As an active and engaged Jew now, I obviously don’t look on my own background as a dangerous symptom of Jewish decline.
There’s no bigger business than the High Holidays at your local synagogue. Jay Michaelson has some unconventional advice: Don’t go.
Sarah Seltzer is a self-proclaimed Scrooge on Christmas. She is one of those Jews who’s not afraid to say: “Not my messiah. Not my religion. Not my holiday.”
What could be more sacred than water? It is essential to all life, refreshing to drink, and beautiful to behold. In May of 2013 we celebrated our marriage with a carefully crafted and lovingly personalized Jewish ceremony. When it came to designing the Kiddush for our wedding, the blessing traditionally said over wine, we chose instead to sanctify water. Neither of us drink alcohol and so the decision to leave out wine was an easy one. We had been using water for our Friday Night Kiddush since we moved in together nine months earlier and it felt like a natural extension to have it at our wedding.
There’s no particularly good reason why Johnna Kaplan never owned the book that’s so central to the Jewish people’s culture. Then the package from Amazon arrived.
Simi Lichtman washes her hands and says the ‘hamotzi’ prayer before eating pizza, while her new husband doesn’t. Now that they’re married, should they both do the same thing?
Every Saturday night in Romania, brides from Bucharest and beyond are dragged away in a mock abduction by friends and driven to a top tourist spot where they are “held hostage” - all the while pouting, dancing and striking provocative poses for the cameras.
Hundreds of mariachis and traditional horse performers from around the world gathered in the Mexican city of Guadalajara to participate in the International Mariachi Festival on Sunday. The celebration featured free concerts for the public as well as mariachi performances and a national “charreria” tournament where traditional Mexican horsemen had the opportunity to show off their skills.
The issue of circumcision of young boys has been widely-spoken about in the media recently, particularly following German attempts to ban this Jewish and Muslim tradition. According to Judaism, male new-born babies are circumcised when they are 8 days old, in a ceremony called Brit Milah in Hebrew. The tradition goes back to the days of Abraham in the bible. Seeing as the majority of Israelis are circumcised, we asked for their opinion of the latest developments revolving around this issue, which is quite routine in this country. Recent US studies show that circumcision is beneficial to one’s health and specifically helps avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases. And pediatricians say the advantages outweigh the risks. So while a German court banned religious circumcision in June, aides of German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed support of the Jewish German community. And as for Israelis- they seem perfectly okay with it. Sivan Raviv, JN1, Israel.
A traditional sword dance festival fascinated tourists Monday on the Croatian island of Korcula. The annual event always opens on August 6. Performed on the island for more than 400 years, the sword dance in Korcula is one of the oldest traditional European dances performed to this day. Accompanied by drums and bagpipe-like instrument misnice, the Moreska dance involves a fighting sequence between rival tribes before culminating in the unfurling of a large-sized national flag.