Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Days, and The Ten Branched Menorah

My weekly parashah lectures and halachah column for this past פרשת צו discussed the establishment of days of thanksgiving, as well as other rituals of thanksgiving. One fascinating practice that I discussed in the lectures is the custom of some Syrian Jews, of Sephardic extraction, to kindle an extra light on each night of חנוכה. […]

“ירושלים עוד כך וכך קילומטר”

During her turn in Beit Avi Chai’s series החוט המחבר, the always wonderful Etti Ankri introduces her beautiful interpretation of Rihal’s poem of yearning for ירושלים and ארץ ישראל,‎ יפה נוף, with a brief biographical discussion of Rihal and his magnum opus, the Kuzari, followed by a charming personal, introspective anecdote [YouTube, YouTube]: רבי יהודה […]

More Spontaneous Hebrew (and Other Languages)

[A follow-up to this post.] Mississippi Fred MacDowell notes that versions of our legend are found in Herodotus: Now the Egyptians, before the reign of their king Psammetichus, believed themselves to be the most ancient of mankind. Since Psammetichus, however, made an attempt to discover who were actually the primitive race, they have been of […]