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Jews Celebrate Canadian Town’s First Torah


The Jewish community of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada, and specifically the members of Chabad of Okanagan, got to take part in a once in a lifetime experience to help complete a Torah, something all members of the Jewish faith hope to do at some point during their life. “The Torah is the […]

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Brooklyn’s ‘Crazy Chicken Lady’ and the 20-year Fight Against the Kapparot Ritual


For years, Rina Deych was treated like she was crazy. Fighting the Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot, she was told things had always been this way and if she kept up the battle, she would only incite anti-Semitism. Year after year, people would kindly suggest she find another hobby. Cats, maybe. But today, the Brooklyn […]

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How to Make a Shofar for High Holidays


One of the most pinnacle points of the Jewish High Holidays is the blowing of the shofar, which happens no less than 100 times during Rosh Hashana alone. So Jewish News One went to the Golan Heights to one of only three shofar factories in the world to discover how a kosher shofar is created. […]

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President Barack Obama’s Rosh Hashanah Greeting


U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued a video greeting to the Jewish people in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. “As the high holy days begin, it’s a chance not just to celebrate with family and friends, but to ask some of life’s most piercing questions,” said Obama. “Am I treating strangers […]

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Rosh Hashana: The Sound of the Shofar


What is the essence of our faith, the purpose for which the Jewish people have been placed in the world? Fascinatingly enough, the answer is to be found within the central prayer of our Rosh Hashana liturgy: the three blessings, uniquely found within the Additional (Musaf) prayer of Rosh Hashana, of “Malchuyot” (kingship), “Zichronot” (remembrances) […]

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A Jewish Thought on Labor Day


It’s Labor Day once again, which brings up some very important questions: Where is the best Labor Day sale? Where did I put my dark hats? Labor Day has been around since 1882; after 129 years, perhaps it’s time to dust off the holiday, shine some light on it and figure out what it’s all […]

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Urgent Call to Restock Shaitel Gemach


With the High Holidays quickly approaching and too many people feeling the pinch of the economic downturn, more women than ever have been calling the Pesha Leah Shaitel Gemach, desperate for what is likely to be the only new item they’ll acquire for Yomtov. “Our supply of shaitels has quickly depleted, dashing the hopes of […]

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Celebrating My Right to Vote: Women’s Equality Day


With Women’s Equality Day just around the corner, voting has been on my mind. And, I’ll admit it, voting isn’t usually on my mind—especially during August. But Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates women’s right to vote, has me thinking about voting. I’m a pretty civic-minded person—fast to roll my eyes at people who tell me […]

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Tattoos on Jews: Myths and Jewish Law


If a Jew gets a tattoo, he or she cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery. But is that statement a fact, or a myth? And what about Jews who are tattooed unwillingly? Tattoo artist Kevin Campbell is Jewish. He’s currently tattooing a Jewish-themed image on Brandan Lobenfeld, who is also Jewish. Both believe their […]

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Come Visit Non-Orthodox Kotel Section


Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, who is also the Minister of Religions, and Minister of Jerualem and the Diaspora, among his other portfolios, issued a call to members of Reform, Conservative, and other non-Orthodox streams, to visit the new prayer section that the Ministry of Religions has set up next to the Kotel Plaza. “Today […]

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Dayenu. Dayenu. Dayenu.


This past year, I took a group of seven teens on a tour of the American South. The trip was inspired by my desire to infuse young people with a sense of history and context as it relates to Judaism in the South and Jews in the Civil Rights Movement. We began in Atlanta, then […]

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“It Could Lead to Mixed Dancing” is Antiquated and Needs to be Replaced


Whenever something is banned or restricted in the frum community, people like to jokingly say that it could lead to mixed dancing. This line is from our parents generation, yet somehow it has remained the one line that people can say half jokingly in response to some of the crazy chumros and bans in recent […]

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Two Trees (of Life) Grow in Brooklyn


Zachary Ruttenberg first connected with Chabad last year in Mumbai, India, where he was living at the time. Two young rabbinical students from the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., showed up at the synagogue where he was praying—Magen David in Colaba—and said if he was ever in Brooklyn, he should look them up. A year and several countries […]

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An End to Kosher Slaughter? Stem Cell Meat Takes on Factory Farming


In order to keep the price of meat down and quantities of production up, farmers have developed methods for mass producing meat that are both cruel to animals and harmful to the environment. The method is known as factory farming. Each full-grown chicken in a factory farm, where the majority of chickens are raised, has […]

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What Can We Do About the Tuition Crisis?


Dear Readers, H-E-L-P! I may sound like a broken record to Matzav readers, and yes it is always an issue every year around this time, but so many of us are suffering and nobody is helping us. Please, there is probably no bigger issue facing Klal Yisroel today than the tuition crisis and what it is […]

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Exploring London’s Jewish West End


The history of the Jewish East End is well-documented, but few know the history of the Jewish West End. At its peak in the late 19th century, about 25,000 Jews moved here from the East End of London and Eastern Europe and Yiddish was the predominant language heard on these streets. London’s core, Soho, unites […]

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Floods Threaten Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region


As many as 100,000 people may be evacuated from their homes near Russia’s border with China if the region’s biggest floods for 120 years get worse, Russian media reported on Saturday. The floods, caused by a month of unusually heavy rain, are not expected to start receding until early September, the head of Russia’s hydrometeorology […]

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Talks Over Oldest US Synagogue Fail


Mediation has failed in lawsuits between the oldest US synagogue and the country’s first Jewish congregation over ownership issues. Lawyers for the leaders of New York City’s Congregation Shearith Israel and Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island tell The Associated Press they were unable to agree during mediation overseen by a federal judge. The lawsuits will […]

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Israeli Tech Startup Wants Silence

Silentium Israel Tech Startup (2)

It’s no secret that Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Middle East. With thousands of tech companies and start-ups, Israel has become just as well-known as a center for technology innovation as it is for hummus. Between two visits to Israel earlier this year, I made my annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land for […]

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You Only Live Twice

Samuel Sandler, an aeronautical engineer and head of the Jewish community in Versailles, France, announced a few weeks ago that he’d had the local synagogue registered as a national landmark. “My feeling is that our congregation will be gone within twenty or thirty years,” he told friends, “and I don’t want the building demolished or, […]

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New Chief Rabbis Sworn in, Commit to Bringing Am Yisrael Together

In the presence of family, friends, rabbis, justices and public officials, the new chief rabbis, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, were sworn in on Wednesday. In a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the rabbis swore allegiance to the State of Israel and committed to provide fair justice in their role as members of […]

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Rabbi Ariel: ‘Banks are the Last Place to Borrow Money From’

If you need a loan, the place to get it is at a gemach, a free loan society, that charges no interest, but may include a “usage fee,” according to Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel. Rabbi Ariel was on the “short list” for Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, and is considered a scholar of note by […]

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What We Can Learn from Shabbos Davening Times


I have to be honest, I never gave the times people start shabbos morning davening much thought until I realized that the whole world didn’t just start at 9am. In general the orthodox Jewish way is to start shachris at 9am, but in reality once you start to nitpick you will find that the more […]

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Nefesh B’ Nefesh Flight Brings 330 more North American Immigrants to Israel

Some 330 North Americans making aliya to Israel arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday morning on a flight chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh. Among the new arrivals were 125 young people making aliya in order to serve Israel in the IDF. This summer, a total of 2,500 olim were expected to arrive in Israel on Nefesh […]

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Book Lists 1,000 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Can dating and fun coincide? For many singles, those two words are polar opposites. Many singles get burnt out, jaded and perpetuate an annoyingly unproductive cycle of “failed” dates. Yet one women is pushing the dating scene into a newly formatted direction. The book, 1,000 Questions to ask before getting married, is an inquisitive question series […]

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That “Aha” Moment


Every teacher has a reason why they entered the world of education. Some say it’s because they love working with children, others say it’s because one teacher made a difference in their lives, and some will admit that it’s because they get holidays and summers off. When people ask why I became a teacher, specifically […]

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Thousands Mark 78 Years Since Rabbi Kook’s Passing

More than 3,000 people visited the tomb of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook on Friday, to mark 78 years since his passing. Rabbi Kook (more commonly known in Hebrew as ”Rav Kook” or “HaRoe”h” - the visionary, an acronym of his name) was born in Griva, Latvia in 1865. He studied at the prestigious Volozhin yeshiva (religious academy), and […]

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N. Orlando Celebrates Commencement of First Torah

Florida governor Rick Scott declared Sunday to be “Torah Day.” The proclamation honored the North Orlando Chabad community and the inauguration of the congregation’s first torah dedicated by Zvi and Dawn Shamu and Paul Sebag. Scott “extended greetings and best wishes upon” Rabbi Yanky Majesky and wife Chanshy on their commitment “to bringing the joy of […]

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Letter to the Editor: Why Make Fun of Yeshivish People so Much

Hi, I happen to run across your blog in doing a search for Pomegranate Supermarket. I read a few of your posts and I have to wonder, why all the negativity about yeshivish people? Many yeshivish bochurim and men (my husband as an example) will not use the internet as these bochurim and men take […]

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Anti-Semitism in Sweden Forces Jews to Question their Future

Attacks against Jews in Malmoe, Sweden’s third largest city, have left members of the community questioning their future in a place known for its “multiculturalism.” Jewish people have lived in Malmoe for over two centuries, often arriving in the south Swedish port city - a safe haven for generations - after fleeing persecution and intolerance in other parts of Europe. But […]

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