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Preparation for the Seder: A 14th century miniature showing the master of the house distributing the matzot (unleavened bread) and sweetmeat during passover. From Haggadah for Passover (the ‘Sister Haggadah’). (British Library)

How the ancient Israelites dealt with epidemics — the Bible tells of prophecy and rituals

People have always searched for meaning in their misfortunes. It can be comforting to believe that things happen for a reason and something can be learned in chaotic situations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File

What Israel’s new election reveals about the struggle over Jewishness

Young Haredim men, who are strictly observant Jews, have long been exempted from Israel's compulsory military service. A disagreement over stopped Netanyahu from forming a government.
Many people believe in the idea of a soulmate - one person who will make us whole and happy. fizkes

What’s behind the belief in a soulmate?

Many of us go through life in the hope of finding the ideal soulmate -- our missing half. The reason may be deeply embedded in religious beliefs.
Particularly for young Canadian Jews, a holiday meal achieves conviviality in the family and solidarity with the Jewish community, but its religious significance is less important than in the past. Makom/Facebook

Young, Canadian and Jewish: The shift from religious to cultural identity

A new survey of Canadian Jew suggests young adults are finding ways of remaining Jewish that are not principally religious.
A student speaks with Holocaust survivor William Morgan using an interactive virtual conversation exhibit at the the Holocaust Museum Houston in January 2019. David J. Phillip/AP

Digital technology offers new ways to teach lessons from the Holocaust

In anticipation of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a scholar explains how digital technologies can help close knowledge gaps about the catastrophe that claimed the lives of 6 million Jews.
Vigil held in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh for shooting victims, Oct. 27, 2018. AP/Gene J. Puskar

Pittsburgh’s lesson: Hatred does not emerge in a vacuum

Mass murders like the killings at a Pittsburgh synagogue are seen as the work of disturbed individuals. But America has allowed violence to become unexceptional, ignoring its root cause.

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