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Spotlight on Modi’in: Ancient Birthplace of the Maccabees.

Modi’in used to be more famous for its past than its present. But not any more. Today, this ancient birthplace of the Maccabees is about to become Israel’s fourth largest city. Once famous for its Hasmonean roots, modern day Modi’in has more than 150,000 residents and is Israel’s first planned city. Mentioned in the Talmud […]






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Hanukkah: Heroes & Villains

Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said, “Women are obligated to light the Hanukah menorah for they took part in the miracle” (Shabbat 23a) Two heroines emerge from the Hanukah story that often get lost in the heroic tales of the Maccabees. Their names were Judith and Hannah and they also symbolizes the victory of the Jews […]






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Hannukah: Laws & Customs

The Menorah: Candles are lit on a menorah, or Chanukiah, in Hebrew. A kosher menorah must have space for eight candles all lined up in a straight row. All eight candles must have the same height. A ninth, extra, space must be raised above the other eight candle branches.  So, the fancy candelabra you may […]






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Hanukkah: Religious Meaning

HaRabim Beyad HaMeatim: The victory of the few over the many. This Hebrew phrase stands for the unfaltering resolve of the Jewish people. It was not only true in the days of the Hashmonaim, it is true today. The tiny land of Israel has always been surrounded by hostile nations. Even before the Maccabean victory […]






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Hanukkah 101:

Hanukah, Feast of Dedication / Festival of Lights Hanukah, the Hebrew word meaning dedication, is celebrated for eight days in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually occurs in mid to late December. Hanukah recalls the struggle for religious freedom and commemorates the victory of the Jews over the Hellenistic Syrians in the year 165 […]






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Jewish Weddings 101:

  In The Beginning… Shutafim, Partners: A marriage is a blessing, a union decreed at the beginning of time, with each individual being born with a designated Zivug, or soul-mate. The Torah relates that G-d originally created man and woman as one entity. “G-d created the human in His image, in the image of G-d […]






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Yad Vashem: Rosh Ha’Shannah Prayers on a Paper Sack

Just three months before he died, Naftali Stern visited Yad Vashem on Holocaust Remembrance Day, 1978. Naftali, an elderly man in his late 70’s, took out an envelope containing frayed pages; written on them were the prayers for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah Musaf), the longest in Jewish liturgy. Naftali proceeded to share his story. […]






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Rosh Ha Shannah Musical

The Fountainheads are a group of young Israeli dancers, singers, actors and artists, all graduates and students of the Ein Prat Academy for Leadership, who have have joined forces to create new Jewish artistic content for today’s Jewish World. All members of the group have spent time living and studying at the Ein Prat Academy, […]






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Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project

http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/ Click on the above link to bring the Shrine of the Book Museum to life on your computer screen.






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My Israeli Music Collection

The music of a country reflects its mood, history, and dreams.  Israeli popular music, in particular, has tapped deep into the soul of our people.   Israeli music sings of wars, immigration, terrorism, kibbutz life, love, children and, of course, endless dreams of peace.  Israel’s popular music has helped us get through the worst times and […]






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