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Articles on Judaism

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A condolence message and candles for the victims of a stampede during a Jewish ultra-Orthodox mass pilgrimage to Mount Meron, projected on a wall of Jerusalem’s Old City. Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Lag BaOmer pilgrimage brings Orthodox Jews closer to eternity – I experienced this spiritual bonding in years before the tragedy

The Lag BaOmer pilgrimage, in which 45 people died recently, takes place each year to what is believed to be the gravesite of the second-century Talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.
The Jewish Museum’s Purim Ball at the Park Avenue Armory in 2015 in New York City. Andrew Toth/Getty Images

How New York’s 19th-century Jews turned Purim into an American party

In the 19th century, Purim became an occasion to hold fancy dress parties, the proceeds from which were given to charities. These parties helped American Jews gain a standing among the elite.
The Hasidic community comprises several communities that take their names from the cities of Eastern and Central Europe where they originated. In Montréal, the Belz and the Satmar are the best known. (Philippe Montbazet)

Policing religious gathering limits during the coronavirus pandemic requires sensitivity

Some Jewish prayers are not only about an individual connection with God. They have a community dimension that is essential to their conduct.
President Donald Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception at the White House in 2019. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

How Hanukkah came to be an annual White House celebration

For much of American history, the only December holiday to be recognized in the White House was Christmas, but menorah lightings are now an annual tradition.
Photographs of Jewish families at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC. GiuseppeCrimeni/Shutterstock

Many young people still lack basic knowledge of the Holocaust

Many young people learn about the Holocaust in school, but their knowledge and understanding of the subject can be limited and based on inaccuracies and misconceptions.
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.
A crucifix, believed to be miraculous, that in 1552 was carried in a procession around Rome to stop the great plague, left, frames Pope Francis, wearing white, as he delivers a prayer from an empty St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, on March 27, 2020. (Yara Nardi/Vatican News via AP)

How faith communities are responding to the coronavirus pandemic

Religious communities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide meaning and help in a time of uncertainty
Some researchers believe atheists are disliked because people link their lack of belief to an overall lack of values. Gary Stevens/Flickr

Why some people distrust atheists

Many Americans have a distrust of atheists. A group of researchers found that some of the distrust relates to beliefs about atheists' family values.
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.
Doubting Thomas needed the proof, just like a scientist, and now is a cautionary Biblical example. Caravaggio/Wikimedia Commons

Yes, there is a war between science and religion

An evolutionary biologist makes the case that there's no reconciling science and religion. In the search for truth, one tests hypotheses while the other relies on faith.

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