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eBay Sale of ‘Western Wall Stones’ Prompts Outcry in Jewish World

The rabbi of the Western Wall on Monday filed a police complaint about an Internet auction site selling stones from the holy site. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz also warned that anyone buying the stones from eBay would receive a curse, not a blessing. The stones are being offered for $4.99 each, or $9.95 if shipped outside [...]

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Our Work is Published in the World’s Most Expensive Jewish Books: $970 or $1,004

Our Work is Published in the World's Most Expensive Jewish Books: $970 or $1,004

These may be the World’s Most Expensive Jewish Books. And they have our work inside. The Law of Agriculture in the Mishnah and the Tosefta Translation, Commentary, Theology ($970 if ordered from Brill) ($1,004 from Amazon) Our contributions are Berakhot (pages 398-574) and Hallah (pages 2601-2627). The book set is not titled accurately. Tractate Berakhot, the first in [...]

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Medieval Siddur reveals egalitarian prayer

Medieval Siddur reveals egalitarian prayer

“Blessed are you for not creating me a woman” is a blessing recited every morning by observant Jewish men, originally found in the Talmud. A fixed part of the morning liturgy, this passage demonstrates the challenges to contemporary men and women presented by the sexist nature of the Traditional text. The Traditional blessing for women, [...]

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Katy Perry’s dad regrets anti-Jew remarks

Katy Perry's dad regrets anti-Jew remarks

A suburban Cleveland church where the father of pop star Katy Perry delivered a sermon that drew accusations of anti-Semitism has released an apology in which he says he regrets his “hurtful and ugly language.” Pastor Paul Endrei of the Church on the Rise in Westlake said Wednesday that Perry’s father, the Rev. Keith Hudson, [...]

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Practical Judaism II: Mizmor L’Todah part 2

Practical Judaism II: Mizmor L’Todah part 2

Does one recite Hagomel after a flight? Some authorities rule not to say the bracha, because flights have become routine. Others say that if one flies over an ocean or desert then one should recite it. Rav Moshe Feinstein held that one says Hagomel after every flight because it is an act of overcoming nature. [...]

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Dvar Torah Vayigash: Twist in the Text

Dvar Torah Vayigash: Twist in the Text

Mark Twain, not in possession of the Jewish mesorah, made an interesting comparative assessment of Joseph and Esau in his best-selling work, The Innocents Abroad. Without Rashi as a companion, Jacob very much appears to take advantage of Esau’s hunger to swindle him out of his birthright — whatever that means — only to have [...]

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Jewish Calendar II #16-Mehadrin Min Hamehadrin

Chanukah is a unique holiday in that the Gemara delineates two extra levels of hiddur mitzvah (enhancing the mitzva) when lighting the candles. The basic mitzva is for the head of the household to light one candle each night for the whole family. However, there is a level of mehadrin where each family member lights [...]

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Hilchot Shabbat: Final Halachot of Havdala class #17

Havdala is recited twice, the first time in Maariv with the blessing of Ata Chonantanuand again over a cup of wine. Why do we say Havdala in the blessing of Atah Chonen? The Yerushalmi in Brachot says, “Im ein da’at havdala minayin.” Without intellect, it is impossible to distinguish between different things. To make Havdala, [...]

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Complex Happiness

We are living in a moment of Jewish historic significance, one which embodies the blessing: “Thank you God for helping us arrive at this day.” This Simchat Torah, we express joy not only as we complete the reading of the Torah, but as we come to the end of a five year struggle to achieve [...]

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Hindus send greetings to Jews on Sukkot

Hindus have sent greetings to Jewish communities all over the world for the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a release in Nevada, expressed warmest greetings on the upcoming Sukkot, wishing happiness, health, peace, joy, prosperity, blessings and good times to all the Jews. Rajan Zed, who is the President of Universal [...]

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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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Huts Geared to Tourists Signal Sukkot’s Arrival

Just before Epcot Center’s ticket counters, to the right of guest relations, visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., can expect to see a sign welcoming them to a specially-erected sukkah. Sponsored for the past eight years by Chabad-Lubavitch of South Orlando, the temporary hut covered with branches – a fixture of [...]

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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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Sheldon Yellen - CEO and Mensch

Yesterday morning, we heard the words from the Torah portion Ki Tavo, which included the blessing that God shall make us the head and not the tail. This blessing is often repeated on Rosh Hashanah Eve and some even have the head of a fish on their holiday dinner table as a reminder of this blessing. [...]

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Top 10 frummy obsessions

God provided me this idea in the middle of shemona esrei, I was saying chonen h’daas which is a pretty cool blessing for someone who sometimes takes the brain for granted and God put forth the idea to write about the frummy obsession with Wal Mart. I was thinking of this, because although Wal Mart [...]

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Nephew Of Murdered Kabbalist Threatened With Death By Known Criminal

Nephew Of Murdered Kabbalist Threatened With Death By Known Criminal

Ynet is reporting that a known criminal threatened to kill Rabbi Moshe Turgeman, the nephew of the murdered kabbalist Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, as he was going home from his yeshiva in Netanya Tuesday night. Last month, Abuhatzeira was murdered by a follower, Rabbi Asher Dahan, who was upset that Abuhatzeira’s blessings and advice to him [...]

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Re’eh - Giving Blessings Not Curses

Re'eh - Giving Blessings Not Curses

It has become very common for businesses and organizations to send out weekly email messages to their list of subscribers. There is nothing unusual about that. But I’ve noticed an increasing number of individuals who have begun to share their own wisdom and commentary on the issues of the day with their friends and family. [...]

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The “O”-Word

The recent suggestion by the rabbi of a West Coast Orthodox congregation that one of the birchos hashachar (morning blessings) recited each day by Torah-observant Jews be eliminated—he sees it as insufficiently enlightened—is a reminder of an unpleasant but pressing task facing the Jewish community: To define the word “Orthodox.” Words are mangled with disturbing [...]

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From Apher To Pe’er-Tisha B’av

The Midrash tells us that Hashem asked the great sages and prophets, “Al mah avda h’aretz,”-Why was the land lost? Nobody was able to answer until Hashem Himself said, “Al shelo barchu b’Torah techila“-Because they did not recite the blessings on the Torah. This seems puzzling. Normally, a mourner begins mourning after the burial and [...]

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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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Thousands attend funeral of slain kabbalah rabbi

Thousands of people on Friday attended the funeral of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira who was stabbed to death on Thursday night in Be’er Sheva while he was hosting guests for consultation at a yeshiva near his home. Among the participants in the funeral events were family members and leaders of the Shas movement. Abuhatzeira will be [...]

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Growing In Ruchniyut During The Three Weeks

Growing In Ruchniyut During The Three Weeks

When we visualize the Beit Hamikdash in its glory, we imagine there was nothing holier than it. Yet Chazal tell us that studying Torah is even greater. “Hashem consoled David who did not merit to build the Beit Hamikdash, “One day of Torah learning in your courtyard is greater in my eyes than one thousand [...]

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Israel for Everyone?

Question: I know living in Israel should be every Jew’s dream but it doesn’t seem to be the best choice for my family right now. There are many reasons keeping us where we are including health and financial considerations. Am I wrong for only wanting to go there when Mashiach comes? Answer: As Jews our [...]

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Declaration of Dependence

Today is Independence Day. Guess this is one of those quirky years when it coincides with July the 4th. It is a day when we grill the flesh of bovines in our backyards and our own epidermis’ on beaches. Somewhere, deep in the hidden strata of our collective societal subconscious, we also exult in breaking [...]

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Independence Hall Museum

Independence Hall Museum, Israel

Independence Hall Museum stood firm and steadfast in the historic Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Israel. This hall symbolizes the unwavering and unbendable faith and strength of Israel under years of tyranny, persecution and sufferings. In this very hall, in May 14, 1948, Friday at exactly 4 pm, the first Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion declared the [...]

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First Time: Temple Mount Priestly Blessing on Jerusalem Day

Hundreds of religious Jews from all streams were able to happily commemorate the 44th anniversary of the first-ever entry of Israeli soldiers onto the TempleMount. For the first time in the history of Israeli restrictions on Jewish entry to the Temple Mount, the recitation of the Priestly Blessing was permitted there.  It happened on Wednesday, Jerusalem [...]

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The Never Ending Book

On Monday, C. Alexander London wrote about being an accidental adventurer. He will be blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog. By the far the question I am asked most often by my young readers is, as well as by teachers and librarians: “When does the next Accidental Adventures book come out?” It’s a flattering question [...]

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Parshat Bechukotai: Blessings of the Torah

Parshat Bechukotai begins, “If you will walk in my statutes to keep my commandments and perform them.” We learn from this that there are three parts to Torah: l’amol, to work at it and study it; lishmor, to know it and protect it within ourselves through consistent review; and v’asitem, to practice it by actually [...]

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Jewish And Kabbalah Jewelry

Jewish jewelry has a great look and a powerful spiritual value, built in technology of healing, protection, success and positive energy. It offers the oldest wisdom on earth, tracking back more then 4000 years. Using the universe laws, Kabbalah jewelry items will provide you the wisdom to solve your real life issues. Jewish jewelry represents [...]

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Dvar Torah Behar: Conditional Guarantee

For the past year or so, I’ve been reading the government welfare blessings in English while the guy reads it aloud in the shul at which I daven and just tonight, I discovered a correlation with something from this week’s parsha. When we ask that “Yisrael yishkon lavetach” (Israel should dwell in security), I see [...]

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