Hanukkah is the Jewish “festival of lights”, celebrated for 8 days and nights by lighting a menorah in each Jewish home. Full of its own traditions, customs and foods, it is arguably the most universally celebrated Jewish holiday. But, what exactly are we celebrating? History Like most Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is based on a paradigmatic event in Jewish history. Long ago, the Land of Israel was ruled by the Greeks. […]
The Star of David is a six-pointed star made up of two triangles superimposed over each other (hexagram). In Judaism, it is often called the Magen David, which means the “Shield of David,” in Hebrew. It is the most iconic Jewish symbol, the most recognizable sign of Jewish identity, pride and unity. So where did it come from?
The blowing of the shofar is the highlight of the Rosh Hashanah service, stemming from a verse in Leviticus 25:9: “Then you shall sound the horn loud; in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, the Day of Atonement, you shall have the horn sounded throughout your land.” But why? The Torah does not give us a reason. Nevertheless, the great 10th century sage, R. Saadia Gaon, […]