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Two Trees (of Life) Grow in Brooklyn

co-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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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Returns Home After Stroke

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was released from hospital Sunday morning after suffering a mild stroke on Saturday and has been instructed to rest for a number of days. Yosef, 92, was having trouble operating his left hand while praying in the synagogue at his home in Jerusalem during the Shabbat morning service, and […]

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Yom Kippur: 64% fast, 46% Pray

Yom Kippur: 64% fast, 46% Pray

The Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur continues to unite the majority of people in Israel and is mostly marked – despite tempting alternatives – according to tradition, by fasting and praying. A Ynet-Gesher poll reveals that, as in previous years, the majority of the public plans to fast on the Day of Atonement and […]

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240 ‘Accessible’ Services to be Held on Yom Kippur

A joint project of Tzohar, the Ba’yachad bridge-building organization, the Israel Association for Community Centers and the Ministry for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, will see more than 240 “accessible” prayer services held across the country on Yom Kippur. The motivation behind what is now an annual campaign is to create a welcoming experience for […]

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Later, 5772…Welcome, 5773

Tonight’s sunset brings Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and according to the Torah, the “birthday of the world.” I don’t know if it’s all the new school years or if it’s just embedded in my DNA, but fall indeed always feels to me like the switch-up in the cycle. Every Rosh Hashanah (literally, “head […]

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Jews for Jesus Groups Claim Rapid Growth in U.S.

About 200 congregants filled the stain glassed-windowed sanctuary on a Shabbat morning this spring, praying, singing and welcoming new members. Among the newly welcomed members was a young Israeli man, named Yoav. Not really extraordinary news, except Congregation Beth Hallel in a northern suburb of Atlanta is not a typical synagogue. Indeed, it is a […]

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Shouting in Shul About the Prayer for the State of Israel

There was a shouting match this past Shabbat morning at the 8:30 minyan at the Bnai Yeshurun synagogue in Teaneck. The Gabbai added the single word sheteheh to the Prayer for the State of Israel. That meant he said that we prayed that the Lord protect Israel and that the State will be the first […]

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Channel 10 Features Terror Victims’ Bar/Bat Mitzvah

In a report on last week’s mass Bar Mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall organized by the Chabad Terror Victims Project, Israel’s Channel 10 News featured the tragic story of 13-year-old Eliad Shefi, who lost his older sister when Palestinian terrorists dressed as Israeli soldiers broke into their home in 2002. Shefi joined 85 other […]

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She-mix-ni Atzeret

Tonight starts Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the final round of Jewish holidays — for this month, anyway! Here’s a little mix that I stumbled into putting together, song by song. This morning at synagogue I was getting ready for Shemini Atzeret, which starts tonight, looking ahead in the prayerbook — you know, like peeking […]

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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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The Jewish Women: Inside the Synagogue

The Talmud states that women are generally exempted from doing Jewish religious activities. Orthodox Judaism stresses its importance especially that women have family obligations. There are a number of rules for Jewish women in the synagogues – some observed strictly by the Orthodox sect while other Jewish sects are more lenient about it (Conservative and […]

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A Closer Look at How Women Are Valued in the Jewish Faith

The role of Jewish women has often been misunderstood and misinterpreted. Women’s role in the Jewish community is not as inferior as some critics have assumed. Traditional Jewish laws stipulate that the roles of  women are different from men but not necessarily inferior. Judaism believes in the equality of people. In Judaism, God is not […]

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How is Rosh Hashanah Celebrated?

Rosh Hashanah is a 2-day festival observed on the first and second days of Tishrei. This Jewish holiday is celebrated in lots of different ways by different kinds of Jews. Rosh Hashanah is the only Jewish holiday which is observed for two entire days. Generally, this is celebrated with prayer services in synagogues and festive […]

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