OU Staff

Rainbows and Arrows

February 26, 2014, by

The Bible makes reference to the “bow of Hashem” appearing in the skies in the time of Noach, after the Great Flood, “I have placed My bow in the clouds and it will be a symbol of the covenant between Myself and the Earth (Bereshit, 9:13).” This bow represented the covenant that G-d had made […]

Bar Yochai Song

February 26, 2014, by

For the Kabbalistically inclined, the following enchanting Shabbat “zemer,” festive song, is shown below. It was composed by Shimon ibn Lavi, who had fled as a child from the Spanish Inquisition, and arrived in Fez, Morocco, where he remained until 1549. He later set out for Eretz Yisrael, but on his way there, as fate […]

Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

February 26, 2014, by

Before the Cave Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was a student of Rabbi Akiva, who was the spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome in 135 CE, which began in glory and ended in tragedy. His teacher was one of the four great Sages who entered the “Pardes,” the “Orchard” (not to be confused […]

Condensed Ritual Guide to Passover Seder

February 25, 2014, by

1. Seder Plate A special Seder Plate is displayed during the Seder, containing the key elements of Passover. The plate is carefully prepared and placed before the head of the household, or the one conducting the Seder, who dispenses the Seder foods to each of the participants. The following items appear on the Seder Plate: […]

Significance of Astrology in Judaism

February 25, 2014, by

In Judaism, Astrology is not regarded as “idol worship,” even though the generic name for “idol worship” is “Avodat Kochavim U’Mazalot,” Worship of the Stars and the Signs of the Zodiac.” From the Jewish perspective, the stars are not unrelated to events on earth. It is not irrelevant whether one was born on Pesach, or […]

Burning your Chametz

February 25, 2014, by

1 – Burn only what you collect during Bedikat Chametz (not whole boxes of cereal). Do not burn plastic/aluminum foil. 2 – Never allow children near the fire. 3 – Wear gloves 4 – Try to burn inside a metal can (a garbage can) 5 – Do not burn on your lawn or near/in the […]

The Fifteen Steps – The Hidden One, Praise and Acceptance

February 18, 2014, by

In this Section, the Afikoman (the “Tzafun,” or Hidden One) will re-appear, Grace After the Meals is said, the Second Part of Hallel, oriented towards the future, will be sung, and the Seder will be concluded and (we hope) accepted by G-d. The specific steps are: 12. “Tzafun” 13. “Barech” 14. “Hallel” 15. “Nirtzah” They […]

A Review of the Seder of the Seder

February 18, 2014, by

As appeared in Torah Tidbits Kadeish Kiddush is said over the first of the Four Cups. Most people stand for Seder Kiddush (even if they usually sit for Kiddush). When saying SHE’HE’CHE’YANU, have in mind the Yom Tov and the mitzvot of matza, Haggada, and the 4 Cups. (Women who make their own Kiddush should […]

The Festive Purim Meal: Seudat Purim

February 13, 2014, by

It is a Mitzvah to have a sumptuous meal on Purim, including meat and wine. This meal is held during the day. If one holds it at night, he fails to fulfill his obligation. Nevertheless, after the reading of the Megillah on the night of the 14th (in ‘unwalled cities’), or on the night of […]

Just Say No, Even on Purim

February 13, 2014, by

by Kelly Hartog, Staff Writer Courtesy of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles Religious groups are protesting drinking on Purim following a rise in teen alcoholism. One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between “cursed is Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai” (Talmud, Megillah 7b). Purim is like the Jewish […]

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