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Two camels with riders being led in the desert at sunset

There’s a test on everything here these days. Patience. Forgiveness. Understanding.

“Shabbat Shalom (שבת שלום),” Mohammad said to me on Thursday after Ulpan, our intense Hebrew-language class.

“Jumu’ah Mubaarakah (جمعة مبارك),” I replied in Arabic.

It’s been a long, hot few weeks here in Jerusalem, and too many are dead. Two dead Israeli police who were guarding the high courtyard of Temple Mount (Har Ha-bayit), known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary (Haram al-Sharif). Muslim protesters confronting police outside the Lion’s Gate and nearby Wadi Joz. Jewish family...

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Dark night full of stars above a campfire near a lake

I’m continually amazed by the way Jewish ritual has a way of lifting up everyday moments and making them holy here at Jewish summer camp. At the end of a long day at home, we could simply say goodnight. Instead, at URJ Camp Harlam – the Reform camp in Kunkletown, PA, where I serve as the director – we wrap our arms around one another, gaze up at the stars in the sky, and sing the Sh’ma and Hashkiveinu, praying to be able to...

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woman holding small child wearing a yarmulke in her lap during worship services

Engaging with a synagogue community can be enriching and rewarding. No matter what draws you in – worship, music, relationships, learning, or something else – a spiritual home is a place like none other. Whether you’re a member or a visitor, familiarity with synagogue etiquette will help you get the most from your experience. Here are seven points of etiquette to keep in mind.

  1. Skullcaps and Prayer Shawls: It is customary – but not required – to wear a skullcap (kippah in Hebrew; yarmulke in Yiddish) as a sign of respect in the sanctuary, even if you don’t wear one in your day-...
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Man sitting at a wooden table with a cup of coffee next to him as he reads from an iPad

It's been a bit of a slow week for light-hearted Jewish news, what with all the very serious headlines to focus on. From the Senate's health care bill to President Trump's ban on transgender servicemembers, plenty of this week's stories have got us a little bit down. Luckily, we were still able to dig up a few positive, heartwarming stories to lift our spirits.

  1. Popular myth-busting site Snopes.com this week made a plea for donations to keep the site afloat. The Forward takes a look back at its "favorite myths about the Jewish people and Israel, finally debunked for all the...
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Closeup of a droplet hitting a surface of water and splashing up while reflecting down

As the Hebrew month of Av begins, Jews become starkly aware that Rosh HaShanah, the new Jewish year arrives in two months... and they’re two months that will pass quickly. It is time to get ready.

In just another week, we commemorate Tishah B’Av, the Ninth of Av, a day Jews commemorate as the anniversary of the destruction of both the first temple in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and the Second in 70 CE by the Romans. In addition, many other...

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