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The Jewish Astronomer Behind Vasco da Gama’s Maiden Voyage

By On April 28, 2017

Want a moon crater named after you? Easy: just follow Abraham ben Samuel Zacuto’s lead. Zacuto, born in Salamanca, Spain in 1452, was a Sephardic astronomer, mathematician, rabbi, and historian who dominated… Read More

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During the Holocaust, this Polish Oak Tree Sheltered Two Jews

By On April 27, 2017

In the Polish town of Wiśniowa, not far from Krakow, there is a large oak tree. It grows on the former grounds of the noble Mycielski family, and is thought to be… Read More

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Why Some Jews Cut Their Fingernails in a Funny Order

By On April 26, 2017

Jewish tradition has a strange and ancient obsession with fingernails. So ancient, in fact, that it dates back to the biblical human originals themselves, Adam and Eve, who were said to have… Read More

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Is That Pop Song Korean…or Hasidic?

By On April 25, 2017

Think you could tell the difference between Korean and Hasidic pop music? Since you’d be hard pressed to find two more dissimilar cultures, you might think it’d be easy. But a new… Read More

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These Hasidic Legos Are Coming to a Death Star Shul Near You

By On April 25, 2017

The wonder of Legos is that you’re supposed to be able to build anything you can imagine. While sitting around their Baltimore Shabbos table, Tobey Finkelstein and family decided that what they wanted to… Read More

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Holocaust Survivor Portraits and Notes in an Emotional Photo Book

By On April 21, 2017

A handsome older gentleman stands softly illuminated by the rain-splattered window behind him, a small, satisfied smile gently curling his lips. The sentence “My name is Izrael Nathan Melamed, not Adam Adams”… Read More

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Why Non-Jewish Nurses Studied Yiddish in 1930s Detroit

By On April 19, 2017

No one blinks an eye at an American studying French, or a Frenchman studying Spanish. Non-Jews studying Yiddish, on the other hand, have always attracted a lot of attention. Maybe it has… Read More

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Steve Buscemi Plays Richard Gere’s Rabbi In This New Film

By On April 18, 2017

One day, a Jewish American fixer named Norman Oppenheimer and played, oddly enough, by Richard Gere, buys a jaded Israeli politician named Micha Eshel a pair of $1000 shoes after seeing him speak at… Read More

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The Simpsons Lead Us in Counting the (H)Omer

By On April 17, 2017

Shaky blue clouds streak over a pastel blue sky. Wobbly yellow letters appear. Why, it’s the opening moments of The Simpsons! And that’s Bart writing on the school blackboard! But then things… Read More

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Maimonides on Dieting: Matzah Sucks, and Bread’s Bad, Too

By On April 14, 2017

Moses Maimonides aka Rambam (1135-1204) was a full-time physician, philosopher, and Rabbinic commentator. So how did he have time to eat healthfully instead of just grabbing some ramen on the go? A… Read More

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Watch Robert Duvall As an Anti-Semitic Sociopath

By On April 13, 2017

In 1960, two years before he played the reclusive hero Boo Radley in the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, Robert Duvall played an anti-Semitic sociopath in a quickly forgotten film called Destiny’s… Read More

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This Jewish Scientist Discovered The Magic of THC

By On April 12, 2017

In the early 1960s, a Bulgarian-born scientist named Raphael Mechoulam was caught carrying five kilograms of, as he called it, “superb, smuggled Lebanese hashish” on a bus from Tel Aviv to Rehovot. But… Read More

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