Finding Spiritual Oneness in Interfaith Relationships

Purim

Purim is a celebration of God's care over the people of Israel

Unlike Passover or Yom Kippur, Purim is not one of the holidays we are commanded to observe in the Torah—but we hardly need to be commanded to celebrate this festive reminder of God’s watch care over the people of Israel! For some, Purim is a day for practical jokes and noisy, uninhibited fun.

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Passover

Passover is the celebration of Moses leading the Jewish people out of Egypt

"Why is this night different from all other nights?"

One of the most significant Jewish holidays, Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, recalls and rejoices over the Israelites' redemption from slavery in Egypt. The symbolic elements of the feast cause us not only to look back and remember what the Lord did for our people in the past;

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Hanukkah

Hanukkah Dreidle

Much more than the "Jewish alternative" to Christmas, Hanukkah, which means "dedication", recalls a dark time in the history of our Jewish people, and our miraculous deliverance from that darkness. This eight-day holiday commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the army of Antiochus Epiphanes, a time when God preserved and protected his people through the heroic act of a small band of Jewish guerilla fighters.

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Death and Mourning

Jewish Funeral

Death is an ugly intruder that tears the soul and body asunder. Saturated as our society is with violence and images of death on television, it is surprising how most people exclude the subject from conversation. People keep their thoughts and fears about death to themselves, but eventually it will lay claim to each of us and to those we love.

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Jewish Marriage

Marriage

Jewish Marriage

A woman asked Rabbi Yossi ben Halafta: "How many days did it take the Lord to create the world?" He answered, "Six." "And, since then, what has He been doing?" The reply came: "Making marriages."

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Bar Mitzvah

Bar Mitzvah

In the Jewish religion, bar mitzvah—"son of the commandment"—refers to a boy who has reached 13 years of age. At this time, he is considered a man in the sense of being responsible to take on the religious obligations of Jewish life. The term bar mitzvah is also commonly used for the ceremony itself, the rite of passage during which the young man reads in Hebrew the portion of the Torah (five books of Moses) prescribed for that week and chants the Haftarah (corresponding portion from the Prophets for that week).

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Bris

A Bris is a Jewish Ceremony where an 8 day old boy is circumcized.

A bris is the ceremony of circumcision for Jewish boys when they are eight days old. The origins take us to the 12th and 15th chapters of the biblical book of Genesis. God made unconditional promises to Abraham that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars in the sky; that through his descendants all the nations would be blessed; that Abraham's people would be given a great land to occupy and that all who blessed them would in turn be blessed.

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Glossary of Terms

One of our goals is to help cross-cultural communication.  We can increase understanding if we define terms that we use regularly.  That is why we include a brief glossary here.

Couple:

The term “couple,” as used in this context, has in mind two partners who are dating, cohabiting or who are married.  In all cases, only one of the partners is Jewish.  Some of the information provided is based on research conducted among heterosexual American Jewish-Gentile couples.
 

Jew:

In this website, the term “Jew” is an ethnic designation.  It refers to the people who are physical descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Ethnicity is a genetic factor as distinct from a religious designation.  Not all of the people who are Jews practice a “Jewish religion.”  The question of “Who is a Jew?” often has religious, political and sociological connotations.  In the sense it is utilized here the term is stripped of those implications and used in the purely ethnic sense as of a blood-related people.  It is a distinction based upon physical descendents. To illustrate, genetic diseases, like Tay-Sachs disease, are found only among ethnic Jewish people without regard for their religious beliefs, political inclinations or their social status.
 

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Perspectives on Messianic Marriage

A world-class concert pianist was approached by an admirer after a stunning performance. "I would give my life to play the way you played this evening," declared the adoring fan.

"I have given my life," responded the virtuoso.

Stop and think for a moment: why do we respect individuals who have achieved superexcellence? Certainly we admire their accomplishments, but the discipline and the sacrifices these people undertook to make their mark—whether in the arts, science, business or athletics—are just as remarkable.

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Portrait of a Messianic Jewish Wedding

Baruch habah! May he who cometh be blessed! Mi adir al hakol, mi baruch al hakol, y'vorech chatan v'kalah. He who is supremely mighty; He who is supremely praised; He who is supremely great; May he bless this bridegroom and bride…

Beneath the embroidered velvet chupah we listened to the words of this ancient benediction, unaware of all but the clergyman and the cantor before us. The royal blue wedding canopy moved gently in the early evening breeze. We stood on a grassy knoll by a peaceful lake, a setting much like those described in fairy tales. And though my "prince" and I had met and fallen in love in storybook fashion, we had come to the chupah out of a serious commitment born of something greater than even the greatest of human loves.

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