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
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Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated in the winter. Outside of Israel, 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
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
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
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
So you may or may not have heard of the magical properties of Dead Sea Cosmetics. For that matter you may or may not have heard of Dead Sea Cosmetics, or even the Dead Sea. So let’s start at the beginning… Continue reading
Mazal 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…
According to the Zohar, we are visited by spiritual guests during the festival of Sukkot, known as Ushpizin. The Ushpizin guests number seven and they are; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and King David. The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that there are also seven Hassidic Ushpizin that accompany these seven spiritual guests and they are; the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid of Mezritch, the Alter Rebbe, the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash and the Rebbe Rashab. Although all of these guests visit our Sukkot on each day of the festival, each day is known to have it’s own special guests. Continue reading
A: According to the Talmud, due to the fact that a poorly-lit room can lead to people tripping up and bickering as a result, Shabbat Candles bring light and as a result tranquility in to the Jewish home. The warm glow of the candles also brings a festive atmosphere in to the house. Continue reading
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and lasts for two days, falling at the beginning of the Jewish month of Tishrei. The festival is already in the conscience of Jewish people from the preceding month of Elul which is a time of preparation for the upcoming solemn days of Rosh Hashanah. The day before Rosh Hashanah often goes unnoticed but it has its own interesting prayers and customs and it is a shame to not pay attention to it Continue reading