With concerns about coronavirus growing worldwide, many people are questioning how they will go about hearing the Megillah this year. Is it safe to go out? What if I’m quarantined? Can I listen to it online?
Obviously it is ideal to hear the Megillah read aloud in person. Chabad recommends that if one is unable to leave the house to hear it, then it would be appropriate to read it to oneself without giving a blessing. They also have a good version you can print if you need it. If you decide that you would rather live stream the reading, Adas Israel in Washington, D.C. and Beth Yeshurun in Houston are two options.
Whichever you may choose, be safe and enjoy the holiday!
It’s a bit of a late notice, but in case you didn’t hear, a new Daf Yomi cycle just began on January 5. This is, of course, a chance to read through the entire Babylonian Talmud in a 7 ½ year period, along with thousands of others worldwide. One page a day is all it takes! This can be a great way to to facilitate study with family and friends of one of Judaism’s seminal works.
Even if you’ve missed the first few days, you can still jump on board. Dafyomi.org is a good place to start. Or, if you prefer a straightforward Hebrew/English page with commentary, I recommend Real Clear Daf. If you would prefer to get started at the beginning of different tractate, have a look at the calendar on shas.org to decide where to jump in. There are numerous commentaries on the readings, so you’ll have to find which ones you like best. However, the Orthodox Union has a good place to start with their All Daf website.
Also, don’t forget that Sefaria has a great number of translated Jewish works you can check out at your convenience.
Good luck to everyone who elects to undertake this strenuous (yet rewarding) endeavor. If you’re picking it up this cycle, feel free to comment and let me know how it’s going!
Ever been called a “pharisee”? Even know what one is (or was, as is the case)?
For the next few weeks we’ll be covering the history, society, and philosophy of the three major Jewish sects during the Second Temple Period: The Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes.
Not only did these classes reflect the spiritual and political climate of their time, but also served as cornerstones for the Abrahamic traditions of today. Tune in to KEOS (or check out the show’s YouTube channel) as we cover each one over the next three weeks… the answer as to who these men were may surprise you!
We spoke on the show this week about Ezras Nashim, an all-female Orthodox EMS service in Brooklyn who was recently denied a license for an ambulance. A documentary about the group’s formation and the difficulties they encounter was released last year. Check out the trailer:
If you get a chance to see the documentary, let me know what you think!
Archaeologists recently discovered a medieval treasure trove in England, which is being hailed as one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds in history. Found amongst the hoard was this bishop’s headdress. Believed to be from the 7th century, this piece is now the oldest episcopal head covering currently known:
While a little worse for wear, it is likely that this piece was made to resemble what the early European Christians believed were the headwear of the Jewish high priests, as evidenced by this 8th Century painting of Ezra:
It also bears some similarity to the headpieces of the pagan priests of ancient Rome; particularly those worn by the Flamines and Salii:
This does not, however, reflect our knowledge of the garments of the High Priest as we understand it from the Bible, which describes something of a distinctly Middle Eastern style:
Perhaps ironically, this bishop’s headpiece does bear a striking resemblance to the Jewish headgear that would later become standard in 13th Century England:
No doubt this will contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the influence of Judaism vs. Paganism in the development of the early European Church.
Set Apart is a talk/music radio show covering issues related to religion and how we live as people of faith in the modern world, predominantly from a traditional Jewish perspective. It airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m. CT on KEOS 89.1 FM College Station/Bryan, TX. If you are out of range of the station, you can listen to the show on your favorite radio app or on keos.org.
On the show you can expect to hear:
Jewish and Israeli news and commentary
Discussions of Torah and other Jewish texts
History of Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people
Discussion of spiritual concepts
Opinion on how to approach modern life from a traditional Torah perspective