Czech-mate

Czech-mate

What happens when we face our opponent once the game is over? By: Rabbi Dr David Fox Each year, he had held a festive gathering, a Seudat Hoda’a – meal of thanksgiving – to commemorate when the war had ended for him and for his family. A teen when the Germans took over much of Europe, he had been interned in the Prague ghetto along with his parents. Life had gone from hard to tenuous, from hunger to starvation, and the curfews, the arrests, the beatings, and the murders were…

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A Persian Feast

A Persian Feast

The story of Purim takes place in Persia, so celebrate Queen Esther with a menu and tablescape laden with different spices, flavours, and colours in honour of the occasion By: Lauren Boolkin Hamantaschen are the most recognisable food associated with the Purim holiday, but there are many different foods for celebrating Purim. One of the four mitzvos of Purim is to have a festive meal on Purim day, and because I have been obsessing over the plethora of Middle Eastern recipe books hitting our shelves, I’ve decided to create a…

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War with Amalek

War with Amalek

The mind, body, and soul of hating evil By: Rabbi Dovid Samuels One of the most basic and fundamental principles regarding the fulfilment of the mitzvos of the Torah is that each mitzvah has three aspects to it: machshava – thought; dibbur – speech; and maaseh – action. For example, when we approach the mitzvah of Tefillin, the contemplation of the meaning behind the mitzvah and our pure intentions occupy the realm of thought; the blessing we make just before the placement occupies the realm of speech, and the actual…

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Celebrating by giving

Celebrating by giving

Making the party something bigger and better By Chandrea Serebro “Yad Aharon was privileged to be chosen by a bat mitzvah girl as the perfect venue to celebrate this momentous occasion in a manner which went beyond the confines of family and friends,” says Alice Friedman of Yad Aharon. “The family and friends who attended the event actively and happily participated in the mitzvah of chessed by packing our food parcels for the following day’s distribution. We hoped that this girl’s courage to do things differently would inspire many others to celebrate…

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Sing, sing a song

Sing, sing a song

Two musicians taking the music industry – and events everywhere – by storm By Chandrea Serebro Reuven Garber’s Holy Music Reuven Garber always enjoyed singing when he was young. As a teenager, he felt the first stir of real inspiration when his sister got engaged and friends and family gathered together. Out came a guitar, the strumming started, and everyone was singing in a circle, the proverbial fire roaring in the middle. “For me, it was out of this world. I really felt the music and its power right through me, and…

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Scaling down the simcha

Scaling down the simcha

The wedding is your future, but it doesn’t have to cost you your life By Chandrea Serebro He offers her the ring and the promise of forever. She says I do with a tear of happiness in her eye. Families gather, dance, and toast to the happy couple. Then they contact the caterer. And the rest is not yet happy ever after. What soon follows is a battle of wills and finances, triumphs and disappointments to plan the perfect wedding without bonding the not-yet-bought house three times over. These days,…

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A truly fun mitzvah

A truly fun mitzvah

Rejoicing with the bride and groom By Chandrea Serebro If you peek into a Jewish wedding hall, don’t be surprised to see a circus-like dance floor full of masks and feathers, fire and dancing. The mitzvah of gladdening the bride and groom is found in the Talmud, and it has become a much-loved practice at Jewish weddings. Some people have even made it their business to rejoice with bride and groom. The Kollel Dancers Ivan Ziskind was dancing at a wedding over 40 years ago, doing his three-legged-man routine, when…

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