Keeping Mitzvot In The (U.S.) Army

A cache of documents I acquired this week tells of the efforts of a group that during World War II founded the organization Sabbath Observers in Civil Service to defend and support those in the U.S. Military who were Sabbath observant.

The Tragic Story Of Herzl’s Family

The great visionary of the Jewish State did not bother to provide his children with even the rudiments of Jewish education or a Jewish identity; in fact, he taught them that assimilation, liberalism, and an enlightened education would finally bring an end to antisemitism and Jewish isolation.

First Edition Of A Classic Depicting Eretz Yisrael

Schwartz spent the coming years traversing the country, studying the history of its villages and towns and attempting to determine the locations of biblical sites.

The Jewish Catacombs Of Rome

The catacombs also include beautiful illustrations of animals, which include birds, peacocks, ducks, and eagles; bulls, sheep and rams; and hens and roosters; as well as flowers and fruit trees, many of which may symbolize paradise.

A Rare Tanach And The Ladino Renaissance

These books constituted a complete collection of texts necessary for everyday Jewish life, something that had existed among the Western Sephardim and Ashkenazim for over 200 years.

Gone With The Wind In Nazi Germany And Eretz Yisrael

Notably – and not surprising in Nazi Germany – the reviewer praised Mitchell’s description of the patriarchal character and racial and social hierarchy in the antebellum South.

An Original Overshadowed By An Imitation

Shem-Tov ibn Falaquera was a great Jewish Spanish philosopher and author, best known for his strong defense of the Rambam in a period when Maimonides was still under continuous attack by the opponents of the study of philosophy.

Official Postcards Of The First Zionist Congresses

I present here the official cards of the first seven Congresses accompanied by a brief description of the Congress highlights.

Bogus Bezalel & Other Israelia

Although well-made, with little red paste stones and a carnelian in the center, all in a tightly spun silver filigree setting, the way the Hebrew letters of “Bezalel” are formed and that the mark is rather lightly struck is not how a proper Bezalel hallmark appears.

A Book In Ladino Especially For Women

The haskamot note that this is the first work in Ladino geared to women, despite the era being the height of the Ladino printing period, with numerous rabbinic as well as fictional works being published.

The Zionism Of Warren G. Harding

Harding’s Zionism may be rooted in his Baptist faith and his knowledge of the Bible and, over and above his support for a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael, he often expressed positive sentiments about the Jewish faith.

A Book Banned By The Rabbis

An Italian Jewish physician and a great scholar, dei Rossi used critical methods to analyze the Aggadah of the Talmud, not understanding the literal meaning of the text.

Birkat Kohanim: Priests, Children, The Rebbe . . . And Spock

The Rebbe always emphasized that the Land of Israel is the heart of the world and the channel through which all Divine blessings flow.

Muslim Pamphlet From 1929 Affirms Jewish Historical Claim To Temple Mount

Written from a Muslim perspective, it was published by the Supreme Moslem Council (with the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, at its helm), and it acknowledges and emphasizes the Jewish history of the Temple Mount.

The Zionist Art Of Ephraim Moshe Lilien

A century of Jewish children have grown up picturing Abraham as depicted by this beloved and monumental work without ever knowing the identity of the artist.

A Pirkei Avot From A Forgotten Jewish Community In Maine

While little of it remains today, Maine's larger cities as well as many nearby towns had thriving Orthodox Jewish Communities in the early 20th century.

The Neturei Karta: ‘Guardians’ Or Fiends?

Rabbi Blau's decades-long campaign for the modesty of Jewish woman evokes comparisons to the Taliban and the Mullahs in Iran, as he established dress codes and “modesty patrols” to brutally enforce them, beginning in charedi communities and later expanding into other neighborhoods.

The Apostate’s Grammar Book

In 1617, French nobleman Concino Concini, Marquis d'Ancre, and his wife Leonora Galigai (who were not Jewish) were brought to trial for political reasons and accused of witchcraft and "Judaizing," and were subsequently killed.

Our Yom HaAtzmaut Chassid

his is not the standard look for someone who attends our shul even if just passing through, especially since there are other shuls on the block that may be considered a better fit. I'll be honest that if someone comes in looking like this, it's usually to collect tzedakah.

The Jewish World Of Harry Potter

The Potter books, which have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and have become the best-selling book series in history, have been translated into at least 80 languages, including Hebrew.

Evidence Of A Lost Yeshiva

What a glorious sight it is to see Jewish boys raised in this land...

Cold Cream And Dreams: The Remarkable Story Of Helena Rubinstein

Rubinstein’s success was such that she was able to bring two of her sisters to Australia to run the salons while she spent a year in Europe, where she studied with various experts about skin treatments, facial surgery, and good dietary practices.

Laurel And Hardy’s Jewish Connections

Laurel and Hardy got their start in film working with a variety of Jewish slapstick comedians and, prior to emerging as a team, both had well-established movie careers.

Seder Sets Of Pesach Past

For this column, I thought I would share some interesting items relating to Pesach that are in a local museum or from my personal collection.

Family Records Embedded In A Chumash

This volume records the milestones of the life of a German Jew who left his family and homeland in 1853 to try his luck in the New World.

The Art Of Passover

As Passover approached in 1858, tens of thousands of Jews lived in Manhattan, comprising about three percent of the population, and there were thousands of poor Jews needing kosher staples for the holiday – not the least of which, of course, was matzah.

A Prayer Service For An Evil Empress

What is unusual in this order of prayer is that the Empress Maria Theresa is recalled as one of the most antisemitic and hostile rulers in modern Jewish history.

Felix Mendelssohn’s Ambiguous Religious Identity: Jew, Christian, Or Both?

The question of the extent to which Mendelssohn identified with Judaism is still passionately debated, as authorities continue to argue about his self-identification as a Jew, as a Christian convert, or both.

A Tanach In Germany In The Aftermath Of The Holocaust

During the initial year-and-a-half of its existence, the Vaad concentrated its efforts on assisting the over 2,600 Polish rabbis and yeshivah students who had escaped to Lithuania, and trying to arrange their emigration overseas.

The Disturbing Legacy Of ‘Operation Susannah’ And The Lavon Affair

Ben Gurion used the broad public demand in Israel for a retaliatory action against Egypt to launch a February 28, 1955, attack on Gaza in which 39 Egyptians were killed and Israel suffered no casualties.


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