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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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?

Meat

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”.

Dairy

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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