Purim

Yiddishkeit For Yuletide

12/20/2002
Staff Writer
No tinsel, no Santa, no carols, no nog. Some Jews feel they're missing out on the fun of Christmastime. Sure, there are alternatives like Chinese-food-and-a-movie or Matzah Ball dances: the ethnic equivalent of artificial snow. These activities capture the season's festive mood without drawing on its Christian origins.

The Age Of ‘Slamming’

10/24/2002
Staff Writer
Last Sunday’s New York Times declared that Jewish life on the Lower East Side was in its death throes. Meanwhile, a gathering at the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue proved that, at least in some corners, the neighborhood’s Jewish activity was not yet gone, just showing its age. A group of about a dozen poets aged 65 and older, and an audience twice their number, had gathered in the 115-year-old sanctuary that mellow morning for the Eldridge Street Project’s second annual Poetry Slam for Seniors.

Learning The Gantze Megillah

03/06/2009
Staff Writer
‘Musically inclined,” Dr. Paul Brody learned to chant the Scroll of Esther, or at least part of the Megillah, while studying at Yeshiva University several decades ago. He picked up the basics at the school’s Cantorial Training Institute. Then his grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Brown, convinced him to learn how to layn the gantze Megillah, the entire scroll.

A Sweet Purim in Israel

03/13/2009
Staff Writer
No, the kids outfitted in crowns and capes aren’t real monarchs — just a pair of young members of the Vizhnitz chasidic community listening to the Megillah reading on Purim this week in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv. Throughout the country — and Jewish communities in the diaspora — Jews of all ages and all religious affiliations attended Megillah readings, dressed up in costumes, attended parties, drank copious amounts of distilled brew and took part in festive parades.

What’s More Jewish Than Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

In heavily Orthodox American communities, they have a special named for Thanksgiving:

 

Thursday.

 

That’s too bad. Aren’t we as a people all about gratitude, looking at the bright side, the glass half full and all that? Isn’t it practically a Jewish axiom that “things could always be worse?”

 

The World Of Purim

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
Around the world Jews read from the same scroll on Purim — Megillat Esther — but there, similarities between the celebrations often end. From Algeria to Zimbabwe, Jews have some uniquely indigenous Purim traditions. They’ve been collected by the Hadassah International Research Institute on Jewish Women in a new volume, “Esther’s Legacy,” which includes recipes, poems and songs.

A Sweet Purim in Israel

03/11/2009
Staff Writer
No, the kids outfitted in crowns and capes aren’t real monarchs — just a pair of young members of the Vizhnitz chasidic community listening to the Megillah reading on Purim this week in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv. Throughout the country — and Jewish communities in the diaspora — Jews of all ages and all religious affiliations attended Megillah readings, dressed up in costumes, attended parties, drank copious amounts of distilled brew and took part in festive parades.

Shuls Facing New Stresses In Recession

01/21/2009
Staff Writer
In a normal year, Rabbi Gerald Skolnik of the Forest Hills Jewish Center begins writing his Purim essay for the synagogue bulletin about a month before the March holiday. This year he’s already turned his thoughts to it, a month earlier than usual. Blame it on the recession. To save money, Rabbi Skolnik’s Conservative congregation has converted the monthly bulletin into a bimonthly one, mostly online now instead of printed and mailed, which means early deadlines for the rabbi and other contributors.

On Solid Ground

03/21/2003
Staff Writer
Yisrael Schachter was a bystander during Operation Torah Shield, when a few hundred students from Yeshiva University and Stern College for Women flew to Israel on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War on a solidarity and learning program. "I was too young," in elementary school, he says. His father, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a rosh yeshiva at YU, and three sisters joined the mission. During Torah Shield II, during Intifada II a year ago, Schachter was a participant.

Purim On The Frontlines

02/26/2003
Staff Writer
On Purim, a holiday of costumes, many Jews deliver their shaloch manot, packages of food sent to at least two people, while dressed in their yom tov regalia. This year some of Miriam Adani's friends will perform the mitzvah in bulletproof vests. Adani, founder of the independent Yesh Sachar Lefeulatech organization (Hebrew for "There is Reward for Your Action") that sponsors classes and other activities at the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem, is organizing shaloch manot deliveries for all the Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank, Gaza and the Lebanese border.
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