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Rosh Hashanah and the Shofar Blasts

A common symbol of Judaism that is almost always found in the Jewish home is the shofar. A shofar is the horn of a kosher animal that has had the marrow removed so it can be blown into. The shofar is blown to commemorate Rosh Hashanah, also known as “The Feast of the Trumpets” or “The Day of the [...]

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Orthodox Jewish clothing

Jewish clothing is rather different from the clothing that people of other religions or confessions wear normally. Given the emphasis laid by the faith on the soul rather than external looks, Orthodox Jewish clothing is dominated by modesty rather than striking appearances. There are differences on the clothing rules for men and women, being rather tight with regard to the latter. [...]

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The Second Passover and Guarding of the Wheat

Not everyone knows that there's a Second Passover on the Jewish calendar, especially people who are not really familiar with Judaism. The Second Passover, which is known as Pesach Sheni was observed this year on May 14th.Pesach Sheni is always observed on the 14th of Iyar, and is held for anyone who was not able to bring the offering in [...]

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The Countdown to Shavuot Has Begun

The Festival of Weeks is almost here, although the countdown began weeks ago. For those who are unfamiliar with the Jewish holiday Shavuot, which is also known as the Festival of Weeks, it occurs this year on June 4. Shavuot is the second of three major festivals of agricultural and historical importance in Judaism.What is the Festival of Weeks?The Festival [...]

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You Are Invited to a Passover Seder

If you have Jewish relatives or friends, there's a good chance you will be invited to join their celebration of Passover at a Seder. If so, it would be useful to know something about the historical background and unique practices of a rite that will be practiced in varying ways by Jews of all levels [...]

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A Brief History Of Jewish Names

In the beginning Jewish people did not have surnames. Surnames for Sephardic Jewish people were introduced around the time of the 10 th century in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The popularity of this in Eastern Europe and Germany did not come till much later with the Ashkenazi Jewish people. When delving into the Avotaynu site of Jewish genealogy, a person of Jewish origin [...]

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Important Dates In Judaism

Historically the most important dates in Judaism began around 5772 years ago, although these dates are not always agreed to by all. Around 4115 years ago, the creation occurred. Then the Flood came around 3824 years ago. Abraham was born 3324 years ago. God created the Torah and gave it to Abraham as His law for the people of Israel around 2843 [...]

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A Brief History Of Early Jewish Art

A Brief History Of Early Jewish Art Up until the 18 th century, Rabbinical authorities believed that visual Jewish art was prohibited by the Second Commandment. Around this time visual Jewish art qualified as “graven images” and Jewish artists were rare until they were found living within assimilated European communities. Despite early religious community fears that the art could be used for [...]

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The Meaning of Chai

Chai (pronounced [xai], occasionally [ħai]) is a symbol and word that figures prominently in Jewish culture and consists of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet Het (ח) and Yod (י). In the Hebrew language, the word chai (חַי) spelled by these two letters means "living," is related to the term for "life," chaim, and also [...]

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Celebrating Chanukah

Centuries ago, following the defeat of Greek ruler, King Antiochius, a Jewish priest named Judas Maccabbee reclaimed and rededicated the Second Temple of the Jewish people. Putting an end to the tyranny of the King was a grand feat. To purify the Temple during rededication, a single lamp was lit in the Temple, although there [...]

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