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OU Staff

“I Saw Anne Frank Die”

February 4, 2012, by

At the age of 100, remembering the horrors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp BY IRMA SONNENBERG MENKEL As Printed in July 21, 1997 Edition of Newsweek© Magazine I TURNED 100 YEARS OLD IN APRIL AND HAD A BEAUTIFUL birthday party surrounded by my grandchildren, great grandchildren and other family members. I even danced a little. Willard […]

Yom HaMeyuchas: The Day of Distinction

June 3, 2011, by

The forty-sixth day of the Omer, the Sefirah-Count, is called Yom HaMeyuchas, the Day of Distinction. It is the Second Day of Sivan, the day before the beginning of the Shloshet Yemei Hagbalah, the Three Days of Restraint that Moshe commanded the Jewish People to observe; restraint in approach to Mt. Sinai and restraint from […]

Selected Halachot of Erev Pesach that Occurs on Shabbat

February 25, 2011, by

Adapted and excerpted from a previously published essay by Rabbi Herschel Billet, Moreh D’Asrah Young Israel of Woodmere. These selections are not meant to be the final arbiter. If you have any questions, please consult a competent halachic authority. Provided by the Orthodox Union’s Department of Synagogue Services. Fast of the firstborn males: Since one […]

“Kumsitz” The Post-Seder Concert

February 25, 2011, by

Literally: “Come, Sit Down” What is the “Kumsitz?” Actually, nothing; that is, it’s a made-up term in the context of the Seder, but the “Kumsitz,” which means an informal concert of songs, is a very good description for what happens after the Seder. Those still awake sing five (or six) songs (in Eretz Yisrael, where […]

Chanukah – Light or Fire?

November 29, 2010, by

Chanukah is treated in the Talmud in a rather puzzling fashion. In response to the question, “What is Chanukah?” the Talmud relates the story of the cruse of undefiled oil found by a priest in the Temple. Why this relatively minor incident, to the exclusion of almost everything else? Would we not expect the Talmud […]

Sweet Potato Latkes

November 25, 2010, by

Here is one that goes great with Apple Sauce: 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated 2 scallions, finely chopped 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper Vegetable oil DIRECTIONS: Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper. Heat a film of […]

Laws of Chanukah

November 25, 2010, by

Chanukah begins on the evening of the 25th of Kislev and continues for eight days. For the entire eight days of Chanukah it is forbidden to fast or to eulogize. It is permitted to work; however it is customary for women not to work for at least the first half hour of the candles’ burning, […]

The Secret of the Dreidel

November 25, 2010, by

The Dreidel A children’s game, played in the firelight of a cold winter night, the Chanukah Menorah silently glowing in the window… The dreidel. Its four sides spinning around the still point in the turning circle; spinning so fast that its sides blur into nothingness… The dreidel. So seemingly insignificant – and yet this little […]

It’s a Woman Thing

November 25, 2010, by

The general rule in Halacha (Jewish Law) is that women are not obligated in time-bound Positive Mitzvot (Commandments); that is, Positive Commandments to be performed at a specific time – for example, Listening to the Shofar or Dwelling in the Sukkah. However, they are obligated in certain time-bound Positive Mitzvot. These include Lighting the Lights […]

Sukkot in the Cycle of Festivals

September 19, 2010, by

Towards the end of the “cycle of the festivals”, as presented in parashat Emor, we are faced with a difficulty. The portion itself follows chronological order: First it deals with Shabbat, and then the order of festivals, starting with Pesach (since Nisan serves as the beginning of the year for the Regalim [Rosh Hashana 1:1]), […]

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