Beliefs & Practices

Beliefs & Practices

Must a Jew Believe in God?

The centrality of God in Judaism may not be as straightforward as you think.

Beliefs & Practices

Mitzvah: A Commandment

There are 613, not just 10, commandments, or mitzvot.

Keeping Kosher

Kosher Food: What Makes Food Kosher or Not

The word "kosher" literally means "fit" or "appropriate."

What Do Jews Believe About Jesus?

How Judaism regards the man Christians revere as the messiah.

Why Do So Many Orthodox Men Have Beards?

The Jewish reasons for facial hair, including sidelocks (payot).

What Is the Meaning of Chai?

The Hebrew word for life is a popular symbol and toast — and is linked to the number 18.

A Guide to Jewish Acronyms and Abbreviations

Common Hebrew (and Aramaic) shorthand translated and explained.

Why Jews Read Torah on a Yearly Cycle

The history of the weekly portion — and the different schedules on which it's done.

Can A Jew Get Body Piercings?

While most contemporary Jewish authorities believe ear piercing is fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex when it comes to extensive piercings or piercing other body parts.

What Is the Torah Portion?

How the Five Books of Moses are divided up into weekly portions.

Jewish Ritual Objects: A Guide

From challah covers to yahrzeit candles, what they are used for, how they look and where you can find them.

The Tattoo Taboo in Judaism

Body ink is a no-no, but it won't bar you from Jewish life.

Magic & the Supernatural Quiz

How well do you know Jewish magic, and the debates around it?

Jews and Guns

Jewish law forbids hunting, and few Jews own firearms.

Do Jews Believe in Satan?

In Jewish texts, the devil is sometimes an adversary and sometimes an embodiment of evil.