The Blessing of the New Home in Judaism

Pirkei Avot, commonly known by its English name Ethics of the Fathers, is a collection of ethical teachings and maxims of Rabbis from the Mishnaic period. Pirkei Avot appears in the tractate of Avot in the Talmud and is unique in the way that it is the only tractate in the Talmud that deals solely with ethical and moral issues and not legal ones. Continue reading

What on earth do you buy a Tweenager for his Bar Mitzvah?

What does the Bar/Bet Mitzvah celebrate?

The Bar/Bat Mitzvah milestone is a big event in Judaism. A Bar Mitzvah is the name used to refer to a boy who reaches the age of thirteen- at that age he becomes accountable for his actions and takes upon himself the yoke of all 613 commandments. It is also commonly used to describe the party celebrating this occasion. A Jewish girl becomes Bat Mitzvah when she reaches the age of twelve- yes Judaism does believe that girls mature earlier than boys. From here onwards we will just use the term Bar Mitzvah but we are referring to both boys and girls, both Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Continue reading

Your One-Stop Jewish Wedding Gift Guide

There is nothing quite so interesting as attending a Jewish wedding when you have never attended one before. The event is filled with fascinating traditions, customs and behaviors that seem so normal to the participants yet so curious to those unfamiliar with the culture. There is something about Jewish weddings that make them truly touching- even Jewish people who attend hundreds of weddings in their lifetime are touched by the celebration of the commitment of two people to each other in this throw-away culture that we live in. Continue reading

Ten Lesser Known Facts about Hanukkah

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated in the winter. Outside of Hanukkah MenorahIsrael, the festival is often considered as the Jewish equivalent to Xmas but this does not do justice to this wonderful festival that is a festival in its own right, with its own history, symbolism and traditions. Unfortunately, as with many other religions, Hanukkah has been commercialized and each year we find another Hanukkah accessory that we “simply can’t live without.” Sometimes, one just needs to go back to the roots and renew the appreciation for a festival in the simplest way, in order to realize the preciousness of it so we would like to present a list of ten lesser known facts about this wonderful festival, in the hope that it will bring back some of the glory to this special eight-day-period. Continue reading

Will Evil Eye Jewelry Protect Me?

What is the Evil Eye?

There is a prevalent belief in a number of cultures that a malicious gaze can bring evil upon the target of the gaze. It is widely understood that some human beings possess powers that allow them to send what may be termed as destructive rays that can harm those they are envious of or simply dislike. An interesting question is how Judaism relates to such ideas. Continue reading

Original Hanukkah Gifts

Another Hanukkah, another Gift-Fest?

Hanukkah 5763 (or 2012 according to the non-Jewish calendar) is rolling around and before long we will be racking our brains for appropriate holiday gifts. It has become customary to give gifts on the wintery festival of Hanukkah that celebrates the incredible victory of the band of Jewish guerilla fighters known as the Maccabees who fought against the mighty Greek army. Continue reading

A different custom for each day of Hanukkah

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival that is celebrated in the Hebrew month of Kislev has taken on a different character in different communities around the world. Due to the long two-thousand year exile from the land of Israel, the Jewish people lived in different countries and over time these different communities celebrated the Jewish holidays with slightly different twists. Today, as the Jewish people return to their homeland it is fascinating to discover the different customs that evolved around the world in different Jewish communities. Here are eight different customs for each one of the eight nights of Chanukah… Continue reading

Recommended Jewish Gifts for Weddings

Pomegranate Shabbat CandlesticksMazal Tov!!! Your Jewish friend or family member is tying the knot! Hold on, you’re not so familiar with Jewish customs regarding gift giving for weddings? You don’t know what’s deemed appropriate and don’t want to make an embarrassing social blunder? No worries- here’s our guide to Jewish Gifts for Weddings…
Accessories, Accessories, Accessories… Continue reading