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Bloody Matsot? Passover, Blood Libels and Kidush Ha-Shem

As Prof. Israel Yuval was standing with his three daughters at the bottom of the deep cistern under the famous basilica in the German town of Trier, he felt it was a life changing moment for him. 900 years beforehand, at that very spot, Jewish parents were willing to throw their children into the pit […]

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Forget the Troubles and Laugh – 30 years of Dzigan and Schumacher

The comedy duo Dzigan and Schumacher was for three decades the most successful pair on the Jewish-Yiddish stage, more than any other comedian or ensemble. Their story is also the story of Jewish entertainment, and also the historical story of the Jewish people in the 20th century. Their repertoire included dozens of acts in Yiddish, and a […]

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Who knows three? Enigmatic drawings in the Gutwirth-Zucker Haggadah

By: Yair Achituv, Bar-Ilan University   The text of the Gutwirth-Zucker Haggadah, an 18th century manuscript written in Prague in 1707 and exhibited in Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, is accompanied by drawings. Drawings in illustrated Haggadot are usually related to Passover customs and Passover-related events, the Exodus. However, there are drawings in the Gutwirth-Zucker […]

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Osnat Barazani – The Brilliant Woman Who Headed a Yeshiva

It is safe enough to state that humanity is progressing, even without delving into philosophers such as Hegel. True – slavery still exists, classes still count, women and minorities are still being discriminated – but not as much as they used to. In a long perspective, human history is indeed moving forward. On the other […]

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Samuel Pallache – The Famous Jewish Pirate

Back in the 16th century, “explorer” and “traffic” certainly did not mean what they mean today. These two concepts actually used to mean physical motion through lands and seas. Those were the days of the flourishing seamanship industry, in which some of the sharpest minds of that period were involved. The leading “startup nation” of […]