place to worship.

Unlike traditional synagogues, there is no separation of men and women as Jewish-born worshipers, converts and followers of other faiths chant Psalms in perfect Hebrew, with doors thrown open …

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In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language

In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language

Joel M. Hoffman

Publisher: NYU Press

Joel Hoffman lectures and teaches classes on biblical and rabbinic Hebrew and translation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He is the head translator for Jewish Lights’ seven-volume prayerbook and commentary series, My People’s Prayerbook. He lives in the NYC area.

Hebrew as a language is just over 3,000 years old, and the …

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Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

Jon Entine

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Could our sense of who we are really turn on a sliver of DNA? In our multiethnic world, questions of individual identity are becoming increasingly unclear. Now in ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN bestselling author Jon Entine vividly brings to life the profound human implications of the Age of Genetics while illuminating one of today’s most …

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A History of the Hebrew Language

A History of the Hebrew Language

Angel Saenz-Badillos, Shelomo Morag (translator)

Publisher: Cambridge University

A History of the Hebrew Language is a comprehensive description of Hebrew from its Semitic origins and the earliest settlement of the Israelite tribes in Canaan to the present day. Professor Sá enz-Badillos sets Hebrew in the context of the Northwest Semitic languages and examines the origins of Hebrew and …

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Aleph-Bet Yoga: Embodying the Hebrew Letters for Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

Aleph-Bet Yoga: Embodying the Hebrew Letters for Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

Steven A. Rapp

Publisher: Jewish Lights

Jewish Yoga? Yes!

“If you are curious about hatha yoga, Aleph-Bet Yoga provides a safe introduction to the basic yoga postures and techniques. If you are one of the tens of thousands of Jews who already practice hatha yoga, Aleph-Bet Yoga will connect your yoga to something explicitly Jewish. With its Jewish content and intent, Aleph-Bet Yoga …

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Listen to Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible

Listen to Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible

Miki Raver

Publisher: Children’s Press

Eve, Sarah, Rachel, Delilah, Ruth — their names live on, but their ancient stories have long been obscured. In this sumptuously illustrated retelling of the lives of 18 women in the Hebrew Bible, we are reunited with Deborah, the warrior prophetess, Tamar, the sacred prostitute, Esther, the harem girl turned savior queen, and many other …

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Dinah’s Daughters: Gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to Late Antiquity

Dinah's Daughters: Gender and Judaism from the Hebrew Bible to Late Antiquity

Helena Zlotnick

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

The status of women in ancient Judaism (Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic texts) has long been a contested issue. What does being a Jewess entail in antiquity? Men in ancient Jewish cultures are defined primarily by what duties they are expected to perform, the course of action that they take. The Jewess, in contrast, is bound by …

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Righteous Gentiles in the Hebrew Bible: Ancient Role Models for Sacred Relationships

Jeffrey K. Salkin

Publisher: Jewish Lights

Now more than ever, gentiles are an integral part of the Jewish community. But they are not new to the Jewish story. In fact, righteous gentiles go back to Abraham. The story of the Jewish people can’t be told without them.

Noted author and educator Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin provides an informative and inspiring look at the sympathetic …

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Why Hebrew Goes from Right to Left - 201 Things You Never Knew About Judaism

Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs

Publisher: Ktav

In the great body of Jewish literature there are many incredibly fascinating (but relatively unknown) curiosities, strange facts, unusual statements and oddities that have accumulated over Judaism’s illustrious history. Why does Hebrew go from right to left? Are there Jewish remedies for toothaches and nose bleeds that are found in the Talmud? Are …

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Top 10 things to do in Arad, Israel

1.) Tel Arad National Park

Tel Arad National Park is an archaeological site with remnants of an important city from the Canaanite and Israelite periods. It is divided into a lower city and an upper hill,  a citadel and sanctuary that were constructed in the time of King David and King Solomon. It is located on the outskirts of the modern city of Arad in the south district of …

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20th anniversary of Brooklyn race riots marked

In the back of an empty Jewish deli in Brooklyn, two central figures from race riots that broke out 20 years ago Friday sat together at a wooden table before a plate of corned beef sandwiches.Carmel Cato lost his son, Gavin, when the seven-year-old black boy was crushed in an auto accident involving a motorcade of a Jewish religious leader.

Norman Rosenbaum’s brother, Yankel, was …

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Jerusalem scholars trace Bible’s evolution

A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events …

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Devarim - The Importance of Hebrew

As a child, one of my favorite songs was a silly song that taught new Hebrew words using English puns (“Etz a nice tree! How do you say ‘tree’ in Hebrew? Etz!). The refrain is “Ivrit, Ivrit, Ivrit Daber Ivrit” (Hebrew, Hebrew, Speak Hebrew). This song was a staple at Family Camp during my youth and now my own children love to sing it too.

I’ve taught this song on the bus during …

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Ancient Torah Stolen, Found in Taibe

Israeli Police made a surprising discovery Thursday as they searched a home in the predominantly Arab city of Taibe – an ancient Torah scroll.

The occupant of the house in which the scroll was found was arrested and taken in for questioning. The scroll was taken to the local police station as well.

Officers wrapped their hands carefully before moving it in order to avoid damaging …

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Arad Hebrew Music Festival

The Arad Hebrew Music Festival started in the mid 1980’s. It is an annual Festival happening every summer attracting teenagers and is similar to “Woodstock”. The festival is held throughout the city of Arad. It accentuates a variety of music performances giving tribute to Israeli music. It began as a popular song festival organized for groups of song aficionados who meet regularly to …

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Times: Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs on the Fourth of July

Quite an interesting op-ed, and sure to stir some controversy in its negative characterization of the Orthodox view of the kosher nature of Hebrew National products.

Red, White and Kosher

By SUE FISHKOFF

Oakland, Calif.

IN 1972, a TV commercial changed the way Americans looked at kosher food. It showed Uncle Sam munching on a Hebrew National beef hot dog as a heavenly voice …

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The Ancient Bath House in Nazareth

Ancient Bath House in Nazareth, Israel is an historical treasure discovered in 1990′s by a couple named Elias Shama and his Belgian wife Martina when they were having a renovation at their art and souvenir shop “Cactus” just beside the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Gabriel, next to Mary’s Well Square  in the heart of Nazareth,. The couple could not imagine that through their …

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Learn Hebrew with the Fastest Translator

Learn Hebrew with the Fastest Translator

If you are learning Hebrew as a new language you might encounter some frustration when you don’t understand the meaning of key words or phrases when reading a text. If you’re reading a book in Hebrew and needing to open a dictionary every few minutes, it may even take out all the fun of learning a new language! It is also not very convenient to carry around heavy dictionaries to help with …

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Call Me Jacob (Again): Hebrew Baby Names Still Tops in 2010

A few months ago, I wrote about the predominance of Hebraic names for babies born in the United States in 2009. The Social Security Administration has nowreleased new data for babies born in the U.S. in 2010, and it still looks very much like a Jewish nation, at least in our pediatric wards.

The top 10 list for newborn boys begins with Jacob, of “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” fame, who …

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Top 50 things to do in Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

1.)  Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is also called as the Church of the Resurrection to Eastern Orthodox Christians, located in the Old city of Jerusalem, far famed as the Christians holiest site and has been an significant pilgrimage since the 4th century. A monumental landmark respected as the Golgotha or Calvary wherein Christ was crucified and the tomb …

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Tisch Family Zoological Garden in Jerusalem

Tisch Family Zoological Garden in Jerusalem

The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, publicly recognized as the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens was formerly founded in 1928 by the late Prof. Aharon Shuloy, one of the pioneers in the field of zoology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  It started out as a small children’s zoo located at Harav Kook Street in central Jerusalem. In 1947, the zoo was transferred to the Hebrew University on …

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Desecration, attacks at ancient Jewish cemetery

A wide patch of steep hillside overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City holds row after row of graves. Biblical prophets, revered rabbis and a prime minister are buried there. Yet many of the tombstones have been smashed, litter is strewn around and tethered donkeys defecate on top of graves.

The ancient cemetery is just one point of contention in the struggle for control of Jerusalem, an …

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Royal couple to receive Hebrew scroll for wedding

Royal couple to receive Hebrew scroll for wedding

A professional scribe will present Prince William and Kate Middleton with a specially-made scroll in Hebrew and English for their upcoming royal wedding on Thursday.

Mike Horton will hand over the scroll he made himself to British Ambassador Matthew Gould at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv.

“A friend came up with the idea of writing a scroll for the wedding of Prince William and …

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Rediscovered, Ancient ‘tekhelet’ Color Is Reclaiming Israeli Interest

One of the mysteries that scholars have puzzled over for centuries is the exact shade of blue represented by “tekhelet,” which the Bible mentions as the color of ceremonial robes donned by high priests and ritual prayer tassels worn by the common Israelite.

What was known about tekhelet (pronounced t-CHELL-et) was that the Talmud said it was produced from the secretion of the sea …

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Rabbis Throw Planned New Jersey Hebrew Charter School Shalom Academy Under the Bus

Rabbis Throw Planned New Jersey Hebrew Charter School Shalom Academy Under the Bus

Jewish Week reports that a kashrut official and an area rabbi and several others are speaking out last-minute against a planned New Jersey Hebrew charter school.

To our mind, after first supporting it, now throwing a major new school project under the bus is not a very kosher thing to do, especially when the rabbis in question have no visible education credentials or experience.

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Rahm Emanuel has commanding lead in Chicago mayoral race

The poll, released Thursday evening, showed Emanuel with the support of 44 percent of those surveyed. Former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun polled at 21 percent, and former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico at 16 percent. City Clerk Miguel del Valle had 7 percent support, while 9 percent were undecided, the poll found. Two other candidates got negligible support. All the …

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Is the Hullin Scroll the Oldest Talmud Manuscript Ever Recovered?

Is the Hullin Scroll the Oldest Talmud Manuscript Ever Recovered?

We were delighted in December, 2009 to hear Professor Shamma Friedman speak at a Talmud department seminar at JTS. He spoke about a controversial scholarly issue: whether Maimonides intended his Mishneh Torah to replace the Talmud.

This event reminded us of a Talmudic fact that Professor Friedman brought to light several years ago, i.e., that the Talmud was at an early time circulated …

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YU launches Hebrew mentoring workshop

YU launches Hebrew mentoring workshop

Yeshiva University announced recently that seven honors students from the Yeshiva University high schools will be participating in a new independent study Hebrew literature course in which they will be mentored by a renowned Israeli author with the goal of developing their Hebrew-language creative writing skills.

Entitled “Meet the Israeli Author,” the workshop is the first of …

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Hebrew University’s Sarcasm Detector One of Year’s Best Inventions (Time Magazine)

Hebrew University's Sarcasm Detector One of Year's Best Inventions (Time Magazine)

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Jews aren’t sarcastic at all!

Okay, that was me being sarcastic, but the problem with the Jewish tradition of sarcasm is that it doesn’t translate well in Cyberspace where tone of speech doesn’t come through in text. That’s why it makes sense that the ability for computers to detect sarcastic speech has been developed in the Jewish …

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Save 88% on the Kindle Jewish Book Bargain of the Week: Avodah - Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur edited by Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom

Save 88% on the Kindle Jewish Book Bargain of the Week: Avodah - Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur edited by Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom

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Save $57.96. The dead tree edition of the book is $65.95 at Amazon but… the Kindle edition is $7.99.

Now that is some real Jewish book news! Be still my beating heart!

Seriously, the rich and informative introduction is worth the price of the book. And if you are teaching a course on the “Liturgy of the Days of Awe,” then you must have this book.

Read More: …

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