Select Section Jewish Culture & Yiddish: 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection videos and feeds in each section


Big Think Interview With Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

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A conversation with the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom.

How to Use a Siddur

18.06.2008

How to use a siddur. WebYeshiva is the world’s first online Yeshiva and Midrasha.To learn more about WebYeshiva please visit our website at http://www.webyeshiva.org.You can also sign-up for a free 14-Day trial to WebYeshiva athttp://www.webyeshiva.org/student/reg….

Rare Jewish Prayer Book Predates Oldest Known Torah Scroll

03.10.2013

Scholars are calling a rare Hebrew text dating back to the 9th century the earliest known Jewish prayer book, predating the world’s oldest Torah scroll.

The 50-page book is 4.3 inches tall and about 4 inches wide and is written in an archaic form of Hebrew, on pages of aged parchment. The text includes 100 Jewish blessings and discusses topics such as the apocalyptic tale of the End Times and the Passover Seder.

Carbon testing dates the prayer book to the year 840, which is 300 to 400 years before the oldest known Torah scroll from the 12th and 13th centuries.

“This find is historical evidence supporting the very fulcrum of Jewish religious life,” said Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, the group that announced the find. “This Hebrew prayer book helps fill the gap between the Dead Sea Scrolls and other discoveries of Jewish texts from the ninth and tenth centuries.

Ki Eshmerah Shabbat: A Family Siddur כי אשמרה שבת: סידור למשפחה ליום השבת

18.04.2013

It is with great excitement and pleasure that we present Ki Eshmerah Shabbat: A Family Siddur, published by the Park Avenue Synagogue Music Center in June, 2013. This prayer book is designed especially for young children and their parents. We hope that as they use it, children will learn to enjoy prayer and will feel at home during synagogue services. This siddur sets a foundation for the understanding of liturgy, Hebrew and Jewish music, as well as matbea ha-t’filah, the structure of the prayer service.

The music that accompanies this prayer book is appropriate and appealing to young children and at the same time perpetuates the sophisticated musical heritage of our congregation. The selections include contemporary compositions commissioned recently by our Music Center as well as old, familiar melodies. Singing the prayers will help children find meaning in the prayer texts and make them comfortable with the full range of Jewish music.

http://pasyn.org/resources/music-at-pas
http://www.azischwartz.com

Azi Schwartz @ rehearsal with RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin

 12.11.2013

On November 8, 2013 – in preparation for the concert the next day, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
B’rich Shmei (Yossele Rosenblatt)/Arr: Raymond Goldstein
Conductor: Ud Joffe

Chaim Dovid – Yamamai – HASC 17

 20.03.2006

This video clip is from the HASC – A Time For Music 17 (XVII) – The Jerusualem Experience.

The full video can be bought at Judaica stores around the world or from our website at:

http://www.jewishjukebox.com/products…

Please respect the owners copyright and of course Halacha. Uploading music and videos which are under copyright causes financial harm and inhibits the ability of the producers to continue you to bring your more of the same.

You can also download a totally free Jewish music show athttp://sameachmusicpodcast.com

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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Why Is the Prayer for Rain Based on the Civil Calendar?

Chabad.org
Why Is the Prayer for Rain Based on the Civil Calendar?
Tevet 2, 5774 · December 5, 2013
The connection between Dec. 5 or 6 and Vetein Tal Umatar Livrachah

Question:

My siddur tells me to start saying the prayer for rain in the Amidah on the night preceding December 5 or 6. Why does it use a secular date rather than a Jewish one?

Answer:

Good question! As a rule of thumb, Jewish holidays and customs always follow the Jewish calendar, which is linked to the phases of the moon. One exception to this rule is the special prayer requesting rain, which Jews in the Diaspora begin saying on the night preceding December 5 (or 6).

To understand why, let’s take a look at the history and significance of this small but important prayer.

Praying for Rain

Jews have been praying for rain for millennia. In the ancient land of Israel, rain was a life-and-death concern. A good rainy season meant a good harvest and ample drinking water, while a drought could be fatal to livestock and cripple the economy.

So when the Men of the Great Assembly set out to codify the prayers, they made sure to add a prayer for rain to the daily Amidah (silent prayer).

In fact, rain appears twice in the Amidah.

It is first mentioned in the second blessing, as one of a string of natural and supernatural wonders that G‑d performs. Not least among them is that “He causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.”

Here we are praising G‑d, who brings rain, but we are not actually asking for rain. It is only later, in the blessing requesting a bountiful year, that we ask G‑d to “bestow dew and rain for blessing upon the face of the earth . . .”

In both instances, the rain-related phrase is said only during the winter (Israel’s rainy season). However, the two prayers follow slightly different schedules. We begin to say “He causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall” on Shemini Atzeret. But, as you point out, we start saying the second prayer, the actual request for rain, only at the beginning of December.

Why the differing start dates? It’s an interesting story . . .

In Israel

The Jews of ancient Israel made three pilgrimages to Jerusalem each year, for the holidays of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. Now, the official rainy season begins on Shemini Atzeret,1 when the Jews were about to start their journey back home after the festival of Sukkot. As much as they wanted the rain, they chose to delay their supplications in the interests of a safer and easier trip.

That is how the practice of delaying the prayer for rain began. In Israel, the prayer was begun only 15 days after Shemini Atzeret (the 7th of Cheshvan), allowing enough time for even the Jews living near the Euphrates to return home.2 This custom is followed by Jews living in Israel until today.

Outside of Israel, however, a more complicated calculation became necessary.

In the Diaspora

For much of our history, the primary Jewish community in the Diaspora was in Babylonia (modern-day Iraq), where the climate is much hotter than Israel’s, and the autumn rains do not begin until much later. Therefore, the sages instituted that Jews living in the Diaspora should start praying for rain only 60 days after the start of the halachic autumn, which is known as tekufat Tishrei.3 (This should not be confused with the autumn equinox, which is usually September 22 or 23.) I will explain soon when exactly that is.

Nowadays very few Jews live in Babylonia, and the Jews of North America need rain at a different time than the Jews of Singapore. Nevertheless, we all start asking for rain on the day established for the Jews in Babylonia, regardless of when rains are actually needed in our respective locales.4

The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, explains that even Jews living in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, should follow the schedule established for the Jews of Babylonia, because we pray for the needs of the Jewish people as a whole, most of whom reside in the Northern Hemisphere.5

Obviously, this does not preclude us from praying for rain at other times. An individual or community that needs rain at a different time may add a personal prayer into the sixteenth blessing of the Amidah, “Shomei’a Tefillah,” where we add our unique requests.6

Now Some Math

We now know that the custom of Jews in the Diaspora is to start praying for rain 60 days after the onset of tekufat Tishrei. But when exactly is that?

In the third century, the Talmudic sage Shmuel calculated the length of the solar year as 365 days and 6 hours. Since the year is subdivided into four seasons, ortekufot in Hebrew, it follows that each tekufah is 91 days and 7½ hours (365.25 ÷ 4 = 91.3125).7

This calculation happens to correspond with the Julian calendar, which was widely used from the year 45 BCE until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 CE.

Based on this, tekufat Tishrei always began on September 24 on the Julian calendar,8 and 60 days into tekufat Tishrei was November 22.9

Calendar Issues

It eventually became clear that the solar year is actually 11 minutes and 14 seconds shorter than previously calculated, and that the calendar was slowly but surely drifting ahead. In the year 1582, the spring (vernal) equinox—which had been on March 25 at the introduction of the Julian calendar—actually occurred on March 11. This was about 10 days earlier than March 21, which is the day that had been “fixed” as the vernal equinox in the year 325.

To remedy this, Gregory XIII made two changes:

He shifted the calendar back by removing 10 days in October, making October 5 of the year 1582 into October 15. This restored the spring equinox to March 21.

To ensure that the calendar would not shift again, Gregory implemented that every 128 years (or, more roughly, three times every 400 years), one day would be removed from the calendar. (This is because the discrepancy of 11 minutes and 14 seconds accumulates into a whole extra day every 128 years.)

The extra day normally appended to the month of February every four years (causing a leap year)10 would not be added to all centaury years, except for those years which are multiples of 400. (Thus, it was not added in the years 1700, 1800 and 1900. However, it was added to the years 1600 and 2000.)

If you’re still following me, it should be clear that the old calendars (Jewish and Julian) drift away from the new (Gregorian) calendar at a rate of three days every 400 years.

It’s important to note that the Jewish sages were well aware that this calculation was not completely accurate. In fact, for most purposes the Jewish calendar follows the more accurate calculations of Rabbi Adda bar Ahavah, who gives the length of the solar year as 365 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes and 25.4 seconds. However, the sages of the Talmud chose to calculate the length of a solar year as 365.25 days for the prayer for rain and for Birchat Hachamah (the blessing of the sun), because it made the calcuations much simpler for the average person to perform.11

What to Do?

We know that the prayer for rain should be said 60 days after the beginning of halachic autumn. Since this date is based on the calculation of Shmuel (and the Julian calendar), and not the Gregorian calendar, we now have to translate this date into our Gregorian calendars.

Here’s our final calculation: As mentioned earlier, in the Julian calendar, the sixtieth day after the tekufah is November 22. Now, keeping in mind that the Gregorian calendar chopped off 10 days from the Julian calendar, we have to add them back. Thus, the sixtieth day would be—in the year 1582—on December 2.

Additionally, every centurial year (except for the years divisible by 400) the Gregorian calendar loses one day not dropped from the older calendar. Thus, from the year 1700 and onward, the sixtieth day of the tekufah moved one day every 100 years. In 1700 it was on December 3, in 1800 it moved to December 4, and in 1900 to December 5. However, since the year 2000 is divisible by 400, and the Gregorian calendar did not drop the leap day, the day that is considered the sixtieth day of the tekufah did not move, and remains December 5 until the year 2100, in which it will move to December 6.

The reason that we begin saying the prayer on December 6 in the year before a (civil) leap year is that although the Gregorian calendar adds a day to the month of February every four years for a leap year, the extra day has essentially really been accumulated at the start of the winter season. Therefore, every Decemberpreceding a leap year, the sixtieth day is adjusted to December 6.

Also bear in mind that since the halachic day starts on the preceding night, we start reciting the prayer for rain during the Maariv Amidah on the night precedingthe dates given above.

So, after all that, what you really need to know is that until the year 2100, in a regular year we start saying the prayer for rain on the night of December 4, and in the year before a (civil) leap year, on the night of December 5.12

As we begin to recite the prayers for rain this winter, let us have in mind that we are joining Jews all over the world—especially those in our Holy Land, where every drop of water is precious—united in our request for bounty and blessing for all of humanity.

FOOTNOTES
1. The Talmud (Taanit 1:1) explains that in truth, even this mention of rain should have theoretically started earlier, at the beginning of the festival of Sukkot. However, it was deemed inappropriate to mention rain during Sukkot, when we are obligated to eat in the sukkah.
2. Ibid. 1:3.
3. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 117:1.
4. Shulchan Aruch ibid.; Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav 117:2; Responsa of Rabbi Asher bar Yechiel (Rosh) 4:10. See also Shaarei Halachah u-Minhag, vol. 1, pp. 159–163 for an extensive list of halachic authorities who discuss this.
5. See Torat Menachem 5742, vol. 4, p. 2119, and Torat Menachem 5743, vol. 1, p. 387.
6. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 117:2.
7. See Talmud, Eruvin 56a.
8. Currently October 7 on the Gregorian calendar.
9. See, for example, Beit Yosef to Orach Chaim 117, where Rabbi Yosef Caro, who lived before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, gives November 22 as the day we start praying for rain.
10. The leap year is in both calendars to compensate for the fact that a solar year is approximately 365.25 days; thus, every four years there is an extra day.
11. For more on the accuracy of the calculations, and the reasons why they chose inexact ones, see But the Sun Is in the Wrong Place!
12. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 117:1.
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 author of “The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race and American Identity” and editor of the American Jewish History journal. Goldstein will give three presentations 

 

In My Opinion

There is a wickedly funny and enormously sad piece of satire making the rounds about a “Lithuanian” charedi father attempting to explain to his inquisitive child the story of the Hasmoneans and their triumph over the Greeks. On the one hand the Hasmoneans were staunch “Lithuanian “charedim who learned all day, while on the other hand they apparently had weapons, organized an army that they themselves led in actual warfare against the Greeks. They also engaged in commerce and agriculture, albeit always wearing only white shirts. And, apparently, they wanted to establish an independent Jewish state in the Land of Israel. The child realizes the enormous disconnect between the…

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Some of the topics discussed in previous calls:
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  • How much hishtadlus should you do terms of parnassah?
  • Rising cost of Yeshiva Tuition
  • Israeli Draft
  • Israeli Elections
  • Rising rate of Divorce
  • Raising children in these times
  • Understanding science and Torah
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  • The Chief Rabbi of Israel
  • and much more!
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Faith and Fate Special

5 Episode DVD Special

Destiny Israel logo
Destiny Israel presents

  WINTER LECTURE SERIES

By

RABBI BEREL WEIN

JEWISH LIFE IN THE 20TH CENTURY

December 14 The Zionist Movement

December 21 Coming of the Great War

January 4        The Third Aliyah

February 1      American Jewry Between the Wars

SATURDAY EVENINGS AT 8:00PM
Bet Knesset Hanassi
24 Ussishkin Street, near Keren Kayemet Street, Jerusalem
Admission Fee: 20 NIS/15 NIS (Destiny/Hanassi members) Series Price 90/70
NO CHARGE FOR STUDENTS
For more info or to dedicate shiurim call Miriam 0528-339-560

Destiny Israel logo

DESTINY ISRAEL presents

A CONVERSATION:

JEWISH PUBLICATIONS THEN AND NOW

Rabbi Nosson Scherman,

General Editor of Artscroll/Mesorah Publications

and

Rabbi Berel Wein

Come listen in as Rabbi Scherman and Rabbi Wein discuss topics relating to their lives, our people and our homeland

THURSDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 19 AT 8:00PM

Bet Knesset Hanassi

24 Ussishkin Street, near Keren Kayemet Street, Jerusalem

Admission Fee: 20 NIS/15 NIS (Destiny/Hanassi members)

NO CHARGE FOR STUDENTS

For more info call Miriam 0528-339-560

  Destiny Israel logo  

DESTINY ISRAEL presents

A CONVERSATION:

TORAH, ACADEMIA, ISRAEL –

FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE

Professor Yisrael Aumann

Rabbi Berel Wein

Come listen in as Professor Aumann and Rabbi Wein discuss topics relating to their lives, our people and our homeland

SATURDAY NIGHT, FEBRUARY 8 AT 8:00PM
Bet Knesset Hanassi

24 Ussishkin Street, near Keren Kayemet Street, Jerusalem

Admission Fee: 20 NIS/15 NIS (Destiny/Hanassi members)

NO CHARGE FOR STUDENTS

For more info call Miriam 0528-339-560

Select Section Events, Jewish Life : 24JEWISH ALERTS large selection in each section

דני סנדרסון – הופעה אקוסטית מלאה

Danny Sanderson

08.01.2013

מתוך ערב אקוסטי בערוץ 24

כפיר בן ליש – שירה וגיטרה
קרן מלכה – שירה
יותם בן חורין – שירה ובס אקוסטי
תמר אייזנמן – שירה וגיטרה
שאול עשת – קלידים
שי וצר – תופים

במאי ועורך – עדי בנימינוב

אריק איינשטיין – עטור מצחך

 02.02.2011

הגירסה המקורית (מ-1977, לא זו מ-1988). אריק איינשטיין, יהודית רביץ וקורין אלאל מבצעים את השיר הישראלי הטוב ביותר בכל הזמנים – “עטור מצחך זהב שחור”.

השיר יצא במקור במסגרת התקליט “ארץ ישראל הישנה והטובה – חלק ג'” שראה אור בשנת 1977.
גם ביצוע מצולם זה נערך בסביבות שנה זו (השיר שנשמע על רקע הוידאו הוא ההקלטה מהתקליט המקורי, ולא הקלטה שבוצעה ביחד עם צילום הוידאו).

קיימת גירסה נוספת של השיר בביצוע אריק איינשטיין, משנת 1988, שיצאה

United Hebrew welcomes musician Alan Goodis for weekend of St. Louis Jewish Light

United Hebrew Congregation will welcome Jewish recording artist Alan  His 2009 self-titled debut CD elevates Jewish music with its powerful vocals and bold 
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RA’ANANA, Israel – Arik Einstein has died. Most Jews in the United States are not familiar with his music and many here have tried to come up with an American 
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Danny Sanderson in L.A., celebrating 40 years of Israeli pop musicThe Jewish Journal of Greater L.A.

8 show at American Jewish University’s Gindi Auditorium will feature a career  If you’ve been to Israel in the last 40 years or heard Israeli popularmusic, then 
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Wilderness Torah Takes Judaism Back to Nature – Tablet Magazine shiryaakov

“In order to support the leadership of Wilderness Torah,” he said, “I need a deeper understanding of the Jewish tradition.” In the meantime, he will be at this 
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Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Receives Major Grant to Support eJP

Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT), the open Orthodox rabbinical school, has been awarded a second major ($1.2 million) grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation to 
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Torah Readings for Saturday, December 7, 2013 Vayigashmelamed&mavin

Rosh Chodesh and holiday Torah and Haftarah readings are also included.  The Torah provides a detailed listing of the Israelites going into Egypt. The tally 
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100 Women Gather at Women of the Wall Services, Without ProtestsJewish Daily Forward

Western Wall regulations prohibit Women of the Wall from bringing a Torahscroll into the women’s section; to protest the prohibition, members of the group took 
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Chanukah: Uncompromising Non-Warm Non-Fuzzy Defense of TorahArutz Sheva

‘Tis the season of confrontation: Yosef squares off with his brothers, Yehudah and the Maccabees square off with the Greek oppressors and the Hellenizers from 
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Hundreds of Hareidi Israelis Protest For Release of Draft-DodgerArutz Sheva

“G-d will put in the hearts of our [Israeli] bretheren that those who studyTorah form  cause them to cancel the decree and encourage moreTorah learning,” he 
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Torah Portion – VayigashConnecticut Jewish Ledger

One example of the theme of responsibility can be found in a verse in this week’s Torah portion, Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27), as explicated by Rashi.
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Encountering Torah’s intriguing and mysterious character, SerachSt. Louis Jewish Light

Of all of the people found in Tanakh, the one whom I have always wanted to meet is a rather elusive character. We don’t know much about her from the Torah 
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Parshas Vayigash – Age Old QuestionsThe Jewish Voice

Instead, the Torah records that meeting as having to do with something quite mundane. Age. Yet that trite discussion had severe ramifications for our forefather 
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The big revealJewish News of Greater Phoenix

This question of our inner thoughts is the main theme for this week’s Torahportion, Vayigash. The portion continues the complex and often sinister story of 
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Jewish Hall of Fame: Felix MendelssohnShalom Life

Shalom Life’s newest weekly feature, the Jewish Hall of Fame is a way to recognize the remarkable advancements these members of our community have made 
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Tri-County Jewish Federation celebrates Rabbi Dr. Murray Kohn for NJ.com

Tri-County Jewish Federation celebrates Rabbi Dr. Murray Kohn for life of giving,  made such a tremendous impact on our Jewish community is truly something 
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Doctor examines science and faith at Jewish academyAgoura Hills Acorn

The Conejo Jewish Academy will offer a two-part series titled “Permission to Doubt,”  9 and 16 at the Center for Jewish Life, 30347 Canwood St., Agoura Hills.
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Online agent keeps insurance simpleJewish News of Greater Phoenix

“I was selling life insurance in a very traditional way, making cold calls, setting appointments and driving to people’s homes,” he told Jewish News. “I knew there 
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Hillel, Chabad and the college sceneJewish Advocate

Jewish life on college campuses often leaves students with two options: Chabad or Hillel. Both organizations offer opportunities for Jews to come together and 
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PEW. What now?Connecticut Jewish Ledger

In addition to several books devoted to the topic (as well as to Jewish  (June 2007), is a brutally honest look at the factors corroding American Jewish life.
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Chabad on Campus hires JGrads leaderSt. Louis Jewish Light

Chabad on Campus–Rohr Center for Jewish Life has hired Shmuel Bergman to head JGrads, the Jewish Graduate Student Association. JGrads tackles 
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Around Our TownsMinuteman News Center

Wertheimer specializes in modern Jewish history. His particular focus concerns religious, education, and organizational sectors of America Jewish life since 
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Meet the Fifth (Jewish) Beatle — Manager Brian EpsteinJewish Daily Forward

For the Benefit of Mr. Epstein: In the 1960s in the UK, Jewishbusinessmen  of his Orthodox Jewish parents and the aspects of his lifethat were increasingly 
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Go East, Young JewsThe Jewish Week

For years, Jewish life on the Upper East Side has congregated a half-mile west of York and First, on Lexington Avenue. That’s where the venerable Modern 
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Hanukkah may be the most anticlimactic of holidays, and never more so than this year  A relatively minor holiday on the Hebrew calendar, its status was greatly 
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