Structure of a Jewish Prayer Service

Posted on March 12th, 2018

Your step-by-step guide


Are you attending a Jewish service for the first time or just need a refresher? While prayer services vary widely from temple to temple, there are some standard prayers and rituals that most temples practice. From the warm up prayer (pesukai d’zimra) to the sermon (d’var Torah), this video guides you through all the different sections of a typical Jewish service.

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The Red Heifer in Synagogue: Purifying Israel from Sin

Posted on March 5th, 2018

The Red Heifer Purification Process.  Artist

By Ethan Schwarts for


This Shabbat is Shabbat Parah/The Sabbath of the Red Heifer


The Special Readings for Shabbat Parah

The Shabbat three weeks before Passover is known as Shabbat Parah. It derives its name from a special liturgical feature: the additional Torah reading (maftir) drawn from the purity rite of the red heifer (Numbers 19).[1] This practice goes back to the Tannaitic period (late 2nd century C.E.) and is referenced in the Mishnah (m. Megillah 3:4):

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Our Favorite Shabbat Songs for Kids

Posted on February 26th, 2018

I’m admittedly a Shabbat newbie, but music has always been an important tool in teaching my children about Judaism. Bringing music into our burgeoning Shabbat rituals was a natural extension. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, mostly through trial and error, when it comes to engaging my kids in music on Shabbat. Here are three things to keep in mind:

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Remembering Amalek

Posted on February 19th, 2018

A serious lesson that focuses on fighting evil precedes the Purim festivities.

Purim opens on a somber note. Haman is identified as the descendant of Amalek, whose people attacked Israel in the desert, the symbol of cruelty to the weak. Before celebrating the defeat of the wicked, one must remember that God (as well as God’s people) has a war with the Amalekites and will not be at ease until the Amalekites are blotted out. Jews are pledged to work for the end of oppression of the weak everywhere; a temporary, partial victory should not blind one to the persistence of evil in the world.


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Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide. 

Shabbat Dinner, Libyan Style

Posted on February 12th, 2018
By Joan Nathan for Tablet Magazine

Tired of the same old roast chicken? Try chraime, a spicy fish dish that’s a Friday night staple for Jews from North Africa.

On my last trip to Israel, I spent a few days at Uri Buri’s Efendi Hotel, renovated from two Pasha’s palaces in the old city of Akko. I had heard of the legendary Uri Buri, a larger-than-life presence whose name is synonymous with seafood and fish; in the hotel’s restaurant, of course also called Uri Buri, we tasted his creations such as mackerel with eggplant and salmon with wasabi ice cream. While we ate, he came to join us, sharing stories about the comings and goings from the port of Akko, from the Bible to modern times.

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