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)
The hamsa is a palm-shaped symbol historically used by both Jews and Muslims in Arab countries as an amulet to ward off evil forces, particularly the “evil eye.”
What is the significance of the number 18 in Judaism?
“L’chaim,” means “to life,” and is a classic Jewish toast.
I have a chai pendant that I love because it was a bat mitzvah gift. But what does “chai” mean and why is it such a popular Jewish symbol?
What does chai mean, and why is it such an important Jewish symbol?
The Hebrew word Haggadah means “telling,” and it refers to the service or script for the Passover seder table ritual. The Haggadah provides the order and script of the service with step-by-step instructions.
I’m a regular listener of your podcast On the Other Hand. Can you explain the meaning of the Hebrew sign-off/farewell phrase at the end of each episode?
The Hebrew phrase at the end of the podcast is “L’hitraot." Here's what it means.
I plan to attend Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services this year for the first time. Will I be expected to donate money during the service, like in a church service? If so, what’s the ‘right” amount?
You will not be expected to give money during the Rosh HaShanah or Yom Kippur services. In fact, it is customary to not exchange money on Shabbat or major Jewish holidays.
On the Jewish calendar, holidays begin in the evening, at sundown, and they continue through the next day.
I'm preparing to make aliyah (move to Israel) and was surprised to read that I need to present a "Jewish certificate." I’ve been Jewish my entire life, but I’ve never heard of a certificate that proves it! How do I obtain that?
Your first step should be to approach the organization Nefesh B'Nefesh, which works with the Israeli government and The Jewish Agency for Israel to “remove or minimize the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of aliyah and the move to Israel.” They will walk you through the process.
Is it Jewishly permissible for us to bury our beloved pet with my late mother? The dog meant a lot to her.
There are Jewish practices that can support those who experience the loss of pet.