Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Who Cares About a Matchmaker, Anyway?

Posted on April 23rd, 2017
By Ephraim Kanarfogel for Tablet Magazine 


Opposing rabbinic conceptions of marriage and matchmaking in Ashkenaz and Sepharad


Recent studies have traced the parameters of matchmaking in medieval European Jewish society, seeking as well to identify attitudes toward marriage more broadly in both the northern and southern regions (Ashkenaz and Sepharad). Based on the many texts that have been published or are still in manuscript, it is possible to propose an overarching theory that accounts for differences between the two regions, encompassing both those that have been noted heretofore and others that have not yet received attention.

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The Jew Who Changed Football Forever

Posted on April 16th, 2017
Gil Troy for The Daily Best


There would have been no Tom Brady or Johnny Unitas if it hadn’t been for one determined son of Orthodox Jews from Cleveland, Ohio.


Originally, football was all scrimmage in a no-pass zone, with rules and machismo sensibilities dismissing passing as wimpy. The game was a grinding ground war, a smash-up derby for big galoots, with occasional breakaway survivors fleeing the pack.
The revolutionary who gave football an air war, who freed it from being all-Blitz-all-the-time, the disruptor who spawned the Hail Mary Pass and the Bomb, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas, John Elway and Tom Brady, was a now-forgotten all-American with the body of a Greek God but the name of a Jewish accountant: Benny Friedman.

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Archaeologists uncover secrets near Israel's Dead Sea

Posted on April 9th, 2017
by Ilana Strauss for FromtheGrapevine


Discover the area's largest archaeological dig in the last half-century.


Currently, researchers are excavating Tzeelim Canyon, an area near Israel's Dead Sea. These archaeologists, who consist of Israeli and foreign volunteers, are searching for ancient artifacts hidden in the cave.

They're hoping to find 2,000-year-old writings and other objects in a spot that yielded abundant archaeological wealth in the past, and the project looks something like this:

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Five Seder Traditions From Around the Globe to Spice Up Your Own

Posted on April 2nd, 2017
By MaNishtana for Tablet Magazine 


Five Seder Traditions From Around the Globe to Spice Up Your Own


Jews are not monolithic, and nowhere is that clearer than when it comes to one of Judaism’s oldest rituals


My Jews, the seder is nigh upon us. Clocking in at over 1,500 years, it is not only among the most universally practiced Jewish rituals, it is also currently the oldest continuously practiced ritual service on the planet. True story.

With a resume like that, the seder was bound to have picked up a few tricks and variants over the centuries, something a little bit more robust than you generally see in your standard Haggadah from Artscroll–or, if you’re from a truly venerable Jewish family, Maxwell House–and something a little more nuanced than the Ashkenaz/Sephardic binary of kitniyot/non-kitniyot, Slivovitz/Arak, and salt/actual seasonings besides salt.

Here are five seder traditions swiped from across the globe to possibly liven up your own:

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Passover is coming, check out our Passover Resource Kit.

Revelio! Hogwarts Haggadah Ready — Just In Time For Passover

Posted on March 26th, 2017
By Shira Hanau for The Forward


A new addition to the Harry Potter saga is about to hit the shelves — this time in the form of a Haggadah.

Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg of Queens, New York is set to release his “Unofficial Hogwarts Haggadah” within the next two weeks.

“The entire Harry Potter series, and each book, contains many of the key elements and lessons of the Exodus story,” says Rosenberg. “Uplifting the downtrodden, sharing our current wealth and prosperity with others, education” and the list goes on. “The enthusiasm for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ really assured me that there’s still an enormous appetite out there for Harry Potter.”

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