Jerusalem: City of Lepers?

For thousands of years, leprosy was one of the world’s most feared diseases | Jerusalem’s “Hansen House” is known as the city’s legendary leper asylum, but a look back through time reveals a longstanding relationship between the city and the illness | On Jerusalem: city of holiness and leprosy

The Queen Who Loved the Destroyer of the Second Temple

Who was Queen Berenice? Was she a cold, calculating seductress or simply a woman captivated by a young, charismatic general? Here we give you the story of the Second Temple-period Jewish queen forced to survive in a tumultuous world, whose love affair with Titus – the future Roman emperor and notorious suppressor of a Jewish rebellion—remains a bone of contention

A True Jerusalem Story: The Failed Raid of the Lost Ark

More than a century ago, a group of English treasure-hunters showed up in Jerusalem with the most ambitious of goals: They were determined to find the treasures of the ancient biblical kings, no less. This grand quest and its strange results made sensational headlines in newspapers around the globe, not to mention the riots that erupted across the city…

How Jews Started Writing Letters To G-d

Did you know that the Israeli Postal Service has an entire department dedicated to letters addressed to G-d? Did you know that no one can accurately trace the tradition of leaving prayer notes in the Western Wall? Did you know that many prominent rabbis would like to abolish the tradition all together? We explore some of the heated debates and captivating accounts of leaving letters for G-d in the venerated cracks of the Western Wall and answer the rousing question of why people leave prayer notes at all

Meet the Ottoman Kavass Guards, Protectors of the Chief Rabbi

With the rise in status of foreign and non-Muslim dignitaries in the Ottoman Empire in the mid-19th century, the Ottomans assigned special bodyguards to protect diplomatic consuls, Christian patriarchs, as well as the chief rabbis of Jewish communities throughout the empire. The church patriarchs continue to use these bodyguards to this day, but what happened to the kavass guards that were assigned to the Jews? And what does all this have to do with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef?

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The Yemenite Jews Who Arrived in the Holy Land in 1881

Shortly before what is known as “The First Aliyah”, a group of Jews from Yemen arrived in the Land of Israel. Several dozen Yemenite families had embarked on a long and arduous journey to settle in Jerusalem. Once there, they encountered hostility, arrogance, and deprivation on the part of their fellow Jews. Where did they turn and who came to their aid?

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Jerusalem During the War of Independence—Now in Color!

The blockade of Jerusalem began during the first few days of the War of Independence, spreading from the Old City’s Jewish Quarter to the rest of Jerusalem. These color photos from 1948 show us what life was like in the city that was cut off from the rest of the country…