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Thousands Answer ‘Amen’ at the Priestly Blessing in Jerusalem

Tens of thousands attended services at the Kotel [Western Wall] on Sunday to receive the annual mass Birkhat Kohanim (priestly blessing) in Jerusalem. Large numbers of Kohanim face the congregation to bless them as they did when the Holy Temple stood and Jews came to Jerusalem for the holiday. What is the “priestly blessing”? Recited silently daily by [...]

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Paul McCartney’s new bride gets synagogue blessing ahead of wedding

Former Beatle Paul McCartney married American heiress Nancy Shevell on Sunday, after receiving a blessing at a local London synagogue. McCartney wed the divorced New Yorker in a civil ceremony at London’s Marylebone Register Office before 30 invited guests, ahead of a reception in his back garden in north London, reports said. He reportedly serenaded [...]

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How to Observe the First Night of Hanukkah

For many Jewish families, the first night of Hanukkah is the most important one. The first night of Hanukkah opens the entire eight-day celebration. Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah by preparing Jewish traditional foods, lighting the Hanukkah menorah, saying special prayers, and exchanging gifts. Jewish games like the dreidel and the Hanukkah gelt hunt [...]

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Lighting an Oil-Based Menorah for Hanukkah

Although many people use candles to light a Hanukkah menorah, using lamps with oil and floating wicks is still considered more traditional since the ancient Jews originally used oil to light the lamp in the Temple for eight days which is the basis for the holiday. Prepare the menorah you will use for the lighting [...]

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Birkat Hachama: The Wonder of God’s Creation

According to Jewish belief, the sun was created on the fourth day (Tuesday or Halachic fourth day). Birkat Hachama (Blessing of the Sun) refers to a special Jewish blessing said to show appreciation of the sun as it completes its cycle every 28 years on a Tuesday at sundown. It is believed that the sun [...]

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The Origin of Maoz Tzur

As a kid, my mother would usually usher us into the table, light the menorah and everyone sings the Maoz Tzur. I have always wondered why of the many Jewish songs, we choose to sing Maoz Tzur during the holiday so I’ve made a little research of this famous Jewish song and its significance to [...]

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Hanukkah Blessings

Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated for eight days to commemorate the victory of Judah Maccabees over King Antiochus IV of Syria thousands of years ago. It came with the famous story of the miraculous jar of oil that should have lasted for a day, but burned for eight days. How to Recite the Three Hanukkah [...]

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Jewish Wedding Canopy

“He is the half part of a blessed man Left to be finished by such as she, and she, a fair divided excellence whose fullness of perfection lies in him.” – By William Shakespeare A marriage is forged by destiny; it should be a new beginning of life and a new starting point for happiness [...]

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40,000 throng Western Wall Plaza for Birkat Hakohanim

40,000 throng Western Wall Plaza for Birkat Hakohanim

Some 40,000 Jewish worshipers thronged the Western Wall Plaza Sunday to take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pesach. The blessing, known in Hebrew as the Birkat Hakohanim, is a public gathering in which the Kohanim – the priestly class – bestow upon the [...]

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Jewish Living: Sabbath

The word Sabbath derives from the Hebrew Shabbat which means to cease or stop. It was derived first in the Biblical entries of Genesis, telling the story of the seven days of Creation. Sabbath is observed as the seventh day of the week, on which we are required to rest, in remembrance of the creation [...]

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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 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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Lighting the Menorah for Hanukkah

Lighting the Menorah is a primary ritual done during the celebration of Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. A Hanukkah Menorah is a candelabrum with nine branches. It is mitzvah (commanded by God) to light a Hanukkah Menorah each night for 8 days to recollect the Maccabees’ victory and the sacred oil that lit for [...]

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What to do During Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is a Jewish holiday dedicated to fasting and self-denial. This is when Jews abstain from food, sexual relations and everything that will give them personal pleasure. Yom Kippur is an important day on the Jewish calendar and all Jews devote their day to fasting and prayers. Prepare yourself [...]

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Lighting Candles for Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday commonly referred to as “Jewish New Year.” It is a day of contemplating and honoring God. As with other major Jewish holidays, lighting a candle is very significant during Rosh Hashanah. Lighting a candle is a great way to to honor God, thanking him for the gift of life. [...]

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Sefirah (Counting of the Omer) - Getting Prepared to Receive the Torah

There are forty-nine days or seven weeks between the Jewish holidays of Pesach, commonly known in English as Passover, and Shavuot. According to Jewish custom, these days are to be counted aloud. This counting is known as “counting of the Omer.” The seven weeks or forty-nine days is known as Sefirah. The exact beginning or [...]

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Prayer Practice

Learn Ten Tefilla Tunes! For Windows and Macintosh Pray like a Pro! Prayer Practice teaches you how to sing ten basic prayers:Adon OlamAshreiFirst Paragraph of ShemaBeginning of AmidahAleinuFriday night Kiddush part 1Friday night Kiddush part 2Shalom AleichemTorah BlessingsBirkat Hamazon (Only the first parts that are usually sung out-loud.)Each line is highlighted as it is sung. [...]

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The Laws of Pesach A Digest - 2009

Special Edition: Includes Birkat HaChamahby Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz, ztlEdited by Rabbi Y.Y. Blumenkrantz, Rabbi Y.M. Blumenkrantz and Rabbi A. Blumenkrantz Updated yearly, this most popular and definitive guide to the laws of Passover also contains the most comprehensive list of permitted foods, household products, and medications for Passover. Also includes articles on pertinent halachac topics. [...]

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Bircas HaChamah - New Expanded Edition

Blessing of the Sun, Renewal of Creation: A halachic analysis and anthology with a new translation and commentaryby Rabbi J. David Bleich Every twenty-eight years, for a few hours on a Wednesday morning in April, throngs of Jews fill streets, sidewalks, rooftops, and parks for the most infrequent ritual in Judaism. It marks the return [...]

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Once in 28 Years

The Blessing of the Sun: Birkas Hachamahby Rabbi Moshe Goldberger Its a rare opportunity. Dont miss it. On April 8, 2009 millions worldwide will commemorate the day the sun was created. Join this powerful and inspiring event. It happens Once in 28 Years. Once every twenty-eight years we get a tiny glimpse of the world [...]

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The Sun Cycle

Including The Sun Blessing and it’s Lawsby Yehuda Herskowitz Rare as it is, the Birkas hachama or the Sun Blessing brings together an astonishing array of ideas. Law, lore, astronomy, calendar, and ritual all combine on this day to create a fascinating ritual. The material in this book is woven of the various strands which [...]

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Birkat Hachamah - According to Chabad Custom

Hebrew/English; Includes Laws and Customs of Birkat Hachamah This bi-lingual edition of the order of Birkat Hachama (Blessing of the Sun) contains, on the Hebrew side, a compilation of the Chabad customs regarding the Blessing on the Sun (a once in 28 years obligation) that will be said this year on Erev Pesech, the actual [...]

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The Bedtime Sh’ma

A Goodnight Bookby Sarah GershmanIllustrated by: Kristina Swarner Ages 0-7 Reading stories to children is one of the oldest and most beloved bedtime rituals. ‘Good night’ books help children unwind and feel safe before going to sleep. The sages of Jewish tradition understood the power of bedtime and wisely put together a Jewish ‘good night [...]

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Prayer Practice

Learn Ten Tefilla Tunes! For Windows and Macintosh Pray like a Pro! Prayer Practice teaches you how to sing ten basic prayers:Adon OlamAshreiFirst Paragraph of ShemaBeginning of AmidahAleinuFriday night Kiddush part 1Friday night Kiddush part 2Shalom AleichemTorah BlessingsBirkat Hamazon (Only the first parts that are usually sung out-loud.)Each line is highlighted as it is sung. [...]

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Prayer Practice

Learn Ten Tefilla Tunes! For Windows and Macintosh Pray like a Pro! Prayer Practice teaches you how to sing ten basic prayers:Adon OlamAshreiFirst Paragraph of ShemaBeginning of AmidahAleinuFriday night Kiddush part 1Friday night Kiddush part 2Shalom AleichemTorah BlessingsBirkat Hamazon (Only the first parts that are usually sung out-loud.)Each line is highlighted as it is sung. [...]

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The Bedtime Sh’ma

A Goodnight Bookby Sarah GershmanIllustrated by: Kristina Swarner Ages 0-7 Reading stories to children is one of the oldest and most beloved bedtime rituals. ‘Good night’ books help children unwind and feel safe before going to sleep. The sages of Jewish tradition understood the power of bedtime and wisely put together a Jewish ‘good night [...]

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Branches Baby Blessing

Personalization Includedby Artist Jonathan Kremer A tree of life with branches of love to commemorate the birth of a special child, grandchild, niece or nephew! Available with your choice of border text. Blessing A: English with Hebrew text (as shown): ‘With God’s blessing, be kept safe always. With God’s grace, see the light of the [...]

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Wreath Baby Blessing

Personalization Includedby Artist Jonathan Kremer Delicate vines surround this special baby blessing. Wreath design by Kelly Creed Galfand. Available with your choice of border text. Blessing A: English with Hebrew text (as shown): ‘With God’s blessing, be kept safe always. With God’s grace, see the light of the Creator around you. With God’s favor, find [...]

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Jerusalem havdalah set

Jerusalem Havdalah set by Yair Emanuel. Each wooden article is hand ? painted with a brush using acrylic colors and then lacquered. The functional items can be used for drinking and also be washed by hand in water since they are coated with several layers of lacquer. Size: 10.6′ x 8.3′ (26.9cm x 21.1cm). Havdalah [...]

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Jerusalem havdalah set

Jerusalem Havdalah set by Yair Emanuel. Each wooden article is hand ? painted with a brush using acrylic colors and then lacquered. The functional items can be used for drinking and also be washed by hand in water since they are coated with several layers of lacquer. Size: 10.6′ x 8.3′ (26.9cm x 21.1cm). Havdalah [...]

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