ODU Jewish Studies

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Hanukkah

Before we can delve into both the historic and current practices at surround Hanukkah, we first have to discuss what the event is celebrating. In the year 168 B.C.E., the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes sent his soldiers to Jerusalem. The… Continue Reading →

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah, “The Joy of the Torah,” is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the conclusion of the yearly cycle of Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is observed on the 22nd to 23rd of Tishrei,… Continue Reading →

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is classified as one of the holiest Jewish holidays of the entire year, with Rosh Hashana (the start of the Jewish New Year) being the other most important. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are always observed ten days apart. This… Continue Reading →

Pesach / Passover

           Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is a holiday that celebrates the exodus of the enslaved Israelites in Egypt that lead to the birth of the Jewish nation. The Passover itself came out of the Exodus story wherein the Israelites… Continue Reading →

Yom HaShoah

Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (Day of remembrance of the Holocaust and the Heroism) (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה) , in Israel, across the globe this day is known as Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. This upcoming year of 202 this… Continue Reading →

Purim: The Jubilant Festival of Deliverance

The Jewish holiday of Purim has been referred to as the Jewish “Halloween” or Jewish “Mardi Gras.” Although it is 48 hours of festive parties, parades, dancing, eating, and a heck of a lot of drinking, there is a much… Continue Reading →

Eating Unclean Fowl

“These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture.”  Lev11:13. There are two descriptions for what can be eaten or not. Clean and unclean can be… Continue Reading →

Celebrating Festivals

Has it been so long that it’s forgotten? When law books are far older than anyone alive, some of those laws may be out of date or in need of broader definition. Jewish law is constantly evolving as with any… Continue Reading →

The Mezuzah

Before we can discuss the laws and practices behind the Mezuzah, we have to identify what a Mezuzah even is. As stated on My Jewish learning, a Mezuzah is a small box affixed to the right of the doorpost on… Continue Reading →

Retelling the Passover Story

On the first night of Passover, Jewish law states that, families are to sit down with their young and discuss the departure from Egypt. There are many steps that go into celebrating Passover; however, discussing the departure from Egypt is… Continue Reading →

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