From drones to satellites, missile defense systems to cyber warfare, Israel leads the world in the development of high-tech weaponry, a legacy born of necessity. Since 1948, this country of eight million people has had to learn to adapt to changes in warfare and, in the process, has become a military superpower in innovation and efficiency.
What is the Reform position on clergy officiating at the wedding of a Jew to a person brought up in a different faith? My fiancée is not Jewish, and doesn't want to convert at this time. We want a Jewish wedding, and plan to raise our children as Jews.
Historically, since the Rabbinic period (post 70 CE), Jewish status was passed down by the mother.
Two blessings are chanted or recited every night of Hanukkah. The first is a blessing over the candles themselves. The second blessing expresses thanks for the miracle of deliverance. A third blessing—the Shehecheyanu prayer, marking all joyous occasions in Jewish life—is chanted or recited only on the first night.
A menorah is a candelabra, and can be used for Hanukkah if it has nine stems. Another word for a Hanukkah menorah is hanukkiyah. A hanukkiyah has one stem for each of the eight days of Hanukkah, and one for the shamash, or “the helper candle” that is used to light the other candles. Candles are added each night from right to left and they are lit from left to right.
The word dreidel derives from a German word meaning “spinning top,” and is the toy used in a Hanukkah game adapted from an old German gambling game. Hanukkah was one of the few times of the year when rabbis permitted games of chance. The four sides of the top bear four Hebrew letters: nun, gimmel, hey, and shin. Players begin by putting into a central pot or “kitty” a certain number of coins, chocolate money known as gelt, nuts, buttons or other small objects.
A latke is a potato pancake fried in oil, and is a traditional food eaten to celebrate the miracle of the oil in the story of Hanukkah. Foods cooked in oil serve as a symbol of the legend of the jar of oil that lasted for eight days.
Last night, police intervened as women, including Anat Hoffman, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center and chairwoman of Women of the Wall, prayed at the Western Wall in celebration of the beginning of the Jewish month of Cheshvan and the 100th anniversary of Hadassah.
Gelt is chocolate coins given to Jewish children on the festival of Hanukkah. They are usually wrapped in gold foil, and their history can be traced back to the decision of the Hasmoneans to mint their own nation’s coins after their military victory over the Greek Syrians. Gelt is often used to gamble with in the game of dreidel.