Judaism

What Is a Bat Mitzvah?

Bat Mitzvah Girl and Mom

What Is a Bat Mitzvah? A common misconception is that a Bat Mitzvah is an event. That it’s something you do, like a ceremony in the synagogue or a big party with dancing and a DJ. Or maybe it’s a huge, opulent show with the Bat Mitzvah girl or the Bar Mitzvah boy as the star, like this: But a ... Read More »

Hanukkah in Israel

"Colorful dreidels2" מאת Adiel lo - נוצר על ידי מעלה היצירה. ברישיון CC BY-SA 3.0 דרך ויקישיתוף.

Magic in the Streets Every year during Hanukkah people come from all over the country to tour certain neighborhoods where the hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah) is lit in little glass boxes outside the doors of the homes. This creates a magical atmosphere of light and warmth on the the otherwise cold and dark wintry streets. Why Outside? The original text in ... Read More »

Biblical Natural History Museum

Rabbi Slifkin Biblical Museum of Natural History, Hippo Skull

The Biblical Natural History Museum is the project of Rabbi Natan Slifkin. Rabbi Slifkin is affectionately known as ‘The Zoo Rabbi,’ for his great love and dedication to the animal kingdom from a Jewish perspective. It’s located in Beit Shemesh, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, so it’s easy to work into many itineraries. A visit to the museum takes about ... Read More »

Jewish History Video Part 1: Abraham

Jewish History Video

Why Watch this Series? A trip to Israel is about connecting to history, heritage, roots. One of the best ways to make your trip meaningful is to learn the history. This series will explain where the Jewish people came from, how we and our religion, Judaism, got to be what they are today. Jewish History Part 1: Abraham Read More »

Hassidic Israel Story: Jewels of the Land of Israel

Old religious Jews in Israel 1895

Reb Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk was one of the early Hassidic rebbes, back in the seventeen-hundreds. He came to live in the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael). When he got to Safed (Tzfat) he fasted for forty days, then he had a celebratory feast. At the feast someone asked what it was all about. He explained: “Before I left Europe ... Read More »

Kipa Meaning What’s in a Head Covering

kipa meaning chart, yarmulke meaning

Kipa Meaning What’s in a Head Covering In Israel one sees religious Jewish men with little discs of all different sizes and color on their heads, made of many different materials. One of the most common questions I get from tourists is about the significance of these different kipas (yarmulkes) Jewish men wear. The yarmulke, in Hebrew kipa, is like any piece of ... Read More »