Why Some Jewish Women Go to the Mikveh Each Month

Posted on June 25th, 2017

What is niddah, or taharat ha mishpacha, and who observes it?

For thousands of years, Jewish couples have observed the laws of niddah (literally, separation) to sanctify their sexual relationship.

Traditionally, a married couple refrains from intimacy during a woman’s menstrual period and for seven days afterward. Immersion in the mikveh , a Jewish ritual bath, marks the point at which the couple may reunite physically.

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Are Jews the Chosen People?

Posted on June 25th, 2017

And what does chosenness mean anyway?


The idea that the Jews are the “chosen people” and have a special relationship with God is ubiquitous in Jewish sources. However, the nature of this relationship is not without complication and ambiguity.

Origins of the Chosen Concept

The notion of Jews being chosen has its root in several biblical verses. One of the most prominent, Deuteronomy 7:6, says, “For you are a people consecrated to Adonai your God: of all the peoples on earth Adonai your God chose you to be God’s treasured people.” The next two verses provide the reason for this choice. God did not choose the Israelites because of their numbers; rather, God chose the Israelites and freed them from slavery because God loved them and because God had made promises to their ancestors, the biblical patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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Jewish Jokes

Posted on June 18th, 2017

Great traditional Jewish jokes.

From Groucho Marx to the Borscht Belt to Sarah Silverman, many of America’s best-known comedians have been Jewish. And so important is humor to Jewish culture that a landmark study on American Jewish identity in 2013 found that 42 percent of American Jews consider “having a good sense of humor” to be “an essential part of what being Jewish means.” (In contrast, only 19 percent said observing Jewish law was essential.)

But Jewish humor can be difficult to define. As William Novak and Moshe Waldoks write in “The Big Book of Jewish Humor,” it is easier to describe Jewish humor in terms of what it is not, than what it is.

It is not, for example, escapist. It is not slapstick. It is not physical. It is generally not cruel and does not attack the weak or the infirm. At the same time, it is also not polite or gentle.

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17 events and festivals not to be missed this summer in Israel

Posted on June 11th, 2017
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

From the Jerusalem Festival to the Maccabiah Games, the summer of 2017 in Israel is chockful of activities and festivals for all ages and interests.

Opera, jazz, puppetry, sports, crafts, books, avant-garde theater: All that and much more is planned as spring slides into summer in Israel. If you’re planning a visit between June and August, consider putting some of these 17 events on your itinerary. Always confirm dates ahead of time in case of changes.

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EXCLUSIVE: Sheryl Sandberg Speaks Out On Judaism — And Grieving

Posted on June 4th, 2017
Jane Eisner for The Forward

Sheryl Sandberg may be the most famous widow in America right now. Before her husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly two years ago, she was already famous as the second-in-command of Facebook, the best-selling author of “Lean In” and a globe-trotting speaker and influencer — who did all this while raising two children in an equitable and loving marriage. (Extreme wealth, prestige and privilege helped.)

Goldberg’s sudden death at age 47 on May 1, 2015, made Sandberg seem mortal. Grief nearly crushed her, and she wasn’t afraid to say that out loud. But because she is Sheryl Sandberg — brainy, driven and connected — she didn’t stop there and called upon the top grief experts to analyze what was happening to her and her children, and to guide their recovery.

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