Jewish Names and More

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Jewish, News

Jewish Names and More

Jewish culture has had a huge influence on the world we live in. A race that has suffered from diaspora time and time again, its culture can be seen throughout the world. Jews and those of Jewish ancestry are known to exist in Europe, the USA, Australia, South Africa and countless other nations across the world.

As the millennia went on, Judaism as a religion and Jewish identity, as a culture, has produced countless people who have excelled in certain areas. Subjects like science, the arts, the humanities and other areas of academic interest have their own prominent Jewish figures.

These include individuals such as Albert Einstein, who managed to escape the terror of Hitler’s regime in Germany. As a result, Jewish children’s names and Jewish surnames are very common.

Jewish baby names are taken not only by those of Jewish ancestry, but also by others. There are, in fact, countless Hebrew names from the Bible and the Torah which are quite common today. Names such as Hannah and Emmett are straight from Biblical lore and are popular among people in Britain and in many English speaking countries.

In other places, such as Russia, the name “Hannah” is translated as Anna. Its further diminutive, “Anya”, is a common name within Eastern European countries. Overall it is a particularly popular name, and Hannah is something that has a wide range of variation across many European cultures.

Names such as Joshua, Joseph and even John all have their origins from Hebrew times. These names are often given to babies of Christian families, who wish to follow in the naming traditions that the Bible sets down.

Even names like Moses, while not as common, are still given, particularly in African countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Jewish last names can most prominently be seen in the United States. Bearers of these names may have Jewish ancestry, or they may simply have them due to marriage. Some of these names, such as Goldheim, have a distinctly Germanic ring to them.

This is primarily due to the Germanic language of Yiddish, which was common amongst many migrating Jews. Many Jewish surnames have changed over time.

As a race, the Jews themselves have added many more cultures and names to their number. This is due to the long string of migrations which took them all over Europe and, eventually, the world.

There is still a purity tradition when it comes to giving your child a Jewish name. There are countless other names which are also Jewish in origin, even if one is not aware of it. Some people, if they go back far enough, may even discover their own Jewish heritage in their family trees.

This is particularly true of individuals who were born and raised in the United States. America has created a melting-pot of cultures, creating a diverse population who have a rich history and culture stretching back across the millennia, and one that gives us our customs and traditions of today.

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Some Common Jewish Traditions and Symbols

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Jewish, News, Symbols

Some Common Jewish Traditions and Symbols

The Jewish people set themselves apart from the societies they inhabit by practicing certain traditions. These Jewish traditions can include dietary restrictions or observances of certain days that they consider to be sacred or worth remembering. Many of these holidays are based on wars and remembrances of past mistreatment of their people.

One of these traditions is to welcome their children into adulthood through the practice of a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah. This celebration is held at 13 for boys and at age 12 for girls. This celebration can be coupled with a celebration at the synagogue that is called a confirmation.

During this time, the children are to become responsible for the observation of the commandments. Before this age, children are encouraged to observe the commandments in order to grow, but they are not responsible to do so.

In modern times, many children learn the haftarah portion of the Torah, rather than reciting a simple blessing. They also learn the traditional chant that is a part of this section of their holy book. The father of the child will thank their God that they are no longer responsible for the sins of their children.

This is because it is assumed that the children are now responsible for their own sins. Oftentimes, male children will also thank their God that they have not been born a woman.

Another tradition is the celebration of Hanukkah. This holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights because it involves lighting candles. The festival takes place over an eight day period and a candle is lit for each day. Many Jewish families will exchange a gift on each of the days.

In America, this holiday often falls around Christmas time and so, the gift giving has increased in this country. This holiday celebrates the re-dedication of the Temple. The Temple needed to be rededicated because it was defiled by Seleucid Greeks. Another popular holiday that occurs around Easter time is Pesach.

This is one of three different pilgrimage festivals. This holiday celebrates the Jewish people leaving Egypt on their way to the Promise Land. In English, this holiday is also known as Passover. During the ancient times, a lamb was usually sacrificed in the Temple.

Another Jewish Tradition is known as a bris. This takes place for male children. It involves the removal of the foreskin of the penis. This happens 8 days after the child is born. While the traditional law states that the father must perform the circumcision, most fathers have a mohel perform the act. In orthodox traditions, the mohel will use his mouth to remove some blood from the penis. Less traditional Jews will use a suction device to remove the blood.

There are a variety of Jewish symbols that are recognized around the world. The Star of David is the most widely known and it is used on the flag of the country of Israel. Other Jewish symbols include the Menorah and the wearing of a Yarmulke. The Chai symbol, from the Hebrew alphabet is commonly used as a symbol of life and good luck.

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How to Fight the Stereotypes Surrounding the Jewish Nose

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Jewish, News

How to Fight the Stereotypes Surrounding the Jewish Nose

At one point in time, there was intense hate against the Jewish nose. This was especially the case with women. For many generations, young Jewish girls would get rhinoplasties just in the hope of landing a decent husband. Men would also undergo these procedures trying to look more attractive.

Fortunately, with all of the fighting against Jewish discrimination, there is an increase of people that are not getting these surgeries. This trend has affected American society as a whole. As it stands now, 37 percent of Americans received fewer nose jobs in 2011.

However, even with this phenomenon, there are still people that hate what is perceived to be the Jewish nose. To convince these individuals how wrong they are, it is recommended that they take a look at Jewish men and women. There are many pictures on the Internet that show how attractive these people really are. These proud individuals serve as the ultimate testament to inner beauty.

One should also remember that racism does play a part in why Jewish noses receive the type of attention that they do. When rhinoplasties were more common in the Jewish community, the people of that time wanted to achieve the WASP look. This is a term that stands for the “White Anglo Saxon Protestant.” To put it simply, the people of that day were trying to look more Caucasian.

Now some may not see a problem with this type of thinking. Since most Jews are seen as being white anyway, there should not be any harm in altering their noses. While racially Jews are white, they still define themselves as a separate community. A Jewish man or woman could be born with a nose that looks more stereotypical yet still get processed as something negative.

To stop this form of discrimination, Americans as a whole need to view Jewish people like they would themselves. Do not look at them as a nose, a lawyer or a person trying to be cheap with money. Instead, you should view them as everyday folks trying to achieve the same life as everyone else.

Of course, one should also keep in mind that when it comes to rhinoplasties, there are genuine reasons why a Jewish person would want a nose job. One of the most common involves car accidents. If a person breaks their nose during such an incident, plastic surgery might be needed to restore their original appearance. In this situation, there is no incidence of self hate or discrimination.

In summary, there should be no hate against Jewish people or their physical appearance. Everyone is beautiful regardless of their look or their religion. This is what should be thought when a person looks at another. Judging by artificial standards not only hurts the entire Jewish community, but it also hurts oneself.

People should be accepted for who they are without having to become a WASP. Anyone believing something different needs to seriously analyze their thoughts. By doing this, the world will definitely become a better place.

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Understanding the Hebrew Calendar

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Hebrew, Jewish, News

Understanding the Hebrew Calendar

The Hebrew calendar also known as the Jewish calendar is predominantly used by Jewish religious observers. It is ideally used to determine a number of things. These include the dates at which Hebrew months have holidays, the appropriate dates of Torah, daily psalm reading among many other ceremonies associated with the Jews religion.

It also determines the best times for agriculture. The calendar is based on the cycles of moon phase which is adjusted by including a thirteenth month in certain years. This addition of a 13th month is meant to synchronize the lunar cycles with the solar year.

The current Hebrew Calendar 2012 commenced in 16th September 2012 and will continue up to 4th September 2013. It is also known as the year 5773 and has 12 months. The number of months every year changes between 12 and 13.

The reason why these numbers keep changing is because of the number of days making up a month of a lunar calendar. Ideally, a month has about 29.53 days, meaning that a typical Hebrew calendar would be 11 or 12 days less compared to the normal calendar that amounts to 365 days a year.

Understanding this calendar enables an individual to know why holy days do not occur at the same time on the Gregorian calendar. It also assists an individual to be able to calculate the Jewish year. Ideally, it is stated that the number of years in the Jewish chart represents the actual years since creation.

In order to arrive at the current Hebrew year-5773, a person has to subtract 1240 from the current Gregorian year and add 5000 to the answer.

According to the Jews, the first day of the week is known as Yom Rishon which is Sunday while the last day is Yom Shabbat which is Saturday in the modern calendar. This means that Shabbat is considered a holy day, the most important day within a week, and perhaps even more important than Yom Kippur.

Also the first month of the year is known as Nisan which is often between March and April. Ivyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Elul, Tishri, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat and Adar are the subsequent months. The 13th month is known as Adar II

An additional aspect of the Hebrew chart that is important to note is the four seasons. Since the Jewish year is also cyclical, spring will fall between the months of Nisan and Sivan while summer starts in Tammuz and ends in Elul. Fall Falls between Tishri and Kislev while winter falls between Tevet and Adar. This is not different from the solar calendar.

Another important characteristic to note about the Hebrew calendar is the start of the day. The Jewish day starts at sunset rather than midnight as is for the globally used calendar. Additionally, one of the important holidays of the Jewish calendar is Yom Kippur; also know as the Day of Atonement. While making the yearly calendar, religious leaders always ensure that this holiday does not fall on a Friday or a Sunday.

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What Does Eating Kosher Mean?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 in Food, Jewish, Kosher Diet, News

What Does Eating Kosher Mean?

You may have heard the term “kosher” before when it comes to food. You may have seen kosher option on an airplane or a wedding menu. Most people know that it relates to the Jewish faith and the set of rules that they follow when it comes to eating.

The word kosher is a Hebrew word that essentially means “suitable or “pure” and it is used to describe many things including the foods that Jewish people are allowed to eat within their doctrine. There are specific meats and other food types that Jewish people have to avoid to remain pure and stay within the guidelines of the Jewish faith. What does Kosher mean?


In the Torah it is said that there are certain types of animal’s meat that should not be eaten. These are outlined in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy says that you can eat any animal that chews cud and has cloven hooves. It says that you cannot eat animals that only have one or the other. Some of the most well-known animals that are banned from being eaten under kosher guidelines are rabbit and pig. Almost all fish is allowed under a kosher diet.

There are also guidelines as to how the meat must be slaughtered when it comes to kosher meat. All of the blood, certain kinds of fat and the veins must be removed during the slaughter. The animal is often placed in a bath filled with warm water to help draw out the blood.

The type of cut that is used during the slaughter is very strict as well. It must be a horizontal cut along the jugular at a certain depth. If you eat kosher meat that means that it has been slaughtered exactly to the guidelines set forth by kosher law making it “clean” and “pure”.


The main rule when it comes to dairy is any milk that is deemed kosher must come from an animal that is kosher. Obviously human meat is not kosher but it is not unkosher for a child to drink human breast milk as long as they are under the age of 4 and have been breast feeding consistently without stopping for three days.

It is also important under kosher diet not to let meat and dairy mix during the same meal. If one eats meat then they must wait a certain amount of time before they eat milk. This period of time can vary depending on the specific tradition that individual chooses to follow.

Eggs and Seafood

Kosher eggs can only come from birds that have been deemed kosher. Kosher birds are typically described as non-birds of prey. When it comes to seafood, only fish that have scales and fins are permitted under kosher law. This means that all shellfish are banned under kosher guidelines.

Kosher meals do have a very strict set of guidelines that must be adhered in order to eat kosher. Even those that are not Jewish can benefit from eating kosher because it is typically a very healthy way to eat because of the way the food is prepared and the way that they check for diseased animals before they are slaughtered.

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