Judaism

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

Jerusalem Yeshiva live-streams Megillah reading to US troops in Kuwait

"What an amazing opportunity it is to join together in our yeshiva at the kotel, in the Old City of Jerusalem, with Jews so far away that we have never met," Rabbi Rosman said.

'Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther' by Rembrandt, 1660, at Moscow's Pushkin Museum

Queen Esther helped me become the hero of my own Persian Jewish story

When met with a crisis — when the king’s evil adviser, Haman, decreed that all the Jews were to be killed — Esther looked deep within herself and realized she had strength.

By AYLIN SEDIGHI-GABBAIZADEH/JTA
25/02/2021
Book of Esther

COVID-19 Purim: Tel Aviv Great Synagogue to livestream Megillah reading

The livestream will begin Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m.

25/02/2021

Parashat Mishpatim: Optimism and pessimism square off

This story is yet another chapter in the battle between Amalek and the Jewish nation.

The first verse in Genesis teaches us we must not destroy the world, but preserve it.

What does the Bible say on the preservation of the environment?

Eco Bible is the first of a two-volume work (a second book, with commentaries on Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy will be published in the future).

By MIRIAM KATES LOCK
25/02/2021
Crowding into a sealed room during the Gulf War, 1991.

Purim miracles: From Saddam to corona and beyond

If there is a lesson in all this, it is that Purim, its miracles and deliverance are not confined to the distant past.

Hanging a Haman doll in Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood

Purim’s Haman: Sometimes our enemies get it right

In recognition of this stunning reversal of fortune, the rabbis canonized Esther’s story and decreed a number of mitzvot that are meant to strengthen our sense of camaraderie.

"I'm confused. Who is on the line?"

Purim Shpiel: Sour grapesvine

Purim shpiel: Some holiday humor to brighten up your weekend

By GREYER FATE CASHEW
24/02/2021

This week in Jerusalem – A r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶u̶p shpiel of city affairs

Purim shpiel: What on earth has been going on in Israel's capital this week?

24/02/2021
PASSING UP this signature Purim meal a year into the pandemic is painful.

How I fell in love with Purim in Israel

How do you boost holiday cheer in such troubling times?

Making merry at a school Purim party in years past

Purim is a time of giving: Some memories to get by

Even in this depressing time we are living through, be happy – it’s Purim!

Street performers will add a splash or two of color to the city streets

Purim parties kick off throughout Jerusalem in city-wide celebration

The advent of Purim offers a perfect opportunity to shake off some of those pandemic blues and get in some high jinks.

24/02/2021
Hamantaschen from Jerusalem's Marzipan bakery

What is the Jewish holiday with the unhealthiest food?

Dr. Maya Rozman answers which holiday has the unhealthiest food and explains how to make mishloach manot healthier.

By MAYA ROSMAN/103FM
21/02/2021
HAREDIM RALLY against coronavirus restrictions in Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood, February 9.

A rabbi’s open letter to his haredi brethren

I now understand that your goal was not to keep Jews Jewish – but to keep haredim haredi

By AHARON E. WEXLER
18/02/2021
Mishkan, or Tabernacle in English

Parashat Terumah: Making space

The building of the mishkan did not change God, but it changed Israel. God may be the same everywhere, but we are not.

18/02/2021
MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSON, the beloved Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Parashat Terumah: Who wants imperfect deeds?

How can one uphold both truth and peace, and then go so far as to claim that the world can only exist when both truth and peace exist?

THE WRITER at Key Gate, the major entrance to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Purim: Looking back and looking forward

A look at Purim in all its dimensions

By DAVID GEFFEN
18/02/2021
Queen Esther's real name was Hadassah but when she became Queen, she was called Esther: the Persian

Purim: Queen Esther has inspired artists through the ages

Queen Esther is depicted as the epitome of feminine modesty, courage and self-sacrifice.

Stones placed in remembrance lie on grave tablets on the Mount of Olives Jewish cemetary as the sun

Jewish gravestones found in Germany dating back to 11th Century

The headstones were transferred to a facility at the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, and will be used for academic research.

Mishpatim: A continuum of doing and listening

Parashat Yitro and Parashat Mishpatim are seen as a continuum.

Olam Qatan: Bridging Jewish, Sufi spiritual beliefs

Jewish Sufi seeker Ya’qub ibn Yusuf, born Joshua Heckelman in New York City, studied with great spiritual masters before opening Olam Qatan a generation ago.

How pandemics in Jewish history shaped mourners' Kaddish

The original practice in Ashkenazi communities was that each mourners’ Kaddish in the prayer service is recited by one person only.

By LEVI COOPER
11/02/2021
An illustration of a unicorn in the 14th century Duke of Sussex Bible, held in the British Library

Parashat Mishpatim: The soul and the law

We went from philosophy to the budget.

11/02/2021

Parashat Mishpatim: A thief's dignity

Why is it that someone who steals an ox is fined five times the value of the theft, whereas someone who steals a lamb is fined only four times the value of the theft?

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
11/02/2021

Telling the forgotten story of Osnat Barzani, first female rabbi

Osnat was born in Kurdistan in 1590. Her story is an astounding one.

By LIOR ZALTZMAN/JTA
11/02/2021

Time running out in race to preserve endangered Jewish languages

The many endangered dialects of Judeo-Arabic have been documented to varying extents, from Egypt to Morocco, from Syria to Yemen. And some young people are keeping the music alive.

By SARAH BUNIN BENOR/JTA
09/02/2021

Parashat Yitro: The coming of Jethro

Moses shows true emotion upon seeing Jethro.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
04/02/2021

Parashat Yitro: What preceded the receiving of the Torah?

The parasha is called Yitro because it begins with the story of Jethro coming to the Israelites’ encampment.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
04/02/2021

Elijah the Prophet - unmasking open miracles

The world is a place of mystery, a simple person may hold the deepest secrets.

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
04/02/2021

Arthur Waskow wants Judaism to deal with climate change, tech challenges

The book’s theme is that when big changes come, opportunities open up to transform religion and society, or in the author’s terms, “dance in the earthquake.”

By AARON LEIBEL
04/02/2021

The Hebrew priestess movement aims to center womens’ voices

“Mah norah hamakom hazeh,” she chants. “How awesome is this body. How awesome is this place. How awesome is this journey through time and space.”

By ESTHER D. KUSTANOWITZ/JTA
30/01/2021
Binding of the Vilna Gaon’s Tanach

Vilna Gaon's Tanach binding discovered in Jerusalem

The binding shall be put up for public auction next week in Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem.

The essence of the Exodus- From Egypt and from Europe

The Exodus from Egypt and the exodus from Europe 3,000 years later are so similar that biblical critics in the far future might argue that they were one and the same.

29/01/2021
Exodus from Egypt (Edward Poynter)

Parashat Beshalach - What do you carry?

All of us carry a great deal through life – memories, aspirations, relationships, burdens, natural gifts.

28/01/2021

Parashat Beshalach - Exodus from slavery to song

This Shabbat is termed Shabbat Shira for Shirat HaYam, the Song of the Sea, read in this parasha.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
28/01/2021
Birya forest

Post chooses new logo for Tu BiShvat

Congratulations to Ian Parkinson of the United Kingdom.

Tu BiShvat: Vote for JPost's.com new 'tree logo'

Help Jewish National Fund-USA and The Jerusalem Post say happy birthday to the trees.

Parashat Bo: Time after time

CORONA HAS been a dramatic game changer in the way we experience time.

By MOSHE TARAGIN
21/01/2021

Are there blessings for receiving the coronavirus vaccine?

These blessings are meant to inculcate a sense of wonder as well as gratitude to God.

By SHLOMO BRODY
21/01/2021
A MAN wraps fresh matza during Passover in Ashdod in 2016

Parashat Bo: Multiple meanings of matzah

There are (at least) three different reasons for eating unleavened bread; and together with a fourth, symbolic reason, all of them tie together in one of those mystical weaves.

21/01/2021
Exodus from Egypt (Edward Poynter)

Parashat Bo: Being ‘on the job’

The Jewish nation left Egypt to fulfill its Divine purpose: to receive the Torah, establish in the Land of Israel a state that will operate on the basis of the laws and values of the Torah.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
21/01/2021

Let them eat (eggless) cake: Connecting vegan ideals with Judaism

For those Jews positively inclined to consider a vegan diet, reading Schwartz’s book is like having a personal mentor.

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
21/01/2021

Tu Bishvat: Happy new year! (That is, if you’re a tree!)

Tree-planting ceremonies are traditional on Tu Bishvat in Israel, where the soil is holy

Micha Goodman Identity Crisis

Why are secular Israelis obsessed with traditional Judaism?

“Many secular readers, after they read this book, they said, ‘Oh, we want to be that kind of secular Israelis that are connected to their past without being controlled by the past, where can we start

By IDENTITY CRISIS/JTA
20/01/2021

Coffin of philanthropist Sheldon Adelson arrived in Israel

Adelson, one of the most well-known Jewish philanthropists, will be buried Friday in Jerusalem.

Tu Bishvat - The holiday that deserves an upgrade

Tu Bishvat is a somewhat subdued day of note relative to the other celebratory days of the Jewish calendar, and is not a festival that too many eagerly prepare for or look forward to.

By BARRY NEWMAN
14/01/2021
THE FAMOUS Egyptian pyramids are a perfect example of ancient Egypt’s power and spiritual decay

Parashat Va'era: When power meets empathy

People often use power, and when it is employed, it is not easy to overcome it. The Midrash teaches us that when power is met with empathy, consideration and compassion, it collapses and retreats.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
14/01/2021

Just A Thought: The Capitol and holiness

Over the years, I have found that the best commentary to what happens in any given week is to be found in the 3,300-year-old text of the Torah portion.

By AHARON WEXLER
14/01/2021
‘MOSES WITH the Ten Commandments,’ Philippe de Champaigne, 1648: Why not read them every day?

Parashat Va'era: Despair and destinations

The news of liberation comes to the slaves of Israel – but they are unable to hear it.

14/01/2021
A J Street panel meeting

Progressive Jewish groups oppose codification of IHRA antisemitism definition

Network of left-wing Jewish organizations argues that legal adoption of IHRA definition could stifle free speech and suppress debate on Israel. Foreign Ministry laments opposition to further adoption

Controversial UK rabbi explored, analyzed in new book

Reconciling modern scholarship with unquestioning faith

THE PARTING of the Red Sea during the Jewish nation’s escape from Egypt, an illustration from a Bibl

Parashat Shemot: What makes a hero?

Moses’s personal struggles enable him to summon the strength despite his initial unwillingness.

07/01/2021
Pregnant woman (Illustrative)

Imeinu Doulas: Providing spiritual support to prospective, new Jewish mothers

Imeinu Doulas began modestly with a team of Jewish doulas, companions who are trained to care for and offer support to women in childbirth.

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
07/01/2021

Judaism advises us to follow the doctors

Regarding synagogue attendance, the rabbi of Posen confirmed that considering the contagious nature of cholera, overcrowding was indeed a problem.

By LEVI COOPER
07/01/2021
‘MOSES WITH the Ten Commandments,’ Philippe de Champaigne, 1648: Why not read them every day?

Parashat Shemot: An unglamorous leader

One of the skills a leader needs is the ability to make speeches and persuade the masses, and this was something Moses felt he could not do.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
07/01/2021
Igor Litvin, right, started a Torah-based ecology club in Minsk, Belarus. Participants meet every so

With new clubs, Russian-speaking Jews bolster unique Jewish identity

Each month, a group of young Jews in Minsk meet either in person or online to consider a specific environmental dilemma and what Judaism has to say about it.

By LARRY LUXNER/JTA
07/01/2021

Learning Kabbalah through coloring books

"The Kabbalah Coloring Book is really two books in one. It works for kids as a coloring book, and it works for adults."

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
31/12/2020

Serah Bat Asher: The one who remembers

It is truly remarkable that two short references in the biblical text could generate such a multifaceted woman in midrashic literature.

By NECHAMA GOLDMAN BARASH
30/12/2020
A 1,000-year-old Hebrew Bible,was unveiled at the Museum of the Bible on November 8, 2019.

Parashat Vayechi: An unsung Torah hero

We should honor Menashe's memory and emulate his example.

30/12/2020

Parashat Vayechi: Different but complementary

There is a facet to Torah learning that is national rather than personal.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
30/12/2020

Significance of Jewish wedding ceremonies analyzed in new book

The fleeting moments of the wedding ceremony can have enduring significance

By ROSS SINGER
30/12/2020
A yolka tree in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia (Yelena VereshchakaTASS via Getty Images)

For former Soviet Union Jews, NYE always involves a Christmas-style tree

“But we’re Jewish, so why do we have a Christmas tree?” I recall thinking.

By ASHLEY ZLATOPOLSKY/JTA
30/12/2020
Jamie Foxx voices the main character in Pixar's "Soul." (Screen shot from YouTube)

How Pixar’s ‘Soul’ borrows from an ancient Jewish idea

Pixar’s “Soul,” released on Friday on Disney+, is a tender balm of a movie about an aspiring jazz musician who dies on the day he gets his big break.

By RABBI BENJAMIN RESNICK
30/12/2020
SEPHARDI CHIEF Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef: COVID-19 vaccine mandatory according to Jewish Law

The coronavirus pandemic has continued to ravage Israel, with a notable rise in cases among the ultra-Orthodox population.

Rabbi Herzl Henkin, pioneer of women’s leadership in Orthodoxy, dies

Henkin and his wife, Rabbanit Chana Henkin, founded a program for women to study the laws of family purity and answer Jewish legal questions on the subject.

By SHIRA HANAU/JTA
25/12/2020

Did the biblical Jacob purchase Jerusalem, or another city?

As long as one accepts that “spread his tent” equals “encamped,” it seems inevitable to conclude, based on the text, that Jacob purchased Jerusalem.

24/12/2020

WebYeshiva: Offering free online Torah education long before COVID-19

Most online Torah study is done through transcriptions and recordings of lectures, but WebYeshiva offers something different: 60 hours a week of live classes online.

By Rivkah Lambert Adler
24/12/2020
THE FLIGHT of the Prisoners, c. 1896-1902 – exile, concluded AB Yehoshua, is ‘in the molecules and a

Parashat Vayigash: Exile as a moral foundation

Again and again, the Bible repeated the connection between the exile in Egypt and the obligation to respect foreigners.

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
24/12/2020

Parashat Vayigash: Unmasking

The metaphor for our year is the mask. Wearing it, not wearing it, different kinds of masks, the sense of being hidden and the fear that it connotes.

24/12/2020

Computer scientist explains and challenges religion in new book

Platonic dialogue meets advanced Gemara class meets ‘The Moscow Puzzles,’ but accessible

By ZE’EV MAGHEN
24/12/2020
David Roberts The Destruction of Jerusalem

Asara B'Tevet, the siege of Jerusalem: Fast start and end times

The fast is unusual because it is the only fast that can fall on a Friday, as it does this year.

24/12/2020

What blessing should you say when you get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Different rabbis from different denominations give their opinions on which blessing to say.

By LAURA E. ADKINS/JTA
24/12/2020
A giant menorah stands in front of a Christmas tree at the Brandenburg gate to celebrate Hanukkah in

Many Jews refrain from learning Torah Christmas Eve, call it Nittel Nacht

The practice of not learning Torah is an interesting one and not the norm: There’s only one day on the Jewish calendar, the mourning holiday of Tisha B’Av.

By HANNAH LEBOVITS/JTA
24/12/2020

Parashat Vayigash: Can we save the unity of the Jewish people?

First, Vayigash recounts the crime that shattered Jacob’s family.

219 new olim from Ethiopia arrive in Israel

Operation Tzur Yisrael assists over 200 new immigrants to integrate to the Jewish homeland

Children read Torah in Mea She'arim

Outdoor Torah Readings in the Corona Winter

A congregation that could not read from the Torah on Shabbat morning would read the entire Torah portion later in the afternoon.

By RABBI SHLOMO BRODY
21/12/2020
SEPHARDI CHIEF Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef

Sephardi Chief Rabbi to visit UAE Jewish community, inaugurate new school

He will also invest Rabbi Levi Duchman as Rabbi of the Emirati Jewish community.

19/12/2020
Id Al Banat Flyer

Jewish women's organizations celebrate "Id Al Banat," Girl's Day

The women are mainly celebrating the history behind Book of Judith.

Chrissy Teigen expressing some Hanukkah envy as she viewed latkes frying: "Oh my gosh! Why have I no

Chrissy Teigen celebrated Hanukkah for the first time

Supermodel, food writer and sassy Twitter star Chrissy Teigen celebrated Hanukkah for the first time this year — and it’s truly one of the sweetest odes to the Festival of Lights we’ve ever seen.

By LIOR ZALTZMAN/JTA
18/12/2020
A sofer writes verses from the Shema prayer on a 'klaf' with a quill pen

How Anglo Jewry began to listen

For generations, Anglo Jewry began the Shema with 'Hear, Oh Israel,' until Rabbi Sacks gave a new translation.

Parashat Miketz: Days of love and hate – How do we cope?

“Will we find [anyone] like this, a man in whom there is the spirit of God?” (Genesis 41: 38).

By SHMUEL RABINOWITZ
17/12/2020
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