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holidays

  • Simchat Torah in Egypt

    Brenda Gazzar has a dispatch in The Jerusalem Post on spending Simchat Torah in Alexandria, Egypt. In the synagogue with just 25 members, minyans are hard to come by. More ▸

  • Why a chicken?

    Ben Harris filed a report on the feud between animal-rights activists and Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim over kapparos. Here’s his interview with Rabbi Shea Hecht about why the pre-High Holiday ritual must performed with a chicken. Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • The day Israel has no cars

    For thoroughly secular Israelis, Yom Kippur is not so much a day of atonement as it is a national car-free day. Even in secular Tel Aviv, cars are parked for the holiday and the streets fall silent – of engine noise, that is. On Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv, and elsewhere around Israel, you can… More ▸

  • Blowing in the new year

    Nearly every newspaper in America seems to have a Rosh Hashanah story of one kind or another. Here’s a sampling: Alisa Israel Goldberg has some special guests to thank for the sweetness of her Rosh Hashanah table: 60,000 bees, reports the San Jose Mercury News. A project at the University of Washington Hillel called PostRegret… More ▸

  • Old matzah, new matzah

    The Free-Lance Star in Fredericksburg, Va., published an ode to good old fashioned fried matzah: In a holiday filled with ritual foods, matzo is the oldest symbol of salvation in the Passover Seder. In fact, the Seder can’t end until the last piece of matzo has been recovered from its ceremonial hiding place and eaten…. More ▸