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)
Though both Purim and Halloween share the custom of dressing in costume, that is about all the two holidays have in common.
In Leviticus, chapter 19, verses 14, we are taught, “You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind.”
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.).
The ancient prohibition against doing so is based upon the conception of suicide as the conscious and willful taking of one’s life.
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.
It is always appropriate to commit to resolutions that will improve our lives, the lives of those around us, and the larger world.
A common explanation is that we eat latkes (potato pancakes) because they are cooked in oil and this remind us of the miracle that a single cruse of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.
A menorah refers to a candelabrum, usually one with seven branches.