Why do we eat latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) on Chanukah? The common, short answer is because the holiday of Chanukah largely revolves around the miracle of the oil but, perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s more to it than that. It would appear that the original Chanukah food was a fried cheese pancake, combining the
Somehow, this time of year is reminding me of two conversations I had with my oldest when she was much younger. They might not seem to be connected, but I think they are. (I share them here with her permission.) One conversation occurred right around when she lost her first tooth, and it’s brought to
Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, known as the The Kedushas Levi, once walked into his Bait Medresh and saw a few of his students discussing something with a sense of yearning and jealousy. As he approached the group, they quickly quieted down, acting as if they were engrossed in their learning. The Kedushas Levi inquired
Responding to a question submitted to Jew in the City, Rabbi Jack Abramowitz tackles the issue of balancing the observance of mitzvot (particular ones that involve fire or heating up food) with taking proper safety precautions in our homes. Read the full article on Jew in the City View the FDNY’s guide to fire safety
“The lion has roared, who will not fear” (Amos:3:8). “אַרְיֵה שָׁאָג, מִי לֹא יִירָא” The Shelah Hakadosh (Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz 1555-1630) suggests that this verse hints to this precise time of year. The word lion, aryeh, should be read as an acronym: Alef = Elul, Resh = Rosh Hashanah, Yud = Yom Kippur, Heh =
From OU Holidays! What are Hoshanos? Why do we say them? Why is the schedule the way it is? What’s “Ani Vaho?” Find out all this and more with this colorful, downloadable PDF!
Shlomo Horwitz is the founding director of Jewish Crossroads, an educational theater project that has provided creative Torah programming across the US, Canada, England and Israel. He studied at Yeshivat Shaalvim and Yeshivat Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, where he received ordination from Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg. Shlomo is a CPA and a director of a consulting
On July 5, 1945, the world witnessed one of the greatest “betrayals” in the annals of human existence. Two months after the Allied victory over the Nazis, in one of the most crushing political upsets in history, Winston Churchill was defeated in English Parliamentary elections. Shockingly, one of history’s greatest leaders, who led a weakened
The crisis was real. My wife had tried to bake bread and left it in the oven for the right amount of time at the right temperature. But the results were poor. It wasn’t fully baked. There were other issues as well. Certain foods were undercooked and needed to be reinserted for a longer period.
Everyone knows that the reason we fast on Tisha b’Av is because we are mourning the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, the Temple that stood in Jerusalem. Everyone but the Rambam, Maimonides. In his commentary to the first chapter of Tractate Rosh Hashanah, the Rambam presents an interesting assertion with regards to Jewish history. He