February 11, 2014, by

Six-Day-War – News from the Middle East during May, 1967 was very frightening. Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt, had moved 100,000 troops and 1,000 tanks into the Sinai Peninsula, right on the southern border of Israel. On May 17, he closed the Tehran Straits, an act of war, effectively cutting Israel off from the […]


June 21, 2006, by

[m., pl. “Siyumim”]; completion of a text, or of a course of study; a graduation. In the case of certain religious texts, the “Siyum” is accompanied by a ceremony, marking the event as a festive occasion. For example, on “Simchat Torah,” the Jewish People makes a “Siyum” on the Written Torah; that is, the Five […]

Slavery in Judaism

June 7, 2006, by

Judaism does recognize the concept of slavery, or servitude, but discourages it strongly, and in its perspective on the matter, stands far above the rest of the world. Parashat Behar makes reference to the institution of slavery, and the role of the “Yovel,” the Jubilee Year, that occurs every fiftieth year and is the final release-date for Hebrew male and female servants. And in the Haftarah of Parashat Mishpatim, the parashah in which the role of slavery in Jewish life is introduced, Yirmiyahu speaks of the Jewish People’s violation of the Torah’s (and later the Liberty Bell’s) Command of “…and you shall proclaim freedom in the Land for all its inhabitants,” (VaYikra 25:10), by reneging on granting freedom to their Hebrew male and female servants in the Yovel Year. In the Haftarah, Yirmiyahu goes on to say that the violation of that Command will be a major ingredient in G-d’s decision to destroy the First Temple and to send the Jewish People into their first Exile from the Holy Land.

Sons of Yaakov (ca. 1568 B.C.E. – ca. 1413 B.C.E.)

February 11, 2014, by

The following information pertains to all the twelve sons of Yaakov, also known as the “Shivtei Kah,” the founders of the Tribes of HaShem. The dates that appear above indicate the year of birth of the first son, Reuven, and the year of his death, because Reuven was the longest-lived son of Yaakov (155 years), […]


June 21, 2006, by

[pl. “Sukkot”]; the decorated hut which the Jewish People is commanded to construct for temporary use (for more on this “temporariness, see Southern Hospitality) during the Holiday of (you guessed it) “Sukkot”, and to live in it, as much as possible as one would live in one’s permanent house, during the Holiday. The purpose is, […]


June 21, 2006, by

The Biblical Holiday which commemorates Hashem’s provision of His Clouds of Glory to escort the Jewish People through the desert. According to another opinion which does not disagree that Hashem provided Clouds of Glory, but maintains that the Holiday focuses on a different aspect of G-d’s protection; namely, the psychological, that Hashem enabled the Jews […]


June 21, 2006, by

The first day of the week; yom rishon.


June 21, 2006, by

Day of Fasting; There are six fast days in the Jewish calendar year. Chronologically, they are: Tzom Gedaliah, Yom Kippur, Asarah B’Tevet, Taanit Esther, Shivah Asar B’Tammuz and Tisha B’Av.

Taanit Esther

June 21, 2006, by

The Day of fasting instituted by Queen Esther in ancient Persia to arouse the Jewish People to Repentance. This was to avert the evil decree to implement the genocidal plan of Haman to kill all the Jews on one day, the thirteenth of Adar. Fortunately, the Teshuvah was successful, and Haman’s plan was overturned upon […]