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One Italian Earthquake That’s Been Stirring Judaism for 500 Years

Throughout most of Jewish history, Jewish scholars and authors contributed in all genres but one: they wrote Halacha and Agadah, poetry, lamentations, songs of joy, holidays poems, ethics, Kabbala and “Sod” (mystery) literature – you can find Jewish authors everywhere in written culture. But there was one field which they have been avoiding until the […]

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The 1901 Case: How Herzl Tried to Bribe the Sultan

The kind of bribe a leader receives or offers can reveal a lot on his set of values. Think, for example, about the elephant granted by Sultan Harun Al Rashid to Charles the Great, or the shoes that “Norman” the hustler bought for Prime Minister Micha Eshel in Yossef Cedar’s film, or the cash packed envelopes […]

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From Acre to Alsace: How Napoleon Invented the Chief Rabbinate

A well-known Jewish folk story, recounted whenever there is a need to emphasize what a lover of Jews Napoleon Bonaparte was, takes place during the failed campaign to the Land of Israel. It is told that Napoleon landed with his troops on Tisha B’Av. Upon hearing the Jews lamenting, he asked why, and when they […]

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Jews and Occupation: How One Hand-Fan Started French Colonialism

Anti-Semites, the people who brought us The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the belief that any evil is caused by Jewish fortune, would probably rejoice at knowing that while the English branch of the Rothschild family funded the English wars against Napoleon in early 19th century, two wealthy Jewish families from Algeria supported Napoleon […]

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How Hugo Meisel Invented Football as We Know It

How Jews imported football into Austria – that is some strange tale. It happened after the Austrian branch of the Rothschilds hired a group of English gardeners to maintain the lawns at their mansion. The workers brought along both a football and a strong passion for the unfamiliar game. The first football match in Austria […]