Celebrate

The Jewish Leap Year Explained

Why the Jewish year sometimes adds an extra month of Adar and how that changes holidays and Torah readings.

Five Things Not to Ask a Jew of Color

Tips from a Black Jew who’s heard it all.

Nine Words That You Didn’t Know Come From Aramaic

You might be surprised to discover that you speak a few words of Aramaic and you didn’t know it.

History of the Jews of Ukraine

Once Europe’s largest Jewish community, Ukraine has had a major influence on the development of Ashkenazi Jewish culture.

Next Torah Portion

Summary

In this Torah portion, Moses stays with God on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights. There, he is given the 10 Commandments on stone tablets. Fearing Moses will never return, the Israelites turn to Aaron, who demands that everyone bring him their gold, so he can make a golden calf. When Moses comes down the mountain and sees the people dancing around this idol, he smashes the tablets on the ground. God punishes with a plague all the Israelites who were involved. Moses builds a tent to be his meeting place with God.

FULL SUMMARY
HAFTARAH SUMMARY

Parashat Ki Tisa

Exodus 30:11 – 34:35

Ashkenazim: I Kings 18:1-39
Sephardim: I Kings 18:20-39

Holiness Cannot Be Mass Produced

The artisan is as important as the ingredients used.



PURIM is COMING

The annual holiday of revelry begins at sundown on March 23

Reading the Megillah

The Scroll of Esther, which tells the Purim story, is chanted in synagogue twice on Purim.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Purim

From Esther’s vegetarianism to the Jewish leap year, things that might surprise you.

How To Make Your Own Gragger

Instructions for constructing a Purim noisemaker

The Fast of Esther

The fast that precedes the holiday of Purim.

The Purim Meal

Eat, drink, and be merry is not without controversy.

Vashti: The Forgotten Queen of Persia

The rabbis imagined the Bible’s Vashti as both evil villain and tragic heroine.


recharge now

Our weekly Shabbat newsletter, Recharge, features a thoughtful, timely essay to enrich your Shabbat. Here are a few of our recent pieces:

The Purim Spirit of Medieval Frankfurt

The choice to create a second Purim speaks volumes about how our people value resilience.

Between Nationalism and Ethics

National pride and unity are important, but it is ethical behavior that makes a people worthy of divine favor.

Altering the Mind to See More Clearly

What Jewish mysticism can teach us about psychedelics.


MORE from MJL

Is CBD Kosher?

Gummies, oil and other products containing CBD raise concerns for Jews who keep kosher.

Judaism and Astrology

The notion that the planets influence human affairs cuts against the core Jewish belief in free will, but many ancient rabbis believed it anyway.

Havinenu: A Shortened Version of the Amidah

When and why Jews say an abbreviated Amidah. Full text and translation of Havinenu included.

Who Are the Jews of Australia?

The first Jews arrived in Sydney in 1788 and have been joined by successive waves of Jewish immigrants ever since.

20 Black Jews You Should Know

From Yiddish theater to the rabbinate, Black Jews have risen to prominence and enriched all aspects of Jewish and American life.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Talking to Converts

Tips from a Jew by choice who’s heard it all.