Beliefs & Practices
Must a Jew Believe in God?
The centrality of God in Judaism may not be as straightforward as you think.
Kosher Food: What Makes Food Kosher or Not
The word "kosher" literally means "fit" or "appropriate."
Jewish Perspectives on End-of-Life Care
Jewish approaches to medical decision-making for the terminally ill.
Why Do So Many Orthodox Men Have Beards?
The Jewish reasons for facial hair, including sidelocks (payot).
The Prohibition Against Studying Torah on Tisha B’Av
Why would learning sacred Jewish texts be forbidden on this day of fasting and mourning?
Did God Write the Torah — and Does it Matter?
For many Jews, the Torah's authority does not derive from being a divine document.
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 Jewish authorities believe ear piercing is fine, the matter grows somewhat more complex with other body parts.
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.