Life lessons

Bashert - Meant to Be

Bashert - Meant to Be

When you talk about romance, love, marriage and Judaism, one other word inevitably comes up - “bashert.” Translated as “fated,” "inevitable" or "preordained", bashert is often used to mean a predestined soulmate. But the literal translation from Yiddish is “destiny.” The concept of bashert, for those who believe in it, is much more than finding love by being at the right place at the right time. It is, in essence, fulfilling your personal destiny, thereby playing your part in the destiny of the world. What does Bashert mean?Though the term beshert can refer to any fortuitous event, it is most...

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A Guide on How To the Light the Hanukkah Menorah

A Guide on How To the Light the Hanukkah Menorah

What are the customs, rituals and traditions when it comes to lighting a Channukiah or Chanukah Menorah? Some are dictated in scripture, but many have been formed into rituals by the generations before us or have been created by community and family traditions. How many Menorahs should be lit by one family? Each Jewish household is required to have at least one Menorah. However, if we go by what the ancient rabbis said, it is not customary to stick to only one as lighting more only adds to the mitzvah. Children can be given their Menorahs or heirlooms that have...

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3 Occasions When A Mezuzah Makes for The Perfect Gift

3 Occasions When A Mezuzah Makes for The Perfect Gift

Finding the perfect gift can be overwhelming, no matter the occasion or the type of relationship you have with the person. Here is where a Mezuzah might be a great idea. Have you ever walked into a Jewish home and noticed a small object hanging from the doorpost? That object would most likely be a mezuzah, which is a sacred parchment stored in a protective and decorative case. It contains inscriptions of the Shema and Ve’ahavta (a prayer from Deuteronomy), including the verse “And you shall inscribe these words upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” It...

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What makes a Hanukkah Menorah a Hanukkiah? When and how to light it

What makes a Hanukkah Menorah a Hanukkiah? When and how to light it

What makes the Hannukah Menorah different from other Menorahs? This question is sounding a bit like Passover, but really we are talking about Chanukah. The Hanukiah (Hanukkah Menorah) is a symbol of the Hanukkah miracle, the container of oil that should only have lasted one night, but burned for eight. The real miracle of course is that a bunch of random guerrilla Jews, the Maccabees, were able to avoid the destruction of our faith and thwart off the entire Syrian army. How many candles are there on a Menorah and how do you light it? Whereas the 7 branched menorah was...

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The Idiot's Guide to Rosh Hashanah

The Idiot's Guide to Rosh Hashanah

Get ready, get set... It's the longest Amidah of the entire yearThrow the honey cake in the oven and wax down your shofar. The new year is just around the corner but you won’t need party hats or noisemakers. This is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, when we celebrate life by wondering who will die by water and who by fire.With such high stakes, best to know what you’re getting into. So sit back, relax, and find a ram because 5780 is on its way.MeaningRosh Hashanah is Hebrew for “head of the year,” a two-day holiday beginning on the...

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