My DNA Test Shows I Have Jewish Ancestry; Am I Jewish?
With the popularity of DNA testing kits and ancestry websites, I often hear from people wondering if their test results of "X% Ashkenazi Jewish" mean that they are Jewish.
Do we do anything special because seder falls on a Friday night this year?
When the seder falls on Friday evening, we acknowledge both Shabbat and the holiday of Passover.
Why do some people include an orange on the seder plate?
Many have incorporated new rituals as part of the Passover seder. Many seder plates include an orange, which is attributed to Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College. Heschel included an orange in recognition of gay and lesbian Jews, and others who are marginalized in the Jewish community.
I Want to Observe Shabbat. Where do I Begin?
The best way to begin observing Shabbat is by starting small and adding to your Shabbat observance as you grow more comfortable. If you are interested in ritual, try learning the blessings of the Shabbat table.
Is Purim akin to a Jewish Halloween?
Though both Purim and Halloween share the custom of dressing in costume, that is about all the two holidays have in common.
What Does the Torah Say about People with Disabilities?
In Leviticus, chapter 19, verses 14, we are taught, “You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.”
How can I celebrate Tu BiShvat at home?
Tu BiShvat is the “New Year of the Trees.”
Why do Jews wear head coverings?
The custom of covering one’s head is based on custom, a minhag, that first appeared during the Rabbinic Period (roughly, from the beginning of the Common Era to 500 C.E.).
Can a person who died by suicide be buried in a Jewish cemetery?
The ancient prohibition against doing so is based upon the conception of suicide as the conscious and willful taking of one’s life.
Is there a ritual that marks the completion of reading one of the books of the Torah?
During a worship service, each time the reading of a book of the Torah is completed, the congregation rises and says, “chazak chazak v’nitchazek – be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened.” According to Rabbi David Saperstein, the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (and former director of the...
My last name is Cohen, and I was told that Jews with this name have a special designation. Is this true?
According to the Torah, one is a Kohen, a Levite or an Israelite.