What Is a Sukkah?
A competition called Sukkah City asked people to reimagine the sukkah in new, creative ways–and its winners explain how to build one of these ancient huts.
Hanukkah Song: “Light Is in the Air” by Bible Raps
MJL teamed up with Bible Raps to create a music video about lighting candles, spreading the fire, learning Torah and celebrating the festival of Hanukkah.
Sukkot: How to Buy a Lulav and Etrog
World-renown etrog shopper Heshy Fried takes MJL along as he goes shopping for a lulav and etrog to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot.
Kosher food doesn’t necessarily mean healthy food. However, it frequently means weirder food. We go behind the scenes of kosher packaged food in America.
Passover: World’s Fastest Matzah Eating
Jeremy Moses, MJL’s Editorial Fellow, breaks the world record (yes, really) for speed matzah eating.
Israel Day Parade with the Chai Riders
The Chai Riders Motorcycle Club participates in New York City’s annual Israel Day Parade.
GROWING UP JEWISH
The Truth about Jewish Camp
Amir Blumenfeld of CollegeHumor.com lets us in on the secrets of Jewish summer camps. Even though he wasn’t there himself.
Bar Mitzvah Dance Class
In order to help him feel more comfortable at bar/bat mitzvah parties, Myq Kaplan’s mom signed him up for dance classes.
Man amongst Boys
When Jon Friedman, a comedian and blogger, came home for Rosh Hashanah services at 17, he had a memorable experience.
Christmas in Calgary
Comedian Ophira Eisenberg talks about growing up Jewish in Canada.
THE ADVENTURES OF TODD & GOD
Episode 1: How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah
Todd discovers a magical friend (um, God) who teaches him how to light the Hanukkah candles.
Episode 2: The Rosh Hashanah Blessing over New Fruit
God shows up (as an orange) to teach Todd a Rosh Hashanah lesson: How to eat the new fruit.
Episode 3: How to Hang a Mezuzah
DJ God teaches Todd how to properly hang a mezuzah.
Episode 4: How to Go Green
God appears as Al Gore to tell Todd about why we should save our natural environment.
How to Do Hagbah & Gelilah
Have you ever wanted to lift a Torah and display it to the congregation–or have you ever not wanted to, but you were asked to do it anyway?
How to Have an Aliyah
Getting called up to the Torah doesn’t have to mean getting frazzled. Here’s how.
How to Put on Tefillin
A step-by-step guide to wearing the phylacteries worn for morning prayers.
How to Wear Tallit
How do you wear the “prayer shawl” or “Jewish cape” known as a tallit?
HOW JEWS LIVE
How Jews Look
Beards. Wigs. Noses. Yarmulkes. Hair extensions. USY sweaters…we explore what Jews look like and what that means to us. Are we ashamed? Do we love it? Are big noses really sexy?
How Jews Eat
Kugels. Knishes. Bagels & lox & cream cheese. And falafel with extra harif…We check out why Jews love to eat, what food means to us, and what aspects of eating we’re afraid of.
How Jews Pray
Singing. Davening. Swaying back and forth. Asking for a favor. Please, God — let me get an “A” on this test…We explore what Jews talk (and think) about when we pray, what it means when we do, and whether anyone’s on the receiving end.
How Jews Mourn
Judaism offers different rituals and thoughts about dying and mourning — and different people will have different reactions to each of these rituals and thoughts.
What Is a Shofar?
What is a shofar? What do its calls–tekiah, shevarim, teruah–mean? Why does it send a chill down our spines and a shiver in our hearts?
What Is Jewish Music?
From the tune of chanting the Torah to the instruments described in the Bible–to Bob Dylan and Joey Ramone–music has always been an integral part of Jewish life.
What Is a Cantor?
The prayer leader, also known as a hazzan, is the central figure who conducts Shabbat and holiday services in Jewish tradition.
“Hineni,” sung by Jeremiah Lockwood
Hineni, from the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, is one of the most meaningful and humbling prayers that can be prayed by a human being.
Pronounced: ETT-rahg, Origin: Hebrew, a citron, or large yellow citrus fruit that is one of four species (the others are willow, myrtle and palm) shaken together as a ritual during the holiday of Sukkot.
Pronounced: HAHG-buh, Origin: Hebrew, lifting of the opened Torah scroll after the public Torah reading is complete.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronounced: LOO-lahv (oo as in boo), Origin: Hebrew, a bundle of branches representing three species — willow, myrtle and palm — which are shaken together with the etrog on Sukkot.
Pronounced: MITZ-vuh or meetz-VAH, Origin: Hebrew, commandment, also used to mean good deed.
Pronounced: roshe hah-SHAH-nah, also roshe ha-shah-NAH, Origin: Hebrew, the Jewish new year.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Pronounced: sho-FAR or SHO-far, Origin: Hebrew, a ram’s horn that is sounded during the month of Elul, on Rosh Hashanah, and on Yom Kippur. It is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, in reference to its ceremonial use in the Temple and to its function as a signal-horn of war.
Pronounced: SOO-kah (oo as in book) or sue-KAH, Origin: Hebrew, the temporary hut built during the Harvest holiday of Sukkot.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.
Pronounced: yohm KIPP-er, also yohm kee-PORE, Origin: Hebrew, The Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and, with Rosh Hashanah, one of the High Holidays.