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Death and mourning

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By Stan Goodenough

Jewish thinking does not regard death itself as tragic (though there are of course tragic deaths, as when lives are cut of prematurely.) If a person dies after living a a full and meaningful life the death, however, his death is not seen as a tragedy.

The Jewish wedding

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By Stan Goodenough


The Jewish wedding is divided into two parts - the betrothal or sanctification, and the marriage, which is the consumation of the betrothal.

For the betrothal, the groom places a ring on the finger of the bride and says to her: "Be sanctified to me with this ring in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel." Once she consents she has become his wife and the consumation of the marriage takes place as the newly weds stand under a chupah or special wedding covering.

Bar Mitzvah

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By Stan Goodenough

Ask any under 13-year-old Jewish boy which date he anticipates with the most excitement and he'll undoubtedly say "my Bar Mitzvah". (Under 12-year-old Jewish girls would say "Bat Mitzvah")

The boy's Bar Mitzvah is the date on which he reaches his religious majority - on his 13th birthday.

The words Bar Mitzvah mean "subject to the commandments".

Redemption of the first-born

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By Stan Goodenough

"Everything that first opens the womb of all flesh, which they bring to the LORD, whether man or beast, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.


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By Stan Goodenough

"This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.

Adam to Noah

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By Stan Goodenough

Just ten generations spanned the 1656 years between the day God made Adam and the day Noah entered the ark to ride out the great flood.

Because of their longevity - excluding Enoch, the pre-flood members in the Adam to Noah line lived an average of 912 years each - the careless observer might imagine that many thousands of years passed from the creation to the deluge.

Terror in the yeshiva

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By Simcha Shumacher

Speech by Simcha Shumacher at a recent fundraiser for Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund/One Family.

Honoured Speakers, dear friends and supporters of Israel,

My name is Simcha Shumacher.

My Rachel, my love

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By Ginette Lando (Thaler)

February 27, 2002 - Rachel Thaler, 16, of Ginot Shomron died of wounds suffered on February 16 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a pizzeria in the shopping mall in Karnei Shomron in Samaria, bringing the death toll in the attack to three. Her mother writes:

To One and All,

Some thoughts..... And lots of thanks....

The past month has probably been the worst in my life. The non-imaginable happened. Well, the almost non-imaginable.

A family cut in half

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By BenZion Schijveschuurder

Speech given by BenZion Schijveschuurder at recent gathering of Jewish Leaders in N.Y.C

Good Evening

I am here today to tell you a very personal story. My name is BenZion. I am 22 years old.

Seven months ago, on August 9th, in the early afternoon, my life was radically changed forever, when a suicide bomber entered the Sbarro restaurant where my parents and 5 brothers and sisters were having lunch. He triggered the bomb that shook all of Jerusalem.

At that moment, I was in my apartment, only a few blocks away.

Malka Chana Roth Z”L

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By Arnold Roth

Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter Malka Chana was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001, wrote the following letter to be read out at a solidarity rally for Israel in Sydney, Australia, on April 21, 2002.

Dear friends,

In January 2001, my daughter Malki and I took part in a solidarity rally - perhaps the largest ever gathering to take place in Israel.