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Shemini

Your Questions
Debunking the Myth of the Jewish Menstrual Slap

I was recently asked about a supposedly Jewish “custom” of a girl being slapped across her face by her mother upon getting her first menstrual period. I was shocked by how many online commentators thought this came from Jewish teachings
Why Some Repeat Barechu and Others Don’t

To get some understanding of the varying customs, let’s begin by explaining why some repeat it at all.
By the Numbers
Eight Heroes With Disabilities in the Bible

Careful scrutiny of the text (and the Midrashic subtext) reveals that some of these heroes lived with life-altering disabilities
5 Ways My Mother Made Me Love Being Jewish

I learned that Judaism has beautiful traditions that comfort and aide us when we’re in pain, and also when we experience joy. I saw up close that it’s possible to live a Jewish life.
Parshah
The Mysterious Life and Death of Nadab and Abihu, Sons of Aaron

Nadab and Abihu are mentioned briefly in Scripture as two men who came too close to G-d and died in the Tabernacle under mysterious circumstances.
The Secret Symbolism of the Calf and Goat

While the calf immediately evokes the story of the golden calf, finding the meaning of the goat is a bit harder.
When Saying Nothing Is the Right Thing to Say

I tried to explain to my friend how people react to grief and mourning differently. Looking back, I wish I could take back my words. In a misguided attempt to make her “feel better” or “fix the situation,” I was negating her emotions.
First Person
Reach Out: You May Even Save Someone From Suicide

I recently saw a video about a fellow who tried to commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.
How Chassidism Is Helping My Husband Through Cancer

We got the diagnosis on February 23, 2017, at 9 p.m. A new anniversary: before and after knowing your husband has cancer.
Lifestyle
Art: Shabbat, a Gift

The wise of heart shall choose the mitzvah
— Proverbs 10:8
Print Magazine

There’s really only one difference between matzah and chametz.

They’re both made from flour and water, both baked in an oven, and both provide nourishment.

But one stays flat and humble, while the other fills itself with hot air.

That’s why matzah is a key ingredient for leaving your personal Egypt:

As long as we...