Two prayer books with some oddly intriguing labels have revealed a fascinating story involving an American Jewish soldier killed during a failed WWII operation. This story begins in Manhattan, 81 years ago. It ends at the National Library of Israel…
As Yom Kippur draws to a close, a nostalgic tune is sung in Ashkenazi synagogues around the world. While many Jews recognize this tune, most do not know that it was actually composed for Napoleon Bonaparte himself. So how did a Napoleonic marching tune make its way into our neilah prayer service?
How a little-known Yom Kippur ritual became a weapon in the hands of antisemites
The stargazers predicted that Rabbi Akiva’s daughter would be bitten by a poisonous snake on her wedding day. The great sage now faced a cruel question: How to contend with such a prophecy? The Talmud tells of his choice, and how his daughter ultimately saved herself, unlike a certain Sleeping Beauty…
Even on Yom Kippur, German Jews in the 19th century were ready to sacrifice themselves for their homeland
More delicate than the princess from “The Princess and the Pea”, more spoiled than a Kardashian. Among the Talmudic legends surrounding the destruction of ancient Jerusalem is the strange story of a wealthy woman who was unaccustomed to contact with the outside world. Why did the Talmudic sages choose to focus on this particular tale, and is there a modern lesson to be learned from it?
Years after Zalman Pollack was a star of the Jewish world, his life’s work was rediscovered…
What are the strange biblical origins of the term “scapegoat”? And what does it have to do with the Jewish Day of Atonement?
When cholera ran rampant, saving lives superseded all else
Learn how a traditional Jewish prayer melody inspired everyone – from classical composers to filmmakers to psychedelic rock bands.