JEWISH CULTURE

A Jewish View of Christmas

“Where were you on Christmas?” The unexpected question from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to Elena Kagan…

Apples of Gold Nov/Dec 2019

This week we received a phone call that a friend of our family was very sick in the hospital, so my wife and I went to visit her. Visiting a hospital is different from…

The Ultra-Orthodox Dilemma

Teens in the Western World usually have the luxury of choosing to attend a college or university, join the workforce, or enter military service after graduating from high school…

The Great Divide

Why should Israelis and American Jews see eye to eye? Americans and Israelis are not alike. They have different concerns, interests, lifestyles, and even a different calendar…

Zvi Nov/Dec 2003

As it is written in Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.” So it has been with me. Before I was married, I worked in a joinery…

Workmen’s Circle

The children of Israel provided an interesting name for the heavenly bread sent to them from the Lord. They called it manna, which means “What is it?” (Ex. 16:15). The same question is asked today…

Baruch Ha Shem

Elohim appears more than 2,500 times in the Old Testament. It is powerful, plural, and used by two divine personalities.

Play Ball!

Sports radio, a relative newcomer in the arena known as talk radio, is a result of the mutual admiration between professional athletes and the fans who watch them. The last names of the people who produce…

Jewish Music: Capturing the Heart of a People Conclusion

In Old Testament days, Jewish worship revolved first around the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Crucial to that worship was music, particularly the skill and purpose of
its presentation. In accordance with 2 Chronicles…

Blessings on Your Head

At the beginning of the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Jewish people in the little Russian village of Anatevka ask their rabbi if there is a special blessing for the czar. The czar ruled…

A Day for Remembering Yom Hashoah

Some of the most disturbing words in all of Scripture are found in the book of Esther: There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom…

Pondering the Question of Evil

Why is there so much evil in the world? That question has challenged philosophers and scholars since time began. Spend just 30 minutes watching the national news—with its usual display of wars, man’s injustice…

When You’re Dead, You’re Dead!

A number of years ago, I attended the funeral of a dear Jewish friend named Max. I had met him through mutual friends shortly after his right side had become crippled by a stroke.

Camping Out Under the Stars

So you don’t like camping? You may change your mind after you get a glimpse of life in today’s sukkot.

Tabernacles in the Millennium

A day is coming when people of all nations will go up to Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles—and woe to them if they don’t go!

A Look at the Fall Festivals

Rosh Hashanah marks both the beginning of the Jewish high holidays and the civil year on the Jewish calendar. It’s a good time to wish your Jewish friends leshana tova (happy New Year)…

So, What Exactly is That?

Meeting new people is a regular part of my job. Usually it takes just a short time before I find myself asking the inevitable question, “What do you do?” Sometimes (not often, I hope)…

Israel in the News Sep/Oct 2001

According to an Internet report on Yahoo!® News, the poll was conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion from May 24 through 26 and showed 76 percent of respondents favored “operations like the May…

Zvi Sep/Oct 2001

Almost every Jewish home here has a mezuzah nailed to the right doorpost of the front door. A mezuzah is a small receptacle that contains a piece of parchment on which is written Deuteronomy 6:4–9.

Chosen? for What?

Were you ever the first one onto the baseball diamond but the last to be chosen for a team? Or worse, maybe you were never chosen at all? Maybe, though, you were the best player…

Aliyah for the People of the Book

The People of the Book.” Whom do you think of when you hear that phrase, which so clearly distinguishes a specific people? Which people and what book? The people are the Chosen People, the Israelites…

Organized for Service

In 1843 twelve Jewish men, each one an immigrant, met on the Lower East Side of New York City. Their purpose was to form an organization to help their own people in need—a type of

Zvi Jan/Feb 2001

We have a saying in Israel: Curses, like chickens, come home to roost. But a curse cannot rest where a blessing has been pronounced. Many rabbis today are making new laws, and they claim these…

Lost Hope Reclaimed

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off on our part…

The First Line of Defense

Once a year an Orthodox community in Israel assembles to honor the boys from fatherless families who are ready for bar mitzvah. The fathers of these boys all lost their lives in service to their…

From Badge to Banner

Vexillology. Most people have never heard the term; but according to World Book Encyclopedia, it is the study of the history and symbolism of flags. Its root can be traced to the Latin word for…

God’s Heart for Israel Romans 9-11

God chose Israel thousands of years ago. Has He stuck with her? This article examines Romans 9, 10, and 11 in light of the sovereignty of God.

The Man Who Brought Hebrew Back to the Land

For its first issue of the year 2000, The Jerusalem Report, a prominent international Jewish magazine, published the results of a poll in which it asked its readers to choose the one hundred greatest Jews…

Jewish Humor

The obstetrician wanted to be sure. His patient had told him the date she expected her baby to be born. Taking into account her age, size, and weight gain…

The Talmud

“No! No! No!” the grandmother screamed as the six-year-old boy placed the clean spoon into the drawer of clean utensils. “That spoon goes with the milchig [dairy].” The youngster should have known;

But I Say Unto You: Matthew 5:21–48

Swimming pools become graveyards for many young children each summer. To prevent these needless tragedies, some municipalities require fences around pool perimeters. Some pool owners take the additional safety measure of installing another barrier on…

Are There Horns Under That Hat?

Several years ago there was a TV series called Little House on the Prairie. One of the show’s characters, a youngster named Albert, became friendly with an elderly Jewish man.

Tenach, Torah, & Targum

The Torah is the foundation stone for the Jewish people. Inspired by God and written by Moses, it has been central to Jewish life since its inception.

Food For Thought

Food, with its various tastes, smells, textures, and visual appeal, is a powerful trigger in the process of remembering. Whether it is in the preparation, serving, or eating, certain foods seem to prompt many people…

Fussy Fressers

Food is an integral part of Jewish life. One man explained it this way: “For our people, food is more than a necessity of life; it is an emotional experience.”

A Special Diet

Food, glorious food! We need it to survive. We eat it to celebrate almost any occasion. We offer it in hospitality or comfort. Socially, food somehow helps to build bridges for easier and better communication…

Dressed for Worship Part Two

As Tevya, the milkman in Sholem Aleichem’s story Fiddler on the Roof, considered various practices unique to his Judaism, he turned to the audience and asked, “Why do we do the things we do?”…

Dressed for Worship Part One: The Tallit

Who hasn’t had it happen—a missed appointment, that lack of association between a name and a face, the forgotten anniversary or birthday? Forgetfulness is a plague that knows no prejudice.

Death and Mourning

Chai is the Hebrew word for life. Jewish people frequently wear gold charms depicting this Hebrew character on chains around their necks, emphasizing the fact that life is Judaism’s most precious and cherished commodity.

Shabbat

Holidays are commemorative days used by most people to participate in recreational activities, to travel, or just to relax. Conversely, holy days are special days set aside for worship.

A Little Sanctuary Ezekiel 11:16

As a youngster growing up, I can remember two synagogues in our neighborhood. Sitting high on a hill was an imposing, three-story brick building with beautiful white stone pillars in the front.

The Jewish Wedding

Marriage is regarded as one of the most important and significant decisions in the lives of Jewish people. The Torah (the five books of Moses) clearly states that God made “an help fit” for Adam…

Bar Mitzvah

On Saturday morning, June 11, 1966, I walked from the stage of the synagogue to the platform (bema) where the Torah lay open. Following in the tradition of my father and grandfather…

Brit Milah

The birth of a boy into a Jewish family is cause for great joy and celebration (simcha). On the eighth day after his birth, a ceremony takes place that unites him with all other Jewish…

Ruth and Boaz: The Story of the Kinsman-Redeemer

The Jewish community has always looked upon marriage as a sacred and divine institution. It is viewed as a holy covenant between a man and a woman, a necessity for the divine plan to propagate…

God’s Law for Redeeming the Land

One cannot understand fully the story of Ruth and the role of Boaz as the kinsman-redeemer apart from a knowledge of God’s program of land redemption for Israel and the responsibilities of the kinsman-redeemer.

Zvi Feb/Mar 1993

For many years, the people of Israel have been singing about the time of the Messiah’s coming. Of course, we who believe in Christ according to the Scriptures know that He has already come…

Purim: No Minor Festival

An old Yiddish saying translated into English, says, “As a high temperature does not denote serious illness, neither is Purim a festival.” Its meaning reflects the impression among some that the Feast of Purim…

Passover

Praised be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Thy commandments, and enjoined upon us the mitzvah of kindling the Festival lights …

Be Ye Holy: The Feast of Unleavened Bread

Of all the feasts of Israel, none exemplifies the holy standard of living to which God calls us more than the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Instituted by God and given to the nation of Israel…

Shavuot: The Feast of Weeks

All of the festivals of Israel give great insight into the New Testament. Shavuot, or Pentecost, as most Christians know it, is no exception. Understanding the background and practice of this festival gives rich insight…

After a Half Century

On May 2, 1922—half a century ago—an 18-year old Jewish lad made his confession of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Savior in a small chapel in Warsaw, Poland, in the presence of an assembly…

Different Jews

These headlines pose quite a contrast. It is important to note that these two groups are the extremes statistically. Only a small percentage of Jews hold either view.* But they do reflect just how difficult…

Judaism in Crisis

“American Jewry is in the midst of a spiritual holocaust, one it has unleashed upon itself,” says syndicated columnist Sheldon Engelmayer. Engelmayer’s sentiment is being echoed by the Jewish religious community on many fronts these days.

The American Jew: Stranger in Our Midst

The 19th century witnessed thousands of European Jews pouring through Ellis Island to their new home in America. They were greeted by words penned by a Jewess, Emma Lazarus, and mounted in bronze…

Yom Haatzmaut

The time was 4:00 p.m. The date was Friday, May 14, 1948. A black sedan pulled up to the front of the Tel Aviv Museum. Out of the back seat emerged a short, white-haired man…

Joel of Jerusalem Dec/Jan 1990/1991

We are quickly approaching the Feast of Hanukkah, or, as we call it, the Festival of Lights. The celebration is always the same, year in and year out. People recite the same words…

The Shema: How Much of Me Does God Own?

Hear, O Israel: The Lᴏʀᴅ our God is one Lᴏʀᴅ: And thou shalt love the Lᴏʀᴅ thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The Majesty of Herod’s Temple

The Temple of Jesus’ time was built by Herod the Great. Appointed by the Romans, Herod was king of Judea from 37 to 4 B.C. He had the dubious reputation of being the most unpopular…

Joel of Jerusalem Jun/Jul 1990

The Lord Jesus said, “when they bring you unto the synagogues, … be not anxious how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say; For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in…