The expulsion from Spain and Portugal at the end of the fifteenth century sent many Jews fleeing to Holland, Brazil, and the Far East.
This recipe is a variation of fried Italian dough, which was commonly prepared in Italian kitchens, but had no association with Purim. It is a perfect example of one ethnic holiday custom infiltrating general society.
Hamantaschen, the traditional triangular Ashkenazic Purim pastries, are typically a sweet treat. This recipe takes a savory approach, using spring herbs, a Persian favorite, to honor Esther and Mordechai’s heritage, as well as the season.
Do you ever wonder why Judaism is called Judaism? This week’s parashah, Vayigash, has an answer. This is the moment when Joseph and his brothers, including Judah, dramatically reconnect, and Judah demonstrates a deep caring for his people.
Even though the miracle of the oil wasn’t an original part of the Hanukkah story, it has become one of the most enduring narratives in modern Judaism.
Have you ever dreaded seeing a friend or family member that you don’t get along with, only to end up having a positive experience? After twenty years away from home, Jacob dreads his reunion with Esau, but our text teaches the two end up embracing and healing their tumultuous relationship.
Rabbi Israel Salanter wrote that it’s easier to learn the entire Talmud than to change one character trait in ourselves. Even Jacob, when he dreams of the ladder that connects heaven and Earth, is still on his path of growth and awakening.
Va-y’chi, the title of the last parashah of the book of Genesis, translates to “and he lived.” It’s an odd title for a parashah that details the death of Jacob and Joseph.