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Carved turnip heads scarier for Halloween

Once again there are calls for Halloween to be banned in Jordan and other parts of the Muslim and Christian world where this ancient solstice tradition is misunderstood. Halloween of today is a mutt of a holiday. It combines ingredients from stone-age Celts Irish and Scottish Catholics, native American harvest festivals and marketing from candy and […]

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Haroset, The Passover Seder’s Sweet Treat RECIPE

Enslaved Jews in Egypt built storehouses in  Pithom and Ramses, according to tradition. But did they cement the bricks with dates and honey? “Seder” means “order.” The first Passover night’s meal follows a specific  order, and the first thing we see on the seder table is a plate of symbolic foods. In the center of […]

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Celebrate Purim with Friendly Purim Baskets

The Jewish holiday of Purim begins this coming Wednesday night, the 7th of March. Fulfill the mitzvah of sending treats to your neighbors the green way. Purim celebrates the victory of the Jews over Haman’s “final solution,” in 356 BCE. It’s a deceptively childlike holiday. Families gather in the synagogue to hear the colorful Purim […]

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Frankincense is Soon to be the Ghost of Christmas Past

Frankincense burners such as those depicted above could eventually become unnecessary as frankincense supplies dwindle. We all know the story. The Three Wise Men (Magi) traveled to Bethlehem upon the birth of baby Jesus and laid gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh at his feet. The story is so engrained in the consciousness of Christians […]