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Author Archives: Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger
Yoram Ettinger is a former Israeli ambassador and head of "Second Thought: a U.S.-Israel initiative." Website:

Chanukah guide for the perplexed, 2016

1. Chanukah and Jewish immortality. In 1899, Mark Twain wrote: “Jews constitute but one percent of the human race…, [but] their contributions to literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are away out of proportion to the weakness of their numbers. They have made a marvelous fight in all the ages, and had done it with their hands ...

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Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) guide for the perplexed

1. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles (in Hebrew – named after the first stop in the Exodus, the town of Sukkota (סכותה), Exodus 13:20 and Numbers 33:3-5 – commemorates the transition of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to sovereignty in the Land of Israel, from nomadic life in the desert to permanence in the Promised Land, from oblivion ...

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Rosh Hashanah guide for the perplexed

1. Rosh Hashanah is one of four Jewish New Years: (a) Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of the Creation, the beginning of the Jewish civil calendar (5,777) and the seasons, the setting of the Sabbatical (7th) and the Jubilee (15th) years and the figuring of the annual tithe (10%) on vegetable and grains; (b) the first day of the month of ...

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Shavou’ot (Pentecost) guide for the perplexed, 2016

1. The 49 days between Passover and Shavou’ot are dedicated to enhancing one’s behavior. It is customary to pave the road to Shavou’ot/Pentecost – from Passover – by studying the six chapters of “ The Ethics of the Fathers ” (Pirkei Avot in Hebrew), which is one of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah (the Oral Torah) – a compilation ...

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