Green Chanukah
Oil-conservation miracle inspires environmentalism

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The miracle of Chanukah is an epic story of conservation, as one day’s worth of oil lasts for eight days in the Jewish Temple. Now, in some circles, energy conservation and energy independence are increasing hallmarks of modern-day Chanukah. One of the first organizations to ‘[emphasize this concept was the Coalition on the Environment and… Read More

The Need to be United
Chanukah menorahs of Israel shed light on Jewish people’s past, present, future

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As winter arrives and the days grow shorter, outdoor lighting is needed more during the Chanukah season than at any other time of year. This need is taken particularly seriously in Israel, where outdoor menorahs make a nocturnal stroll through city streets a treat for the eyes — and for the spirit. The outdoor Chanukah… Read More

Let The Wine Flow

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The Rosh Hashanah meal is a festive affair. Traditions abound as to how the evening meal can bring good tidings for the year ahead. While some stick to apple and honey for a sweet new year, others recite a full array of blessings over different symbolic food types, from increasing in numbers like the seeds… Read More

Broken Hallelujah

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The name David means “beloved,” and the Israelite king bearing that name was — and remains — just that. “To this day at almost every celebration, Jews sing ‘David, King of Israel, alive, alive and everlasting,’” writes Rabbi David Wolpe in this brief, lyrical biography of his namesake, Israel’s second king who ruled around the… Read More

What You Need to Know

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TEL AVIV — When Rosh Hashanah comes later this month, Israel’s Jewish farmers won’t just be celebrating the start of a new year. They’ll be marking a year in which they are prohibited from doing their jobs. Called Shemitah, the Torah-mandated, yearlong farming hiatus is felt across Israel, affecting its fields, supermarkets and, of course,… Read More

Out of the Woodwork

Schoolteacher Jerry Pepper never dreamed he would sell the lecterns known in the Orthodox Jewish world as shtenders as a side job. As the owner of Pepper’s Podiums, he started retailing solid wood products after meeting an Amish woodworker in Elkton, Ky. Inspired by his work, Pepper opened his own company five years ago in… Read More

A Taste of Honey

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The traditional Rosh Hashanah taste of apples dipped in honey, as well as the challah with honey (instead of salt) taken at meals through the end of Sukkot, invoke thoughts and prayers for a sweet New Year and for the months that follow. “The honey concept is interesting because it’s a contradiction,” observed Rochel Kaplan,… Read More

Dissecting High Holidays Sermons

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  Rabbis literally spend the entire year working on their High Holidays sermons. They keep files, takes notes, collect articles and think in-depth about what timeless topics will strike a chord with congregants. “A Shabbos sermon is usually one note,” said Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Beth Tfiloh Congregation. “A holiday sermon is more of a… Read More

Yom Kippur Without Fasting

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Each sect of Judaism has its own way of observing the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, but there is at least one custom observed across the board: fasting. As members of the Baltimore Jewish community spend the day in synagogue with empty stomachs beginning the night of Oct. 3, some observing the holiday won’t… Read More

Count Your Blessings

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Based on a verse in the Book of Deuteronomy, the Talmud declares that a Jew should recite 100 blessings a day to adhere to God’s ways and to serve Him. Fortunately, reciting the blessings for prayer and meals, each three times a day, easily achieves the required number. But it becomes a challenge if meals… Read More