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Are You Ready for Shmita?

Shmita Store in Israel

Observed every seventh year during a seven-year agricultural cycle, shmita means that the land in Israel is not worked by hand. As the land lays fallow, there is no planting or plowing or harvesting. This leaves the harvest of Israel ownerless (hefker) and produce can be picked and collected by anyone. How much do you know about this rare mitzvah that begins again in September 2014? 

Judaism Spotlight10

How To: The Three Weeks

The Three Weeks in Judaism, which start on the 17th of Tammuz with a fast and culminate with the fast of Tisha b'Av. Do you know the laws?

Jewish Hand Washing Rituals

Required before eating a meal at which bread is served, hand washing is a mainstay in the religious Jewish world beyond the dining room table.

What Makes Wine Mevushal?

Wine might seem an unlikely candidate for concern about kosher ingredients, but a past of use in pagan ritual means kosher wine has its own rules.

What is Tzom Tammuz?

Tzom Tammuz is probably one of the lesser known of Judaism's many fast days. Occuring in the summer, it kicks off the "three weeks" in Judaism.

The Shmita Year

Every seven years, farmers who own land in Israel fulfill the mitzvah of shmita by taking a year off from working their land. What is this ancient and rare mitzvah (commandment)?

What is the Mikvah?

A mikvah is so critical to a Jewish community that the Talmud prioritizes building a mikvah over a synagogue! How much do you know about mikvah?

A Mikvah How-To Guide

The mikvah can be daunting and overwhelming the first time around, but it shouldn't be! Here's your first-timers "how to" guide for visiting mikvah!

Who Was Imma Shalom?

Tracing the historical Imma Shalom, a well-known woman of the Talmud, is difficult if not impossible given the few texts and traditions available today.

What is a Kittel?

A unique white robe-like garment, the kittel is worn by Jews on special days and during specific lifecycle events.

What is a Shtreimel?

If you've seen a religious Jewish man walking around with a relic of furry, colder days in Russia, you might be curious about the shtreimel!

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