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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

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!

Jewish Women and Tefillin

Books like Rashi's Daughters have muddied the truth behind whether women have historically or religiously worn tefillin. What's the ruling?

The Best of Judaism 101 Books

There are dozens of "how to" and "about guides" to Judaism out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? Check out these Judaism 101 books!

The Shalosh Regalim

Known as the shalosh regalim, the three pilgrimage festivals include Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot

On Shavuot, many Jews participate in all-night Torah study as part of their celebration of the holiday that God gave the Five Books of Moses to the Jews.

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