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Who Was “the Other”? The Wise Sage Who Became the Greatest Heretic

Try to picture this: Shabbat morning, a synagogue in Bnei Brak, and the late rabbi Elazar Shach delivers his sermon to his listeners, in sheer atmosphere of silence and holy awe. Then suddenly, a loud defying horn sound from a nearby sport car is heard just outside the synagogue. Now which scene is more likely […]

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Who by Fire? The Story of “Unetanneh Tokef”

This coming Yom Kippur, just like every year, during the Musaf prayer, the famous piyyut “Unetanneh Tokef“ will be once again sung and touch all hearts in Ashkenazi synagogues and in part of the Sephardi and Yemenite ones as well. The piyyut opens with the words “Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, […]

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Yom Run: Baseballs’ immortal keepers of the Jewish high holiday

More than half a century later, Sandy Koufax’s decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins, still reverberate loudly and clearly among American Jews. The greatest pitcher of his day, enjoying a five-year dominant span unparalleled in Baseball history, decided to respect Yom […]

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Rosh Hashanah: The Politics and Theology Behind Jewish Time

He who has control over time, has control over agendas. Therefore, it is not surprising that the greatest revolutions in history always sought an opportunity to change or replace the calendar in use: the leaders of the French revolution replaced the Gregorian calendar with a new one, in which each month had three weeks, ten […]