In Judaism, when someone has died, it is customary to add the expression, “May their memory be for a blessing” after mentioning the deceased by name. In Hebrew, the expression is “zichrona livracha” (feminine, “zichrono livracha” (masculine), or “zichronam livracha” (plural or gender-neutral) and is typically abbreviated as z”l when writing. This serves a similar function as describing someone as “the late [insert name here].” Alternatively, the honorifics “aleha hashalom” (feminine) or “hashalom alav” (masculine)
While there are significant differences between how we usher in and observe the secular and Jewish New Year, both are times of transition that offer us an opportunity for self-reflection. Here are the key differences.
The pomegranate is one of the Seven Species mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as being native to the Land of Israel. The seeds of the pomegranate symbolize the 613 mitzvot (sacred obligations) attributed to the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible), which form the foundation of traditional
If you are planning a simchah (joyous occasion) or significant event and want to find the corresponding date on the Jewish calendar, check out our Jewish Holiday Calendar. To learn more about any individual holiday’s significance and customs, simply click on its name. As Shabbat and all Jewish holidays begin
Elul is the Hebrew month preceding Rosh HaShanah, during which one engages in self-reflection and evaluation in preparation for the High Holidays. Traditionally, the shofar is blown each day during the month.
“Under our current COVID-19 related restrictions, neither my sister nor I will be able to attend the funeral our father, who died in another state. Instead, we’ll be watching it live-streamed from the funeral home’s website. What are some mourning rituals we might be able to do from our homes?”
Right now, you may be feeling grateful for the health of loved ones, frustrated or resentful of the situation you find yourself in, disappointed to have to postpone your celebration, and/or worried about the resulting consequences of doing so.
Rabbi Dr. Richard Sarason answers, What Are Yom Kippur Yizkor Prayers?
When do you light yizkor (memorial) candles on Yom Kippur? Do you light candles only for immediate family members?
Rabbi Julie Zupan answers - When do you light yizkor (memorial) candles on Yom Kippur? Do you light candles only for immediate family members?
Rabbi Jullie Zupan answers - Is writing on the side bar of my Hebrew Bible book forbidden?