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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

Falling in Love on Tu b'Av

Often called the Jewish Valentine’s Day, Tu b’Av is not a very well known holiday in the Jewish calendar but it has a very rich history.

What is the Western Wall?

Although many think that the Kotel was an actual wall of the Second Temple, it was actually a retaining wall of the greater Temple Mount area.

The Western Wall: A Quick History

The Kotel has stood as a symbol of Judaism for thousands of years, but have Jews always been able to pray there?

Finding Your Bashert

You may have heard a Jewish friend talk about the dating game and finding their bashert, but have you ever heard someone mention finding their zivug?

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?

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