Browsing Tag

weird traditions

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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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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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Sex + God + Jews in a Tiny Beautiful Chapbook

By On March 27, 2017

“So that I might come to be trusted, I built myself into a city.” I Wanted Just to Be Soft, Temim Fruchter‘s tiny beautiful chapbook of short lyrical stories, is about someone… Read More

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The Shema Prayer Just Debuted in the Fighting Ring

By On December 2, 2016

For the first time ever, Mixed Martial Arts, the full-contact sport that consists of people beating the hell out of each other, just held their World Championship in Israel. To mark his win, MMA… Read More

The Ancient Belief in Jewish Bones Tunneling to Jerusalem on Judgment Day
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The Ancient Belief in Jewish Bones Tunneling to Jerusalem on Judgment Day

By On July 29, 2016

Life in ancient Palestine was rough. The Jews who left for Babylonia tended to have it easier, living under kinder rulers than those in Roman and Byzantine Palestine. But those Palestinian Jews… Read More

Make a Sephardic Seder, Whip Your Friends With Scallions
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Make a Sephardic Seder, Whip Your Friends With Scallions

By On April 21, 2016

After sitting for hours—and hours and hours—around the seder table with your family, you may feel like hitting someone (looking at you, drunk Uncle Ivan). If your family is Sephardic and has… Read More

Decoding the Torah=Decoding Life. Or Something.
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Decoding the Torah=Decoding Life. Or Something.

By On October 21, 2015

  A blurb for Torah Codes: End to Darkness proclaims that the film is the definitive source “on the bible codes and what is happening in Israel.” It’s one of those things—maybe.… Read More

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How Christmas Eve Became a Jewish Holiday

By On December 24, 2013

  You may associate Christmas with Chinese food and a trip to the cineplex, but there’s an older and stranger Jewish tradition for Christmas Eve: Nittel Nacht. Nittel Nacht, whose etymology is uncertain, was the… Read More

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Gogol-Mogol, The Shtetl Miracle Cocktail

By On December 16, 2013

From the same folks who discovered chicken soup and munching garlic cloves as remedies for the common cold, came the “gogol-mogol” the once-revered, now maligned shtetl health cocktail. What, haven’t heard of it? Gogol-mogol, or… Read More

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Not Your Momma’s Passover

By On April 18, 2011

On Passover, every family has its own traditions: Singing special songs. Using finger-puppets to act out the Exodus from Egypt. Similarly, different Jewish cultures in different parts of the world have unique and innovative ways to relate… Read More