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What’s With Those Hamentashen

David Golinkin has a nice overview of customs relating to different foods that are or were eaten on Purim. One of the foods mentioned by various rabbis was “Purim kreplech”. This custom is first mentioned by Rabbi Yozl Hochshtadt who says that his teacher Rabbi Yisrael Isserlein (d. 1460) did not want to eat kreplech […]

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef and the Tears of the Oppressed

Yesterday, Rabbi Benny Lau wrote on Facebook a very moving post about Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef. The Israel Democracy Institute has translated the post and it is well worth reading. Below is an excerpt that gives a taste of what Rabbi Lau witnessed one day at Rav Ovadiah’s home. The place: The home of Rabbi Ovadia […]

Ladino in the Shulhan Arukh

Have you ever wondered what the word אשטרינג”ה means? If so, read this very useful article that lists all of the Ladino words in the Shulḥan Arukh with translations, אליעזר פאפו, אוצר המלים השאולות מלאדינו בשולחן ערוך. If you were wondering, אשטרינג”ה is from the Ladino word estringra and it is a thread or string […]

Women in the Cairo Geniza

Renée Levine Melammed describes here a new research project that will examine the lives of women as reflected in the Cairo Geniza. [The] plan is to prepare two volumes, one containing the original Judeo-Arabic transcriptions alongside a Hebrew translation, and another with translations of the documents into English. In addition, the material will be organized […]

Happy July 4th-American Land

American Land Bruce Springsteen What is this land America so many travel there I’m going now while I’m still young my darling meet me there Wish me luck my lovely I’ll send for you when I can And we’ll make our home in the American land Over there all the woman wear silk and satin […]

Forbes List of Most Influential Rabbis in Israel

As a follow up to their list of the wealthiest rabbis in Israel, Forbes Israel has published a list (Heb.) of the most influential rabbis in Israel. (hat tip) 1. Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef (A no-brainer.) 2. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv 3. Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Shteineman 4. Rabbi Ḥayyim Kanyevsky 5. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov […]

Scholarship on the 14 bus in Jerusalem

From Rebecca Lesses’s blog: I was taking the #14 bus back home from the National Library today, uncomfortably crammed into a small seat, and listening to the conversation between two people facing me, one who teaches at the Hebrew University and the other at the Schechter Institute (run by the Masorti movement, the Israeli version […]

Pre-Shabbat Song-Mika Karni

It seems that as of late almost everyone, including the Hillary Clinton, has been talking about women in Israel. Whether it is women in the army, on advertisements, or the gym at the Technion. While there are definitely misogynistic Israelis and much that could be improved, I think that many people have an over simplified […]

What About Those Demonstrations in Israel

During the past week or so there have been a number of demonstrations in Israel. They have mostly focused on the difficulty in finding affordable housing in Tel Aviv or its suburbs. For an interesting account of a visit to one of the demonstrations see this post (Hebrew) by Zeev Galili.

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef-The Movie

Tonight at 10:00 p.m. on Channel 10 in Israel, the documentary “Ovadiah Yosef” will be broadcast. A preview can be viewed here. Some people were upset that the advertisement just said “Ovadiah Yosef” and not “Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef.” The preview includes the connection between the Yosef family and the Irgun/Etzel. Apparently, most of his family […]

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