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Shulamit Aloni and the Maror

In the Talmud (Pesaḥim 120a) there is a disagreement over the status today of both matzah and maror: Rava said: [The eating of] matza nowadays is a biblical obligation, whereas [that of] maror is rabbinic. Why is maror different? Because it is written, “They shall eat it [the Pesach-offering] with unleavened bread and bitter herbs” […]

Purim in Israel Under Austerity

While Israel as a start-up nation is the latest rage, people shouldn’t forget that for a number of years after the founding of the state, Israeli citizens lived under a regime of austerity and rationing, in Hebrew the צנע (Tzena). The amount of food and clothing that a person could buy was limited and determined […]

Video-Rabbi Benny Lau on Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef

For those who want a very good introduction to the importance of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, this recent talk by Rabbi Benny Lau is worthwhile. It is in Hebrew and HT goes to Rav Tzair.

Video-Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef After Hearing of Rabin Assasination

Below is a video of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef after he heard that Yitzhak Rabin had been shot. Rav Ovadiah had been delivering his traditional Saturday night class when he was told what happened. (HT Kikar Hashabat) Below the video is a translation of Rav Ovadiah’s reaction. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef: What? He was seriously wounded? What?…We […]

Israel Education Circa 1930

I stumbled across this interesting article about Israel,then Palestine, Education from 1930. Many of the issues and arguments seem to be the same today. Sanity in the Teaching of Palestine

The Ninth of Av as a Day of Celebration

Moshe Benovitz of the Schechter Institute has a thought provoking post about Tisha B’av and Yom Ha’atzmaut. Both the Bible and rabbinic literature do single out a number of days, and one day in particular, as the day on which to celebrate the restoration of the land of Israel and the holy city of Jerusalem […]

Ruth Calderon’s Heder

Ruth Calderon used to have a show on Israeli TV called החדר. The shows featured Calderon and a guest or two who addressed issues relating to Judaism and Jewish culture, Zionism, Jewish texts, and Israeli culture. Archived videos of the program can be found here. Below is an episode that discussed Bave Metzia 84a, Rabbi […]

Prayer by Rav Kook for British Conquest of Jerusalem

Tomer Persico has posted a prayer written by Rav Kook in honor of the British conquest of Jerusalem along with a special prayer for England. Below is the prayer for the British conquest of Jerusalem. (Hebrew)

New York Times Report on Reunification of Jerusalem

The following news article appeared on the front page of the New York Times on June 30, 1967. It describes the removal of the barriers that once divided Jerusalem. I have a special affinity for this article and not only because of the joyous news that it reports, but also because it appeared in the […]

Yeshayahu Leibowitz in His Own Words

Now that the Jerusalem City Council has decided to name a street (it will be on Givat Ram) after Yeshayahu Leibowitz, I recommend watching these documentaries about him to see what he had to say. The first documentary consists of two videos and has English subtitles. The third video is another fascinating documentary that is […]

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