"Above and Beyond"
Sample Reel for forthcoming documentary feature "Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force" currently in production by Playmount Productions. includes interviews with some of the original Machal members of what became the IAF. And El Al.


Possibly the best known word in the Bible, what does it mean?

"Bar Mitzvah"

What does "bar mitzvah" mean?


A pivotal phrase in Torah. What is a commandment? Are there more than one type of commandment? Inquiring minds...

"Doing Jewish"

Debbie Burton reflects on the response of Israel to receiving the commandments, what "faith" means to others and some interesting episodes in her own life.


There is no word in the Bible nor, for that matter, in Hebrew for "faith." How can the language of the Bible not contain the idea of "faith?" What does this mean for us?

"Ger" and "Convert"

Is a "ger" a "convert?" I don't think so. Neither does the Torah. How did one convert in olden times and how has that changed?

"How did we not know?"

What was happening in Europe during the war. But we did ... blame it on the New York Times.

"It is not in heaven," the tile in the oven

Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, known as "the Great," takes on the Sanhedrin over a tile in an oven and loses. But the Rabbis establish the principle of man's responsibility for Torah....

"Moses will sing ..."

These words, the beginning of the "Song at the Sea," occur after Israel crossed the Sea of Reeds. Why is it in the future tense? Yes, future and past tenses in Hebrew can reverse (grammatical future can be correctly translated as past tense and vice versa). But, could the use of the future tense mean something else for us entirely?

"My father was a wandering Aramean" - Who was he?

Who was this "Aramean?" We know that Jacob lived in Aram (when he worked for Laban). Was Jacob the "wandering Aramean?" But that would make Jacob "my father" and that should be Abraham.

"The Devil is Not So Black as He Is Painted"

Prof. Finkelstein, one of the leading Biblical archaeologists of the modern age, talks to Biblical Archaeology Review about the Exodus, David’s monarchy and Finkelstein’s views about the historical accuracy of the Bible. Are we actually decended from the Hyksos? Or, the memory of leaving Egypt from the Hyksos expulsion (which, on a timeline, fits Anati's theses)? An interview, but an important read.

"The Irony of Masada"

Close analysis of his story of Masada indicates that he is actually trying to remove any glory from Rome's victory at Masada. Indeed, he appears to be saying that Rome did not win the battle or the war. (Apologetics for Josephus?-Could be.)

"This is all we can do for you now"

"Wherefore criest thou unto me?"

Shmot 14:15 is our text. A fine point of grammar is our tool. And a great lesson is our result.

100 Voices: A Journey Home

Documentary of a number of cantors and their concerts in Poland (2010).

100 pagan ritual vessels, 3500 years old

Evidence that this large cache may have been buried to protect them from impending destruction. Work out the dates ....

2,000 Year Old Hebrew Papyrus

Papyrus does not keep well, so finding a Second Temple papyrus is quite a find. The document is written in ancient Hebrew script, characteristic of the Second Temple period and, rarer still, was found in situ. In the upper line is the text: "Year 4 to the destruction of Israel."

2,000 Year Old Mikvah, in Jerusalem

Discovered just 20 meters from the Western Wall.

2000 Years of water in Jerusalem

Aquaduct to Temple Mount.

3700 year old fortress wall, Jerusalem

40 Yiddish words you should know

40 youTube videos featuring Adon Olam

5000 years of Imperial mid-east history in 90 seconds

Who conquered Israel, when.

613 Commandments

From where do we get "613" as the commandment count?

A Parable

The writer of this brilliant piece remains unknown. It was posted to a blog on the internet on 18 June 2009. A "must read."

A Pilgramage to Belarus

"...few Nazis disassociated from their crimes publicly. My historical research and personal family experience confirms that most perpetrators remained caught in denial and self-deception and could not abjure the ideologies that justified their crimes. Instead, they delegated such "coming to terms" to the next generation" says the niece of the Nazi deputy commander of Pinsk, Belarus.

A Positive Attitude

Anyone who ever has tried to hit that little white ball should be humbled by this. Unbelievable. A must watch even if you do not play tennis or golf.

A new year's message

from Rabbi Schlomo Lewis.

A&E Biography: Adam and Eve

A biography of Adam and Eve? There hardly seems enough material in the creation sequence for a 44 minute bio. Surprizingly, there is enough to say about Adam and Eve to fill a good part of that time.

A&E Biography: Solomon and Sheba

About what one would expect, given the source, but much less than one would like.

A&E: David an Goliath

One of the better A&E films, examines David's character, not just his encounter with Goliath.

A&E: Great People of the Bible

A&E: The Hidden City of Petra

Built by the Nabatu (Nabateans) circa 5th century BCE, Petra is located just north of the Gulf of Aqaba (a/k/a Yam Soph in King Solomon's times) and just about on the Israel/Jordan border. It also figures prominently in the wrangling over "Mount Sinai."

Aaron In the Bible

Aaron gets away with ... quite a lot. How does he do it?

Acharai Mot

"The most challenging arena of human conduct, the one that really tests the mettle of our morality, is not how we behave in the synagogue but how we behave in our bedrooms."

Adam's "rib"?

Eve (Chava) was created from man's "rib?" Or is this a serious mistranslation?

Adon Olam

My two favorite version: the faster, faster version and (six cantors) Uncle Moishe style. Plus a few others....

Adon Olam (happy)

An alternate take on Rosh Ha'Shannah

Nehemia Gordon provides an explanation of how Yom Teruah, which is how the 1st of Tishrei is known in Torah, became Rosh Ha'Shannah, a holy day not known in Torah. The article also gives interesting insights into the mean of the term "Yom Teruah," not what one might expect ....

Anati's Har Karkom to receive Vatican sanction?

As reported in the Jerusalem Post. Anati's identification of "the mountain in Sinai" with Har Karkom not only move the mountain from the traditional Christian site, it relocated the Revelation hundreds of years earlier than held by tradition.

Announcing the sky

More about calenars: Chinese, Christian, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, ancient, French, Mayan, Roman calendars. The origin of the seven day week and other interesting information about calendars.

Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust

Rabbi Shraga Simmons' examination of the roots of anti-semitism. Very interesting.

Antisemitism in the White House

Anti-semitism is not unheard of in the White House, says Rafael Medoff. However, in only one modern Presidency did the President's anti-semitism actually affect governmental policy. That President was FDR.

Archaeologist sees proof for Bible in ancient wall

An Israeli archaeologist said that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era.

Archival films of Israel, 1947 onward -- in color

Are rice, beans and kitniyot really forbidden on Pesah?

Are you there God?

Is God our BFF who also just happens to rule the world? How is prayer efficacious? Some interesting thoughts.

Art in Torah

A Rabbi illustrates Torah and expresses Torah in his art.

Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State

Superb six part documentary details the history of Nazi Germany centering on the history of Auschwitz.

Authoritative (Israeli) Rabbinic decisions in 2009


How important is tradition?

Balaak: A few noodles short of a kugel

The man thinks he's going to be attacked. What does he do? Does he raise his army? Does he conscript soldiers? Does he hire mercenaries? Does he try to negotiate? No. He sends for a witch doctor!


Where have all the Jews gone?

Bamidbar - "in the wilderness"

Bamibar ([lit.] "in the wilderness") also known to the Rabbis as the book of the two censuses, represents a significant change in the relation of the people to God. Little noticed, though of significant importance, since the revelation at the mountain in Sinai, in the middle of Shmot, Israel has not travelled through the Shmot or Vayikra. Rabbi Helfgot explains.

Barley in the Bible

But, as far as I know, barley has only two uses. One is beef barley soup and the other is not bread.

Basic Judaism, a new section

New section, "Basic Judaism and Spirituality." I especially like "Anatomy of a Blessing."


What happens if we don't listen?

Before the Shma: "A wandering Aramean was my father"

The initial declaration of faith in Israel and what it means.


Even as G-d was providing them with the most incredible miracles, bread from heaven and water from rocks, they were busy moaning and groaning throughout ... Do we continue in this tradition, thus demonstrating that being a Jew is a burden? Or do we show our children that it is a pleasure?


Does the Bible have an economic system? If so, what is it? What does the Sabbatical year teach us about economics?

Bell from hem of priestly robe?

A 2,000-year-old bell, as described in Exodus 28:33, has been found.


Let there be light!

Bereshit (Genesis) - The Beginning

The story of the creation of the world hides something really important.

Bereshit - What was created first?

Berlin -- A Jewish Journey

Beautiful slide show of contemporary Jewish Berlin.

Beshalach -- Three d'varim

"And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said: 'Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.'" This passage teaches us: - Why we don't have the oil - Where God Did or Did Not Lead Israel - Why the Route Makes Sense

Bethlehem confirmed as First Temple era city

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a 3rd millenium BCE document seal specifically mentioning Bethlehem.


The Bikkurim, First Fruit offering, was not enforced for 14 years after Israel entered the land, R. Sherer examins the underlying reason for this delay and why it is relevant today.


The war of the seven nations and the missing GPS.

Bilaam - really existed!

Well known, from Bamidbar 22, for his talking jackass, Balaam appears to be a documentable historical character. According to tablets found at Deir Alla, Bilaam actually existed.

Bilaam apologizes to his ass

Bilaam pleads ignorance. So why does he say he sinned against his ass?

Bilaam in 'Toons

Bilaam's ass

Just how simple seeing what is right should be.

Black Light theater Pesach Silhouettes

Wonderful little video.


"Let my people go." Go where? For what?



But, we didn't know!

Recordings of German prisoners of war show that, in private, they chatted casually and chillingly about mass-murdering Jews.


Claus Tøndering's excellent and highly detailed essay on calendars (European, Jewish, Muslim, Chinese, etc.) and how they came to be as they are.

Camel powered carts 6000 years ago?

Camels were not domesticated until 3000 years ago in Canaan, causing issues for Biblical texts (camels appear in stories where they shouldn't). Now there is evidence of earlier domestication in the form of children's toys found in Turkmenistan.

Cast a Giant Shadow

Based on the 1962 book and borrowing key (and sometimes homorous) incidents from Slater's The Pledge. Who was Mickey Marcus? As far as I am concerned, that's the most important aspect of this film.

Cecile B. DeMille got it right?

You saw it on the news, how DeMille's recreation in The 10 Commandments, may have gotten it right. Some more details here.

Chanukah at Nuremberg

In 1945, the first showing of American-made documentary films of the extermination centers was on the first day of Chanukah. Irony, eh?

Chaya Sara

The first recorded arranged marriage ... what does it teach us about the quality of marriage?


The Red Heifer: why is faith exciting for some, irrelevant to others? The role of listening.

City of David Archaeologists Unearth Late Bronze Age Egyptian Scarab

Israeli archaeologists working at the City of David excavations in Jerusalem recently uncovered a rare 13th century B.C.E. Egyptian scarab. The scarab dates to Egypt’s 19th dynasty, which was marked by military campaigns and conquests in Canaan. According to dig directors Eli Shukron and Joe Uziel, the artifact is the first of its kind in the City of David excavations, and it serves as a material reflection of the Egyptian presence in Israel during the period.

Computer and other funnies

A whole bunch of new funnies that I've collected over the years. Not particularly Jewish but very funny. Some (many?) are not appropriate for all audiences.

Computer confirms Documentary Hypothesis

Computer software developed at Bar Ilan University thinks source critics may be right: there is a priestly author and a non-priestly author of the Bible.


Does "covet" refer to a psychological state, as is usually assumed, or does it, like almost all of the other mitzvot refer to behavior? "Covet" may not mean what we usually think it means.

DVD Review: Abraham: One Man, One God (A&E: Mysteries of the Bible series)

In short, entirely based on the texts and traditions but with (mostly) worthwhile commentary by modern scholars and thinkers.

DVD Review: Sampson & Delilah: A&E Biography

This is one of the more interesting shows in the A&E Biblical series. It actually discusses the characters in some depth, trying to understand them. It leaves me with lots to consider. The depictation of Delilah is very different (and, in the final analysis, truer to the text) than the common conception of her.

David and Solomon: Kings of Controversy

Was the kingdom of David and Solomon a glorious empire—or just a little cow town? It depends on which archaeologist you ask.

Delirium in Jerusalem, 1947

An eyewitness account of Jerusalem, the night of the partition vote.


Rabbi David Eliezer learns out the spiritual lesson of leaving the wilderness (God provided all our needs) and entering our land (we go to war, we work for our daily food ...).


Why remember? "A people who never forgot its past [is] destined to forever have a future."

Devarim-A Book Out Of Place.htm

Did I Find King David's Palace?

Details of Eilat Mazar's exciting work in Jerusalem.

Did Israel's God have a consort?

The debate is not a new one. The evidence, likewise, isn't new.

Did Pharaoh have free will?

If God hardened Paraoh's heart, how can we blame him for not letting Israel go?

Did the Aramean really try to kill our father?

"A wandering Aramean was my father" and "An Aramean tried to kill my father" - one is the literal translation of Devarim 26:5, the other is the translation in the Passover hagaddah. Not until the Rashbam, ibn Ezra and Kimhi do we see a return to the pshat.... There is reason to believe that the hagaddah understanding was "traditional." Rashi understands and explains the pasuk this way.

Did the Exodus really happen?

For over 1000 years, there have been questions about the account of the exodus. Attacks on the "historicity" of the exodus have accelerated in the last 30-40 years. So. Did it happen or not?

Dvar for Yom ha'Kippurim 5774

The meaning of "doing mitzvot."

Earliest known external reference to Israel?

The Merneptah Stele has long been believed to be the earliest reference to Israel outside the Bible. That inscription dates to about 1205 B.C.E. and recounts the military conquests of the pharaoh Merneptah Scholars now claim a stele, 200 yeaars older, also refers to Israel....

Echoes of the Shofar

From 1930 to 1947, it was unlawful for Jews to bring a Torah to the Kotel. It was unlawful for Jews to pray too loudly. And it was unlawful to sound a Shofar. Six "scoff-laws" re-enact their crime....

Ed Koch on FDR's anti-semitism

Egyptian Sphinx found in Northern Dig

For centuries, Canaan was not only a vassal state of Egypt but was "occupied" and ruled by Egypt (is this part of the source of the tradition of enslavement to Egypt?). At Tel Hazor, north of Kinnerett, a uniquely Egptian artifact has been found, a sphinx (or part of one).


The galut mentality.

Ekev: Man does not live by bread alone

R. Simche Sherer tells us that "The human spirit is such that we crave more than bread. Now 'bread' colloquially means money and symbolically refers to all things material." But, "man does not live by bread alone."


Ambassadors needed ....


Priesthood, education, values

Empires: Kingdom of David

A worthwhile four hour series. It covers the history of the Bible and the history in the Bible from the textual criticism and archaeological perspectives.

Erev Pesach

Chumetz is often compared to arrogance. What, then, does the search for chumetz really mean?

Escape Clause

Josephus' claim that survivors fled to "mines" is confirmed.

Escape From Sobibor

A tragically well done re-enactment of the final days of Sobibor. Two of the survivors help write the screen play.

FIlm: One Night with the King

Facebook and Genesis

Rabbi Benjamin Blech argues that the notion of a "social network" comes straight from Bereshit. In fact, the necessity of establishing a social network, he argues, is mandated in the Talmud, without which, the Rabbis claim, Torah is impossible.

Facial Care and Makeup in Ancient Times

"The custom has its beginnings in magic and cultic practices in which the ancients used to apply creams and makeup to the faces of the statues of their gods in order to 'bestow life on them'." Keep that in mind the next time you primp.

Film Review: Holy Land Hardball (Cubs baseball, Israeli style?)

Larry Baras tries to bring professional baseball to Israel. Oy, such tsuris ....

Film: A Life Apart

Film: Constantine's Sword

Film: Defiance

Film: Exodus Revealed

Film: Footsteps of Goliath

Film: Herod's Tomb

Ehud Netzer, who died recently at Herodian, spent a lifetime studying Herod, his building projects, his life and seeking the tomb.

Film: I'm Still Here

Teen diarists.

Film: Mysteries of the Bible: Archenemy

Film: Paper Clips

Film: Shanghai Ghetto

Film: Simon Wiesenthal bio

Film: The Cave of Letters

R. Dr. Richard Freund's excavation of the Cave of Letters in the Judean wilderness. Originally discovered by Yigal Yadin, Freund completes the excavation, using his ground penetrating radar and endoscopy. This video takes us from the destruction of the second Temple through the bar Kochba revolt and on to Baithsaida. Very interesting, very.

Film: The Counterfeiters

Film: The Exodus Decoded

Film: The Scarlet and the Black

Film: Trembling Before G-d

How can you be homosexual and frum? What do frum (and hassidic, even) homosexuals go through? How does the community react?

Fly Like a Jailbird

The Rebbe and the prisoner (and the spies).

Four Assumption Necessary for Reading the Bible

If you want to understand the Bible, you need to accept four preconditions to reading it. Or do you?

Free will and determinism

"Everythiing appears to be fore-ordained; yet, we appear to have free will. This is most interesting." So observes Confucius. And there ends his discussion. Do the Rabbis have anything more ... enlightening to say on this subject?

From Pharaoh to Freud

Passover isn't just about Israel.

Germany Today

William E. Grim, an American writer who living in Germany, reflects on the society he sees around him in "modern" Germany. He argues that not only is overt anti-Semitism resurgent in Germany, it is essential to understanding German culture.

God On Trial

There are stories of concentration camp inmates putting God on trial. Here is a film, a must see film, of how such a trial might have gone.


The Wall Street Journal discusses and shows lifting a Torah scroll. As an accomplished hagbah and who has, twice, witnessed scrolls fall, I urge you to take a moment to read and watch the video.

Hair Coverings for Married Women

A discussion of Jewish law, custom and communal standards from the Mishna to modern times.

Hannukiah vs. the swastika

Hava Nagillah - What is it?

From wordless Chassidic melody to one of the best known songs in the world.

Hellenism Today

In the late 20th century, Chanukah was the best known Jewish holiday, at least among American non-Jews. I think this is because Chanukah is the first recorded case in history of a people standing up for religious freedom, the first time anyone demanded the right to be themselves. This theme clearly resonates with Americans.  But, there was really more to it. Much more.

Herod's Final Journey

A slide show of the Israel Museum's exhibit of Ehud Netzer's work at Herodium

Herod's Tomb

Ehud Netzer describes his excavations of Herodium.

Herod's quarry

Found in Jerusalem, Shmuel HaNavi Street, this quarry provided stones for the Temple walls and other building projects.

Hevenu Shalom Alechem in Chinese

Hezekiah's tunnel

Not just a Biblical story, it exists.

High Holiday services at Goebbels' home

American soldiers who liberated Europe, are having the High Holiday services in the former home of Nazi Joseph Goebbels, after his death.

Hillel: The preeminent rabbi of first century Palestine

What do we actually know about Hillel? How do we explain the virtually constant disputes with Shammai? R. Louis Jacobs looks at the history and the differences between the schools.

Hilter's Children

Interviews with the decendants of Hitler's "heroes:" Goeth, Goering, Himmler, Frank.

Historic Freedom photos

What freedom looks like

Histories Mysteries: Sodom and Gemorrah

Mediocre rehash of the Biblical story. Interesting history of the archaeology.

Hollywood and Hitler: A Love Story

New evidence of Jewish movie moguls' extensive collaboration with Nazis in the 1930s.

Holocaust Museum Keynote -- National Days of Rememberance

General David Patraeus' keynote address for the USHMM National Days of Rememberance, 11-18 April 2010.

Holocaust Survivor's View on Fanatic Islam

Emanuel Tanay, M.D. reflects on the similarities of "radical Islam" and naziism and communism. No one believed those "minorities" either.

How Taxes were collected by Manasseh

How the Jews invented the internet.

You don't believe it? Push the fersctunkanah button and find out.

How to blow the Shofar (very appropriate with Rosh ha'Shannah coming)

Rabbi Ginsberg on the customs of the Shofar Hazzan Benjamin Warschawski, the Shofar service (oooo, it's so good) Rules for how a Shofar is made Technique Masai warriors @ Rosh ha'Shannah Size does matter

How to have an Aliyah

My own Rabbi Ginsburg shows how to have an Aliyah.

How to recognize a secret Spanish Jew

Just by his accent ....

How to tie Tzitzit

How you can change the world -- starting with yourself

Our text is: Rabbi Yishmael bar Rabbi Yossi says: One who studies Torah in order to teach is granted the ability to learn and to teach; but one who studies in order to practice is granted the ability to learn, to teach, to observe, and to practice. -- Pirke Avot 4:6

IBM and Thomas Waton's roles in the Shoah

Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM's pivotal role in the Holocaust -- all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination. Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company's co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews.

Images in early synogogues

Mosaic floors in early synogogues show the zodiak in the mosaic along with distinctive Jewish scenes. What the Mishna has to say about such images and the pagan nature of the images

In Search of King Solomon's mines

Thomas Levy, University of California-San Diego, researching ancient technology, discovered the remains of a massive 10th century mining area. This could be King Solomon's mines. Article and NOVA documentary.

Intentions and Morality

Is the right thing done for the wrong reason moral? Rather a lot of people think it is not. Torah doesn't agree.

Into the Arms of Strangers

The children of Kindertransport tell us their stories.

Israel Will Never Have Peace

Israel and Japan

Jews, more accurately Israelites (i.e., the Northern Kingdom), may have been early immigrants to Japan. Israelite religion may have helped form Shinto (Japan's national religion) and even influenced the first emperor.

Israel is a rogue state

The Irish Independent UN Watch Briefing calls this presentation at Cambridge University "The most brilliantly audacious defence of Israel since Moses parted... "

Israel's security needs graphically displayed

It Seems Impossible

Eisenhower orders American troops to document, document, document because “some day, some ‘son of a bitch’ is going to say it didn’t happen."

Jennifer Grey does Kletzmer

Jerusalem Legally Belongs to the Jews

A closer look at the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo grant of mandate by the League of Nations. What Britain promised, what the League made them agree to do and what they promised the League they would do. Just the law of the matter.

Jerusalem from the sky

The center of the world, aereal view.

Jewish DNA

European Jewry is descended from late medieval Khazar's. Since "Thirteenth Tribe," in 1976, we've all known this. Well, it turns out, "it ain't necessarily so." An interview with the author of "Abraham's Children" presents the evidence.

Jewish DNA

An easy to read explanation of how DNA can tell. And, the Ashkenazi "Eve." "Around half [Ashenazim] descend from just four women...."

Jewish Warsaw

Home movies of Jewish Warsaw, weeks before the invasion.

Jewish Weapons of Mass Destruction

Hysterical, where it not so painfully true....

Jewish pirates of the Carribean

They attacked wearing tallaisim. Laid tefillin. Refrained from plundering on shabbat. A couple were Rabbis and one retired to become a student of the Ari. No, I'm not making this up!

Jewish soldiers at Gettysburg

As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle at Gettysburg... Lt. Colonel Edward S. Salomon commanded with distinction "the Jewish Company" (82nd Illinois, Co. C). Joseph Greenhut, a survivor of the 82nd, dedicated the monument to the regiment. Major Adolph Proskauer, of Alabama, led a Confederate company at Gettysburg. Raphael Moses, Chief Commissary of the Confederate First Corps....

Jews and Baseball

The role of Jews in baseball, since the beginning, and the role of baseball for Jews. Spoiler alter: the first home run champ in professional baseball - with six home runs - was Jewish.

Jews of China: Harbin

JewishHarbin.pps (Eileen Foxman)

Jews of Palestine Who Fought the Nazis in Libya

"We were neither saints nor knights. We were simple Israeli boys who understood that we stand now for the Jewish people." Hanoch Bartov

Jews submit resignation to God

Job challenges God

"In the Book of Job, Satan challenges God to test the devotion and piety of the righteous man Job.... According to Biblical scholar Edward L. Greenstein, Job sues God. By comparing Biblical language to Near Eastern legal texts, it becomes clear that Job understood the ancient legal system well."

Justice, justice you shall pursue....

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson tells us the real difference between Judaism and other "religions."


Who is holy?

Kedoshim - You will be holy

... because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

Ki Tavo

"Gratitude is an attitude." Whether we appreciate the blessings in our lives or take them for granted will always depend on whether we pause long enough to consider life and its blessings

Ki Tetzeh

Who needs anti-semites?

Ki Tissa and the golden "calf?"

And, while we're talking about, how did Aaron skate on this?

King David's Palace

Eilat Mazar in the City of David.

Kirk Douglas interview in The Forward

Kirk Douglas reconnects with some interesting observations. His big reget is even more interesting.

Kol Nidre - 5777 - The staying power of a good idea

Kol Nidre - 5778


Kol Nidre 5776

Maligned for centuries, how has this declaration sustained itself?

Kol Nidre 5777

The power of ideas.


Books inside, mezuzah outside and Korach's rebellion.

Korach - Leadership and Service

Rabbi Jonathan Sachs argues that Korach is right, all of the people are holy, they are a nation of priests. Thus they are all equal (the primary Israelity value). Yet, he wants to be the leader, Dissonance? Korach fails to understand the difference between power and influence, the consequences of responsibility, between leadership and managment. And, that is a fatal flaw.

Korach's rebellion

Are you a spectator or a participant?

Korean News

Korea has a love affair with the Talmud. Big time....

Kosher gas station

Borough Park, Brooklyn

LBJ and the Jews

This hard driving, arm twisting politician had an important and life-saving relationship with Jews.

Latest from Goliath's home town

Coming from Greece, the Philistines "did not forget their roots. Even five centuries after their arrival, for example, they were still worshipping gods with Greek names." So, it looks like Jewish-Greek problems are ... traditional.

Lawrence of Arabia ... and Judea?

The champion of the Arab cause and his little-known romance with Zionism.

Lech Lecha

Leaving home for good.

Lech Lecha - Things that don't change

Life Magzine: Israel 1948

Exceptional photos from Life Magazine documenting Israel, especially the fall of our capital, 1948

Lots more Yiddishe cartoons

Louis Jacobs on "Amen"

Rabbi Jacobs discusses the etymology and customs surrounding the word "Amen."

Maccabean era Greek stele

Greek stele from Maccabean times mentions Seleucus IV and Heliodorus, characters from the Hannukah story.

Magen David aleph bet

Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet can be traced in the Magen David.

Making sense of Kosher Laws

In proto-Israel, the dietary laws already existed, did they have a non-spiritual purpose?

Malachi 3:3

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." I do not recall where I picked up this drosha. But it is worth the read.

Masada is also a carbine

Masada is also a carbine. From Colorado.

Masada's Last Days

Ehud Netzer's re-examination of the evidence atop Masada. If the defenders fired the plateau, why is evidence of fire so spread out? How was the last defensive wall built?


The power of prayer


Your word ...

Mattot: Your word, it had better be your bond

At the final judgement, the first thing the heavenly judge wants to know is ....

Matzoh basketball

Try your hand at "dunking" the Matzoh ball.

Medicine in Ancient Israel: Support Your Local Prophet

According to the Hebrew Bible, health (in Hebrew, shalom) encompasses a physical state associated with the fulfillment of covenant stipulations; illness results from the violation of those stipulations. Therapy requires reviewing one’s actions in light of this covenant....If we make non-supernaturalism the hallmark of a “physician,” then there were also virtually no physicians in the ancient Near East. Yet archaeology also reveals quite sophisticated healing techniques.


Clouds and silver linings.


Can Shabbat save your personality?

Mikeitz - The last patriarch

Joseph's ascension over Israel.


Accept? Deny? Unsure? What are they?


Plato used the fact that good people can have bad children. The how and why of it didn't concern him so much. Rabbi Goldman derives an answer from a pasuk in Mishpatim.

Mishpatim - Can you really prove "anything" from the Bible?

Can you really prove "anything" from the Bible?

Modern Jews of Kaifeng, China

From the Chicago Jewish Star, November 6-19, 2009, decendants of the Jews of Kaifeng come to Israel to reclaim their heritage. Plus video of their arrival in Aretz.

Moishe Plotnik's Laundry

Allegedly true story, in funnies.

More on the Tehkelet

An article, starting with Mishnaic sources, that the murex snail is not the the source of the tehkelet. A 19th century article by a Chassidic Rebbi identifying the chilazon with a type of squid (the cuttlefish).

Moses in the desert - real GPS add

Moses, the Most Humble of Men

"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth." What exactly does it mean to be "meek (humble)?" Not what you might think.

Must See Archaeological Photos

Myths and Facts: Jerusalem

Eli E. Hertz's analysis of Muslims and Jerusalem.


God's favorites....

Naso - Nazirites and Nunneries

Parsha Naso tells of the nazirite vow (sound a bit like "Nazereth?"; could it have been "Jesus the nazirite" and not "Jesus of ..."?). The Rabbis consider the nazirite a sinner and he/she must end her/his nazirite period by a sin offering ....

National Geographic: Herod's Lost Tomb

Explores the remarkable building projects of Herod. More importantly, explains why the temple this so utter loathed person built was so important to his subjectes.

Nehemiah—The Man Behind the Wall

Few people are familiar with the Biblical figure Nehemiah, and yet he was instrumental in the rebuilding and reestablishment of Jerusalem in the fifth century B.C. following the Babylonian exile.

Nitzavim and T'suvah

Rosh Hashannah and Yom ha'Kippurim approach. Rav Golman show that t'suvah really is for everyone.

Noach: The Survivor

Noah And The Ark

We all know about the relationship, or supposed relationship, between the Biblical story of the flood, Noah and the ark and the Sumerian Gilgamesh epic. Well, there seems to be a bit more to it. There is an even older, Akkadian, flood story. This one has detailed instructions on how to build an ark. Except this ark is round....

Noah's Flood -- Blame it on Canada

The flood behind the story of Noah may have started in Canada.

Not my kind of Rabbi

But funny ...

Official Religion and Popular Religion in Pre-Exilic Ancient Israel

Jacques Berlinerblau's scholarly but accessible paper arguing that Kaufman's claim that Israel was and, since the exodus, had been thoroughly monotheistic is questioned. Especially interesting is Berlinerblau's argument that Kaufman (and just about everyone else) has it wrong in assuming that the Bible represents the "Official" religion of pre-exilic Israel. Well worth reading.

Oldest known Hebrew text

Confirmation of the Bible? Written around the time of King David, among other things, this means that royal accounts could have been passed on in writing, not only orally.

Oldest known Sefer Torah?

Late 12th century Sefer Torah is in the University of Bologna Library

Orrin Hatch's Hannuka song

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, (R) Utah, devout Mormon and writer of Christian hymns, writes a Hanukkah song.

Palestine Betrayed

Efraim Karsh revisits the actual events of history to frame the debate in its proper terms.

Parsha Bo

"Go!" We're free! How is the yoke of Torah "freedom?"

Parsha Shelach

Following the wrong splies, sometimes it is the world that is stark raving meshuga.


Accountability -- the managers of the mishkan were accountable; what are you accountable for?


What prestigious gentiles say about us.

Pesach, Beatles style

Photo of early hannukiah, discovered in Jerusalem

And light a virtual hannukiah.

Photos from the Tel Dan site.

Artifact photos from Tel Dan including the "House of David" inscription and proof of cruxificion.

Pinchas - A majority of one?

Pinchas: A Majority of One

Phinehas' was not acting rationally. He was like the man in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the approaching tanks. His chances of success were minimal but he was following the example of the very first Jew, Abraham.

Portait of Valor

Tibor Rubin

Prager University: The Middle East "Problem"

So easy to describe....

Prince Charles' speech to the Jewish Council

Purim: Between Emunah and Pega

Hamman's use of lots, of randomness, is the denial of God's role in the world. Purim. then, is the conlfict between God's kingship and "that's just the way the world is ...," the conflict of order and chaos. http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2009/03/purim-between-emunah-and-pega.html

Rabbi Ginsburg on Metzorah and lashon hara

Rabbi Ishmael defines "sin"

A seriously interesting definition of "sin."

Rabbis ordained ... in Germany


"See" the blessings and curse?

Re'eh: Does frumkiet confer blessing and non-observance klallah?

"Behold I give you this day a blessing and a curse. The blessing that you will hearken to the commandments of Hashem your G-d...and the curse if you do not and you stray from the path that I command you today to follow the gods of others ...." (Devarim 11:26) Are all righteous people blessed and all godless people cursed? Does it actually work that way in the real world? The truth is that the Talmud states categorically "the reward for Mitzvahs is not in this world at all."

Reflections at Shavout

The time of the giving of the Torah. What is Israel's declaration of faith?

Remarks at Kol Niddre 5774

If "tshuvah" means "to turn around," we must remember that we can turn from and we can turn to. By turning from, maybe we can avoid sin. By turning toward, we can make the world better.

Remarks for Kol Nidre 5775

Who is happy?

Rescue at Entebbe

An interview with the Chief Pilot of the operation, on the 30th anniversary.

Richard Freund's excavation of the Cave of Letters

R. Dr. Freund argues he's found relics from the Second Temple, a NOVA presentation.

Risk Aversion in the Talmud

Does the Mishna foreshadow modern economic thinking? It seems so ....

Samaritan Passover celebration on Mt. Gerizim

Sanhedrin 37a

Sound bit homilies from the first and second centuries.


It's a Hebrew word. It appears in the Bible. But, is Satan a Biblical character?


The law of unintended consequences strikes again!

Searching for Sodom and Gomorrah

The "traditional" site of the evil twins is at the north end of the Salt (Dead) Sea. Well, it seems, there are a couple of other candidate sites.

Searching for the Better Text

How discrepancies entered our texts. How we know (no, we're not just guessing). What we can do about it.

Second Template artifact found

Bearing a clear, unworn inscripton in Aramaic, a stone cup of a type associated with the temple and ritual purity found in Jerusalem.

Second Temple Seal

Second Temple synagogue

120 sq. meters, "in the round," synagogue from the Second Temple period. A decorative stone bears a relief of a menorah, the first discovered from the period.



Shabbat Chazon

What can we do to rectify the causes of Tisha b'Av?

Shabbat Parah

Clean becomes unclean while unclean becomes clean ... but there's no mystery about it.

Shabbat: Does God get tired?

Why did God need to rest from the work of creation? What's the idea behind Shabbat?

Shakespeare Was Jewish!

Shakespeare was Jewish. And a woman. And Italian.


German archaeologists working in the Ethiopian highlands of East Africa have identified the remains of settlements from the first millennium B.C.E. that had strong cultural and religious connections with the Biblical land of Sheba (modern Yemen).


The spies show us something about drawing our own conclusions.


Put your best foot forward....


Is kashrut outdated?

Shimson's Temple of Dagon?

Discovered: A twin pillared Philistine template in Goliath's home town, Gath. Gath is also where Shimson destroyed the temple of Dagon. Archaeologists find this temple may have been destroyed by an earthquake.


After the Holocaust, R. Yosef Kahaneman zt'l began looking for Jewish children who had survived the war in churches. One church denied the existence of Jewish children within their midst. He was granted permission to enter the children's quarters to inspect for himself -- when he entered he began calling out "Shema Yisroel" and instinctively many of the children raised their hands to cover their eyes and ....


Why were we worth redemption?

Shmot (Exodus) - Keeping your name


There are so many transgressions that call for death. Some of these behaviors don't seem all that serious. Could it be that we're missing something here?


Boundary markers, not just for land

Shoftim -"I will set a king over myself, like all the nations around me"

Sodom and Gemorrah "found"

Arguments and evidence (with pix!) for two sites on the east shore of the Dead Sea.

Spain wants us back

Sephardic Jews, descended from those expelled in 1492, may be offered dual Spanish nationality.

Spain wants us back!

A proposed law in Spain would grant citizenship to Jews of Spanish decent.

Stepped Street From Second Temple Period

Main Street, Jerusalem: The central thoroughfare of Jerusalem ascending from the northwest corner of the Second Temple Shiloach Pool, running north.

Survived by his ....

Hysterical funny by Alan King.

Synagoge seating request for next Yom Kippur

Complete and return to the synagogue for next yontif. Plus a bunch more funnies that have been added the past few weeks.

Talks from the 2013 UCSD Exodus Conference


Our text is Bereshit 38. The entire chapter. This is, possibly, the most important story in the Bible.


The significance of the Brit Milah today.

Tazria - Leprosy of the Soul

The price of free speech....

Tekhelet fabrics found near Qumran

Fabrics identified by Dr. Na‘ama Sukenik of the Israel Antiquities Authority represent the most prestigious colors in antiquity: indigo, purple and crimson, which are mentioned in Jewish sources

Tekhelet, found

An actual example of tekhelet, the blue, has been found among the artifacts from Masada. It is chemically shown to come from the murex snail, still found on Israeli beaches.


“They shall make for Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” Was God homeless? Why does God need a sanctuary? Or, is the sanctuary something we need?


From the first parsha of Shmot until the end of Devarim, Moshe's name is mentioned in every single parsha. Except one. Tetzaveh. R. Goldman wonders if there is a deeper meaning in this apparent omission.

The Akedah - Sara's Silence

Is the akedah a metaphor for or re-imagining of the circumcision?-A memory/dream of Sarah’s reaction to Yitzhak’s circumcision?

The Akedah -- the binding of Issac

The Akedah -- the binding of Issac -- three interesting articles, offerring new insights into this story, one is very, very interesting.

The Akeddah

Why is Abraham tested?

The Auschwitz Album

It is the only one of its kind and it is solely due to this album that we have a visual history of what occurred in the Auschwitz-Birchenau death camp.

The Bad Arolsen archives (60 Minutes)

Original Nazi records of the Shoa, long kept secret. By the Red Cross.

The Bad Kissingen Parochet

The latest on my quest for the artifacts of the Bad Kissingen synagogue

The Berlin Synogogue's Grand Reopening

The Bible Project

In Jerusalem, at Hebrew University, scholars -- mostly Orthodox -- trace the evolution of our texts.

The Big Lie: Moslems, Jerusalem and Archaeology

The Arab onslaught to erase the Jewish people's historical connection with the Temple Mount.

The Binding of Issac: What is the "test"?

Richard Tupper ("Tup") argues that offering Issac on an alter, as God has instructed Abraham, is not the real test of the Akedah. The real test comes later in the story, in a part of the story most of us think is after the climax of the passage. From this vantage, important lessons can be drawn, relevant to each an every one of us today.

The Birth and Death of Biblical Minimalism

Minimalists claim the Bible was written during the Greek occupation. Therefore the accounts of the Unnited Kingdom are purely literary. Or, are they?

The Curse of Ham

Noah's curse of his son, Ham, in Gen. 9 may have more to it. There is a new, alternate reading.

The Dachau Death March: A Survivor's Account

The Dead Sea Scrolls video

IAA's introductory video to the Dead Sea scrolls.

The Death of the Documentary Hypothesis

The Documentary Hypothesis is dead. Or is it?

The Documentary Hypothesis

An introduction to the Documentary Hypothesis by Prof. Marvin Zelkowitz and commentary by our resident philosopher.

The Etymology of "daven"

Where does this term come from?

The Failure of Moses (Chukat)

What exactly was Moses' sin in striking the rock?

The Falashas

More lost tribes....

The Gene Pool

A certain [blotting out the name] journalist thinks that Jews' homes are in Europe and not the middle east. The facts, of course, are otherwise. There's no fighting DNA evidence.

The Hidden Children

A fine documentary supposedly about the Dutch "Hidden Children." But really about much more.

The Hyksos Expulsion

Tel Habuwa excavations reveal the conquest of Tjaru by Ahmose I

The IDF Marching Band in Red Square

The Jew From Kuwait

"Growing up, I was taught that Jews were the source of all evil, descended from monkeys and pigs." So concludes a young man on having discovered that he is, himself, Jewish. Now he works for reconciliation.

The Jewish Mystique

From Heritage House Films: What is the meaning of being Jewish? A moving compilation of what we've all been thinking for years. Please take special note of Hitler's (accurate, I think) remark on what the problem with Jews really is ....

The Jewish People: A Story of Survival

Interestng film taking on the question of how we survived and why we survived.

The Jewish Weddings Quiz

In the funnies section.

The Jews of Alaska

Jewskimos, Frozen Chosen ... we're everywhere!

The Jews of Zakynthos

Zakynthos, Greece is one of those little picturesque islands. But, this one was home to a Jewish community, a community saved from the Nazis by the mayor and the Greek Orthodox Bishop with, like the Danes, it seems the full support of the Christian community

The Leica Freedom Train

Leitz Camera is known for designing its optics not to a price point but to perform as best as possible. How a German company quietly saved their Jewish employees.

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

Movie review: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.

The Long Way Home

Highly recommended film concentrating on the years after "liberation," from 1945 to 1948.

The Lost Tribes of Israel

An anthropologist looks for the lost city of Africa 's Lemba tribe and investigates their claim to an ancient Jewish heritage.

The Man Moses

The original Anti-hero. Maybe Moses was the Humphrey Bogart of the Biblical world?

The Mernephtah Stele

The Merneptah Stele is the earliest extrabiblical reference to Israel. The ancient Egyptian inscription dates to about 1205 B.C.E. and recounts the military conquests of the pharaoh Merneptah.

The Mesha Stele

Also known as "The Moabite Stone," this stele has important implications for the relationship of Moab and the united Kingdom. Contemporaneous with the Tel Dan Stele, it tells the story of the war of Mesha, king of Moab, with Omri, king of Israel. But, it tells it from the Moabite point of view. Moabite was written in exactly the same characters as Biblical Hebrew. In fact, the language is very similar to Hebrew. Were Moabite and Israelite cultures related?

The Messianic Era

A story is going around on the internet. It is an urban legend. But it describes, in my opinion, what the Messianic era will look like.

The Nine Days of Passover

Rabbi Yechezkel Landau of Prague and the nine days of Passover.

The Nuremberg Mind

The tale of Hans Heinz Triest ... from "victim" to guard at Nuremberg and the personalities of the criminals.

The Origin of Spock's Greeting

Leonard Nimoy: Spock is the prototypical diaspora character. That is how Nimoy saw Spock. Thus, Spock grew out of his experiences as Jew (orthodox background) in Boston. Very entertaining retelling of his first memory of duchaning. Oh, yes, the Torah values espoused in Star Trek are also covered as well as the introduction of "Live long and prosper."

The Orphan

"When I converted, I wasn't looking for a new community. But that's exactly what I found. " An abused woman, converts to Judaism, fights for custody of her sister. She finds that she did not simply adopt a religion, the people adopted her.

The Parting of the Waters

There are three accounts of how the Sea of Reeds parted. Our resident Philosopher plumbs them for meaning ....

The Politically Correct Yinglish Dictionary.


The Qeiyafa Ostracon

External account of Samuel's selection of Saul as Israel's first king? The announcement of Saul's ascension?

The Richie Boys

"The Ritchie Boys" is the untold story of a group of young men who fled Nazi Germany and returned to Europe as soldiers in US-uniforms. They knew the psychology and the language of the enemy better than anybody else. In Camp Ritchie, Maryland, they were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare. Not always courageous, but determined, bright, and inventive they fought their own kind of war. They saved lives. They were victors, not victims.

The Rise and Fall of the Borsht Belt

Sunday Morning 17 February 2013. Vunderful....

The San Remo "Mandate"

Where the "Mandate" came from, what it meant and the conditions it placed on Britain.

The Scapegoat

Rabbi Jonathan Sachs on "why two identical goats?"

The Scapegoat

So different from other atonement rituals. So different from other sacrifices. Why two? Why are they almost identical? Why sacrifice the one without the transfered sins?

The Scene at the Sea

Exodus 14 finds us at the Sea of Reeds with the Egyptian heavy cavalry in hot persuit. Our resident Philosopher draws lessons about the structure of the Torah and how to read it.

The Shema

How should it be translated? What did it used to mean?

The Spanish Inquisition and Me

"Becoming a Jew was my greatest act of defiance." Thus begins the story of Reyna Simnegar, a Venezuelan of converso / marano heritage.

The Stubborn and Rebellious Son

One of the strangest commandments in Torah. Does it come to teach us something?

The Tallit (tallis, prayer shawl) -- It's more interesting than you'd think....

A series of good reads covering: -- the meaning of fringes in the patriarch's world -- the etymology of the word "tallit" -- when women stopped wearing it -- why single men don't wear it in some congregations -- where does the current garment come from? Plus some remarks by yours truly

The Tel Dan Stele

More on the first external confirmation of King David and confirmation of Biblical accounts.

The Torah in Our Church

Houston branch of a Honduran church coverts. En masse.

The Uganda Project (Jeffrey Parker)

Video compilation of the delivery of a sefer Torah to the Jewish community in the Putti village of Uganda

The Wedding Dress That Made History

Proof there is no arguing with a Jewish bride when she has her mind set on a traditional white wedding dress. A charming story of normalcy in the midst of chaos.

The Yizkor sermon Every Rabbi in the World Should Give This Year

The alphabet

There is a raging debate in scholarly circles. On one side is Prof. Orly Goldwasser, arguing that illiterate southern Canaanite semites are responsible. On the other side is Prof. Anson Rainey, arguing that it was literate northern Canaanite semites. But it was semites.

The death penalty in Torah

Why are there so many capital offenses? Was the death penalty really that common?

The meaning of "blessing"

Linda Hoffenberg exxplored the mean of a commonly used but oft misunderstood word, "blessing."

The myth of "linkage"

Why the "Palestinians" aren't really part of the mid-east problem

The only Jewish Military Cemetery outside Israel

is in Richmond, Virginia ....

The origins of Tefillin

Dating from the Roman period, tefillin, as the name "phylacteries" clearly implies, are magical amulets, designed to ward off evil.

The power of ideas

The righteous of all nations ...

Have a place in the kingdom to come. In our modern world of "true believers," what a remarkable sentiment from people who stood at the foot of the mountain and literally heard God's word. Rabbi Rabbi Arthur Segal offers important insights into the Rabbinic view on Jews and the nations.

Three Ways to Look at the Ten Plagues

"Why '10' plagues?" Ziony Zevit argues that the 10 plagues are a theological recounting of the creation of the world in Bereshit, of course "de"creative, and was understood that way.

Three cantors in the Sephardic synogogue of Amsterdam

Delightful concert ... of an Ashkenazi song.

To "Be" a Jew

Shavout 5775


You can sell your birthright for beans, but you can't buy a birthright for beans.

Torah on the USS Harry S Truman


Sacrifices and ritual purity. And something for us to learn even today.

Two non-Jewish Heroines and How the Jews Treated Them

A thoughtful and inspiring d.var on parshat Shmot. By Rabbi Jack Riemer of Boca Raton.

Two-Gun Cohen

Chinese Spy Master and a second Moishe!


Much of Vayikra (Leviticus) is concern with sacrifices and we find the repeated phrase "a satisfying [sweet] odor to God." And just what does this teach us about our Rabbis and our relations with them?-More than you might think.

Tzniyut -- Modesty

What is it? To whom does it apply?

Unetaneh Tokef

Haunting Rosh Hashannah melody

Universalism and Nationalism

Nathan Sharansky, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, in his address to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, argues that the particularism of nationalism is demonstrably the proper foundation for universal principles.

Unlikely Heroes

Ordinary people, in extraordinary circumstances do extraordinary things. How much more so in the Shoah? This films bio's seven of the unlikeliest stories....


A must see depictation of the Warsaw Ghetto.


The voice never ends ...


And they did not listen to Moses out of shortness of breath and from the hard labor. "Shortness of 'breath'?"


Gratitude, even toward inanimate things ... it's good for you


Bezalel, architect of the mikdash was but 13 .... R. Sherer looks at the inherent failure of most bar mitzvah; because we see them as a graduation, not an initiation.


Jacob remained, true to the very end.

Vayechi -- Life Notice

Jacob's death scene begins with the words "he lived." "Lived?" Is someone trying to tell us something?




"Many people are discouraged from even beginning a spiritual journey because they think it needs that huge leap of faith." But, as the Chinese say "A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step."

Vayeitzei - How Jacob got 12 sons

The supplementary hypothesis shows show seven sons became 12.


The Torah is God's song.


Sodom and Gemorrah and arguing with God.


Say "hello" and change the world.


Preparation, preparation ...

Vayigash - Joseph's ascension in Egypt

Did it happen?


”Sacrifice” somehow has a negative ring to it, like giving up something precious or losing out on something big. Yet, in fact, it is a prime Jewish value.


In "honor" of Yaakov's wrestle with the angel, we do not eat the sciatic nerve. Is that all there is to this? Or, is there a reason crippling Yaakov is really important?


Avraham aveinu argues with God, argues for Sodom and Gemorrah. Avraham argues with God asking “Will the judge of all the earth not do justice?” Avraham losses. Of course. And "he returned to his place." And, what was his place?

Was Jerusalem a major trade center?

Jerusalem was a large, prosperous city. Was this due to its role as a trade center? No, argues Juan Manuel Tebes.

We Jews

From Aish's "Jewlarious," the unsung, unusual and odd members of the tribe. That is: "we got our screwballs too."

We didn't build the Roman Coliseum, we just financed it

Evidence uncovered during restoration of the Flavian ampitheater.

What do we cherish? What do we value?

As Elul approaches, it is time to consider whether we are or are not like Ammon and Moav. They could not afford hospitality as Israel left Egypt. But could afford a house full of gold and silver to hire a soccerer.

What's God Got To Do With It (2)?

What's God Got To Do With It?

What's in a name?

Rather a lot if you check the etymology of the name. Check out the roots of "Moses," "Moab" and "David," for fun .

When the Saints Go Marching In

Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye duet of Sachmo's signature piece.

Where is Mount Sinai?

Emmanuel Anati addresses the dating of the Exodus vs. the known habitation periods of har Karkom. He also addresses the location of the mountain vs. suspected routes for the exodus. This is probably the best summary of his arguments that har Karkom is Horeb/Sinai and is an easy read.

While I Stand On One Foot ...

Summarizing Judaism in one sentence, I have a sentence to add.

Who Knew?

An email is making its way around about Emmanuel Goldenberg. Unfortunately, it is an urban myth. But it does lead us someplace almost as interesting.

Who is happy?

Carrots, Eggs and Coffee -- Pirke Avot in modern argo.

Who was Moses


Why "SH" is so important in Yiddish

Just a list .... Well, maybe a bit more than "just" a list.

Why I am a bad Jew

I'm with this guy....

Why do we wear kippot?

Is this a commandment from the Torah? Is it Rabbinic halacha? Is it "just a custom?" And where does it come from?

Why women should not take men shopping

A golden oldie funny.

Why you don't understand the Bible

Reading the Bible in English "is like doing surgery with mittens."

World's largest model of Herod's template

1:60 scale model installed overlooking Temple Mount. Video and article.

Wyatt Earp's Jewish Connection

Yamai ha'Moshiach

What does the Kingdom of God look like?

Yetzer ha'rah v'yetzer ha'tov

The evil inclination and the good ... pictorally

Yiddish for Beginners

Yiddish with Dick and Jane. Entertaining video

Yiddish musical theater in Moscow

After so many years, when it was virtually illegal to be Jewish in the Soviet Union, much less practice Judaism, there is a thriving Yiddish theater in Moscow. And Julie Andrews. And the tango. And the Beatles. Everyone does Yiddish!


The 10 Commandments. Which is the most difficult to obey?

Yom Kippur and forbidden relationship

On Yom Kippur, of all days, in Mincha we read about the forbidden relationships. Why this does make sense on Yom Kippur.

Yom ha'Kippurim

"Repentence" is not what you think it is.

Yom ha'Kippurim 5775

The subversive agenda within the holy days.

Yom ha'Shoah as observed in Israel

Yom ha'Shoah -- a video showing how Yom ha'Shoah is observed in Israel.

You shall not move the boundary of your fellow ...

"You shall not move the boundary of your fellow, which the early ones marked out" (Devarim 19:14). "Boundaries," argues R. Sherer, do not just demarcate property.

You will not respect persons ...

A great lesson of Torah applies not only to "judgment" in court, as the text ("you will not respect persons in judgement") seems to imply. This is one of the greatest bits of advice for our personal lives in all of Torah.

[Amalek] Photos from Berlin, 1939-40 recovered

Pictures taken by a Life photographer between 1939 and 1940 in Berlin, were lost for over 50 years.

ki Tissa

The golden calf ... is the honeymoon over?