Judaism

Everything you need to know about Judaism and being Jewish: the weekly Torah portion, Jewish holidays, Jewish rituals and more.

Shabbat candles
Shabbat candle-lighting times for Israel and US

See Shabbat times for your area.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
17/01/2020
Judaism’s main goal is to make us God-aware – prayer is just the low-hanging fruit to that end
Jewish Prayer: On finding the ‘wow’

Those of us who pray regularly can’t help but ask whether prayer works, as if “works” is defined by whether the entire universe bent to your wishes and desires, based on your simple request.

By AHARON E. WEXLER
16/01/2020
MOSES EMBODIES morality and caring without limit.’
Parashat Shemot: An antisemite, an apathetic man and a righteous gentile

Only when we are confident in the possibility of reality being better can we wholeheartedly devote ourselves to repairing humanity.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
16/01/2020
Women study torah Talmud 248.88 AJ
Learning Talmud daily has changed the way I think about Judaism - opinion

At 17, Hila Schlakman is the youngest female to have completed the seven year study of the Talmud.

By HILA SCHLAKMAN / JTA
12/01/2020
Cambodian royal family celebrates first bat mitzvah

Elior Koroghli is the great-granddaughter of MH King Monivong, who ruled Cambodia until 1941.

By DONNA RACHEL EDMUNDS
12/01/2020
Shabbat candles
Shabbat candle-lighting times for Israel and US

See Shabbat times for your area.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
10/01/2020
Joseph and Herzl seeking their brethren
Joseph and Herzl seeking their brethren

Two strangers, one who encountered Joseph and another who encountered Herzl, lead them to their brethren and change Judaism.

10/01/2020
Leviticus made accessible
Leviticus made accessible

Engelberg brings a modern view to the ancient world of animal sacrifice, leprosy

Joseph's coffin was indeed buried in the land of Israel: Joseph's Tomb, before 1899
Parashat Vayehi: Future goal and present existence

Jacob’s and Joseph’s life stories are also amazingly similar. They both find themselves in a foreign country following an altercation with their brothers; they both work for a foreign master, etc.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
09/01/2020
Wedding bands [Illustrative]
Ugandan–Jewish wedding takes place in Israel for the first time

The couple belongs to the Abayudaya community, which the State of Israel does not recognize as a part of the Jewish religion.

By OMRI RON
09/01/2020
Yehonatan Vadai in fron of his Bab al-Yemen restaurant
Could kosher restaurants soon be able to open on Shabbat?

The Chief Rabbinate has for a long time however refused to grant kashrut licenses for restaurants which open on Shabbat.

Where do we belong?
PARASHAT VAYIGASH: Where do the Jewish people belong?

Jacob wanted to help his descendants as they faced a very problematic culture - that of Egypt.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
02/01/2020
Judaism’s secret weapon
Judaism’s secret weapon

Some years ago, I had the privilege of teaching Torah to a large group in the original Chochmei Lublin yeshiva – it was then a nursing school; it now has been returned to the Jewish community.

There will still be antisemitism in 2020 – here’s why
Move forward, now

We will not accomplish everything, but as 2020 starts, we should jump from the starting line and demonstrate what we are capable of doing.

By DAVID GEFFEN
10/01/2020
All Rabbinic commentaries agree that the light of Hanukkah candles may not be used for our own benef
Hanukkah candle lighting from Hungary - watch live

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
29/12/2019
Hanukkah celebrations and cheer aplenty for Argentine Jewish communities

Among the activities put on by AMIA were several concerts by Jewish bands and communal candle lighting ceremonies.

Hanukkah candle lighting from Vienna

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
28/12/2019
By your light, we shall see light
Hanukkah: By your light, we shall see

In Judaism, light has many interconnected meanings

By LEONARD CARR
27/12/2019
Siyumei Hashas in Jerusalem  Celebrating that special ‘daf’ feelin’
Siyumei Hashas in Jerusalem: Celebrating that special ‘daf’ feelin’

The 13th seven-and-a-half year cycle of daf yomi will be completed this coming week.

The eternal flame  in the Hanukkah candles
Does God need a light at night?: The eternal flame in the Hanukkah candles

While that story has become a foundational part of the holiday, there are actually many clear reasons that led to the establishment of Hanukkah.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
27/12/2019
Hanukkah images are displayed on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem
Parashat Miketz: From the darkest night

The days of Hanukkah are the darkest of the year

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
27/12/2019
What Chanuka means to me
What Hanukkah means to me

These brave little lights flicker on every windowsill in Jerusalem

A giant menorah stands in front of a Christmas tree at the Brandenburg gate to celebrate Hanukkah in
Hanukkah candle lighting from Mumbai - watch

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
28/12/2019
Rabbi Shneur Raitport and Yehudit light candles for the first night of Hanukkah, Yangon, Myanmar, De
Hanukkah in Myanmar - Bringing light to the world

Yehudit and her husband Rabbi Shneur Raitport are the Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Myanmar, who have recently made the country the umpteenth nation in the world where representatives of the Hasidic group are supporting and fostering Jewish life.

Hanukkah candle lighting from Cyprus - watch

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
25/12/2019
The  top 10 Jewish  stories  of 2019
The top 10 Jewish stories of 2019

These are the Jewish stories that most captured our attention in 2019.

By JTA
27/12/2019
Neighborhood Chinese restaurant.
It’s official: Google Data proves Chinese food on Christmas is a thing

The tradition likely began on the Lower East Side in Manhattan in the 20th century, when Jewish and Chinese Americans lived in close to each other.

Dreidel art
Guinness World Records certifies world’s most valuable dreidel

The custom-designed piece created by Estate Diamond Jewelry is valued at $70,000.

By MARCY OSTER/JTA
25/12/2019
Organ donor families and transplant receivers gather for Hanukkah

Each family brought a hanukkiah and a picture of a deceased family member who donated their organs when they died.

25/12/2019
Hanukkah menorah
United Arab Emirates embassies wish Jews a happy Hanukkah

UAE embassies in the UK, the US and France took to Twitter to wish Jews around the world a happy Hanukkah.

24/12/2019
HANUKKAH IMAGES illuminate Jerusalem’s Old City walls.
Hanukkah candle lighting from Belgrade, Serbia - watch

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
24/12/2019
My love-hate relationship with Christmas

Spending weeks on end rehearsing as the front end of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer did nothing to increase my love of the festive season.

By JANE BIRAN
24/12/2019
Ice menorah ready for Hanukkah in Tomsk, Siberia, December 2019.
Hanukkah candle lighting from Istanbul, Turkey - watch

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
24/12/2019
Hanukkah greetings from astronaut Jessica Meir's Twitter account.
‘Happy Hanukkah from space,’ Jessica Meir says wearing menorah socks

Meir, the daughter of an Israeli doctor who moved to Sweden and later to the US, joined the ISS crew in September. Two weeks later, she participated in the first all-female spacewalk.

Jersey City police work at the scene the day after an hours-long gun battle at a kosher supermarket
Jersey City celebrates Hanukkah in aftermath of kosher market shooting

Family members and supporters of all three of the market goers that lost their lives that day showed up for the ceremony.

All Rabbinic commentaries agree that the light of Hanukkah candles may not be used for our own benef
Hanukkah wishes from Trump, Johnson, Talib, Omar, other public figures

Politicians and celebrities tweeted in celebration of Hanukkah.

23/12/2019
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stands at the Western Wall after lighting the menorah there f
Benjamin Netanyahu and David Friedman light Hanukkah candles at Western Wall

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman light the first Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
22/12/2019
Ice menorah ready for Hanukkah in Tomsk, Siberia, December 2019.
Hanukkah candle lighting live from Istanbul - watch

Happy Hanukkah from The Jerusalem Post.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
23/12/2019
Ukranian parliament celebrates Hanukkah

The event is the first of its kind to be held since the inauguration of the new Ukrainian government, including Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky.

22/12/2019
'Tis the season for shopping: Your ultimate Hanukkah gift guide

Show friends and family you love them a whole latke

By SHARON FEIEREISEN
20/12/2019
Latkes
Introducing the latke hotline for Hanukkah

On Tuesday, The Nosher Jewish food site launched a hotline where readers can get all their latkes-related questions answered by Jewish food expert Shannon Sarna.

By JOSEFIN DOLSTEN/JTA
20/12/2019
The Jerusalem Post tests the best sufganiyot (doughnuts) in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem stores gear up for Hannukah with heavenly sufganiyot - WATCH

The Jerusalem Post visited the biggest sufganiyot (doughnut) makers in Jerusalem.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
20/12/2019
 ALCATRAZ PRISON cells
PARASHAT VAYESHEV: Between hope and despair

Yosef trusted that minister when he asked him to remember him, and for that was punished with two additional years in prison!

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
A GLASER family Hanukkah: Let us light double ‘chai
Hanukkah: history, meaning and its relevance today

Every single flame on every hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah) is a small victory, a reminder of the triumph of good over evil throughout history.

By SAM GLASER
19/12/2019
Menorahs that go above and beyond the usual for Hanukkah

All of Thau’s hanukkiot are purely decorative. Most would be a fire hazard if lit. Some are not even kosher for use and some are made with magnetic parts.

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
19/12/2019
Jerusalem’s sufganiyot scene has been taken over by French bakeries

The French aliyah to Jerusalem has brought plenty of patisseries and boulangeries all the way from Paris to not too far from Paris Square.

20/12/2019
This Jewish sage holds the secret to staying sane as a parent

I am proud to say that since this realization (thanks, Hillel!), my life has changed. I have put yes back into my vocabulary — and, what’s more, I don’t even feel that guilty about it!

By LEAH KADOSH/KVELLER
19/12/2019
‘JACOB WRESTLING with the Angel,’ fresco of Eugène Delacroix.
Jacob’s & Herzl’s struggle

Herzl’s interpretation of Jacob’s conflict also is indicative of his own.

10/01/2020
FAITH IN God allows us to see beyond the horizon
Parashat Vayishlach : The light at the end of the night

Faith in God allows us to see beyond the horizon; to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even when that light is still hidden.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
From left - Jon Boydon, Emma Hatton, Jenna Lee-James and Peter Eldridge soak up the applause before
The bohemian rhapsody of Queen Symphonic

The air was full of excitement and curiosity in Tel Aviv last night as the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra took the stage with cast members of the West End's We Will Rock You musical.

Ben Ezer - fruit gift boxes
Parashat Vayetze: Gratitude – acknowledging truth

Judah, of course, did not intend to express gratitude to Tamar for what she had done. He meant to admit the truth.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
'The worst is when a society proudly adopts evil as an ideology.'
Parashat Vayera: An ideology of evil

The story of Sodom reminds us that when pride takes hold of a society, evil follows.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
MAN’S ROLE is to collect sparks of truth and connect them, until the entire truth arises from the ea
PARASHAT BERESHIT: The truth that is thrown to the ground

The truth waits to be collected with due respect.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT VAYELECH: The initial foundations of teshuva

This is not a time of self-flagellation, but our chance to take a realistic look at with what spiritual food we nourish our soul.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT KI TAVO: Repairing relationships

This commandment expresses the farmer’s Jewish compassion that gives him the responsibility for others’ fate.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT KI TETZEI: Slave morality or Divine morality?

There was a time when Egypt “hosted you at a time of dire need” (Rashi). We cannot forget this time, and therefore we are forbidden from despising the Egyptians.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Shoftim: The Court and the Temple

‘People need laws and need to be judged by these laws in order to get along.’

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT RE’EH: Facing idolatry

Even after idolatry seemingly disappeared from our lives – we see that it actually hasn’t

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Ekev: How should reality look?

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat VA’ETHANAN: What’s at the heart of being proper and good?

“Jerusalem was destroyed because they based their judgments [strictly] on the Torah law and did not go beyond the strict requirements of the law” (Bava Metzia 30).

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Masei: The journey of life

These sermons delivered in the hell of the Warsaw Ghetto act as a unique yahrzeit candle to a lofty and sacred world.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Matot: What’s wrong with new prohibitions?

The person who builds an altar is trying to be different from everyone else. The entire Jewish people brings sacrifices to the Temple, but he builds an altar for sacrifices in his home.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT BEHA’ALOTCHA: Humility, trust and loyalty

Everyone is welcome to climb up and whoever makes the effort will attain results.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
PARASHAT BEHUKOTAI: Jewish instinct

Although learning Torah is counted as one of the Torah’s commandments, it stands alone and unique above all the other commandments.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat BEHAR: Giving charity to guarantee dignity

The ‘highest level’ of charity per Maimonides is not to support the poor financially, but to prevent a person from becoming poor.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Emor: Great is human dignity

Judaism sees the proper and respectful treatment of a person’s dead body as an expression of human dignity.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Kedoshim: What does it mean to be holy?

Every person in the community has the ability to attain this exalted status of holiness.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
10/01/2020
Parashat Kedoshim: Who is the judge and what is justice?

If we look closely, the demand is not only that we act righteously, but that we also give others the benefit of the doubt.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Jewish calendar
PARASHAT TAZRIA: A Jew – past, present and future

The Jewish people was not created naturally, and its belonging to natural history is not simple in the least. This is a nation that was created miraculously.

Nazi Swastika
Parashat Zachor and fighting antisemitism

There’s another reason we read Parashat Zachor.

By AVI WEISS
10/01/2020
Parashat Shmini: Kashrut and love

By keeping kosher, we become holy, and thus we merit God’s holiest love and protection. And since the Mishkan symbolized holiness, this parasha was written as part of the topics relating to holiness.

Parashat Tzav: Do not eat life!

One does not need to be a vegetarian to be able to identify with the basic principle that shedding blood is not a decent moral virtue.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parashat Tetzaveh: Deliberateness versus laziness

This week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, deals mostly with an interesting and surprising area: clothing design for the Temple priests.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Parshat Mishpatim: What does the Torah have to say about slavery?

A proper look at laws of slavery in the Torah teaches us that there is a direct connection between the laws of the Torah and the feelings of a person who sees slavery as immoral.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Thoughts to Ponder: Hearing, receiving and responding

It is detrimental to Jewish tradition to transform words into fixed clusters of thought and the storing up of whole theories.

THOUGHTS TO PONDER: Religious scandal

The binding of Isaac and the tragic God.

Parashat Vayera: Divine revelation and welcoming guests

Man’s creation is ‘hachnasat orhim’ in the deepest sense we can imagine.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
GOD FORBIDS Adam and Eve from eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
How to eat from the Tree of Knowledge

This story raises a basic question: Why was it forbidden for Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge?

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
10/01/2020
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz
PARASHAT KI TAVO: Torah for everyone

Every child knew that the Torah was accessible to all and that there is no obstacle for anyone thirsty for Jewish knowledge.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
‘MOSES,’ BY Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1513-1515, at San Pietro in Vincoli (Rome)
PARASHAT RE'EH: Judaism and the struggle against fear

[Judaism] is not afraid of the power of nature because it sees it as an expression of God’s benevolence.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
ACTRESS HELEN HAYES
Now that Elul is beginning...

Now the time has come for us to board anew our ‘ship of life’

By DAVID GEFFEN
10/01/2020
IMPERIAL STATE crown of the United Kingdom
Parashat Dvarim: Love of fellow Jews and the Torah

Being a Jew is undoubtedly an obligation... but we mustn’t see Judaism as a heavy burden.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
A shepherd keeps watch over his grazing sheep in the Romanian mountain
Parashat Pinhas: Personal hope versus national hope

A true leader puts the nation’s needs ahead of his own and the nation’s hopes ahead of his personal ones.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Illustrative photo of a bookstore
The long road to the goal

We must remember that we have not yet reached our destination.

Mount Sinai [pictured today at the summit]
PARASHAT BEHA’ALOTCHA: Escape to freedom

Mature adults are expected to recognize the importance of ideological commitment and to see moments of vacation as a break meant for reenergizing themselves for a higher purpose.

Illustration by Pepe Fainberg
Parashat Beshalach

A Jewish approach to war and peace

By RON KRONISH
10/01/2020
AN ULTRA-ORTHODOX man prays in a Jerusalem park
Parashat vayigash: Human action and Divine plan

We think, plan, try to steer the course of our lives. This is all good; but alongside this rational, thoughtout plan, there is a smidgen of doubt, something that shakes our self-confidence.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
BOYS SEE their re ections in a pool with gold sh in Ashdod
Parashat Vayeshev: Who do we see in our reflection?

Often, our sins stem from an error in our self-image.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
ISAAC’S SERVANT tying a bracelet on Rebekah’s arm in this 1775 work by Anglo-American history painte
Water from the well: The seduction of beauty

This week’s Torah portion, Toldot, presents one of the many stories in Genesis dealing with the beauty of a woman and the resulting danger.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
10/01/2020
PUPILS PRAY at the Kehilot Ya’acov Torah School for Boys in Jerusalem
Parashat toldot: Every person is a whole world

One of the great Jewish philosophers of the 19th century was Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-88), a German Orthodox rabbi.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
‘NOAH’S ARK on Mount Ararat’ (1570) by Flemish painter Simon de Myle.
Parashat Noah: The end of a righteous person

When God informed Noah of the upcoming flood, he did not approach his peers and try to persuade them to improve their ways.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
Poverty in Israel
Parashat Re'eh: ‘You shall not harden your heart’

This week's Torah portion has a lot to do about charity.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
10/01/2020
THE PEOPLE & THE BOOK: Compromise is possible

Take away a young child’s favorite toy, even for a few seconds. The tantrum that ensues will illustrate the difference between a child and an adult.

By AARON PANKEN
10/01/2020
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