Archive for December, 2012

The Mezuzah in the Madonna’s Foot by Trudi Alexy

While this is not a book club blog, I just had to let you readers know that there is a book out there by the above title disclosing riveting stories of very, very “secret Jews.” In many cases, they were known to each other only by false, misleading, or confusing names, such as the ‘titular […]

Shas, The Mezuzah of the Knesset?

Yes, folks.  That’s what Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita has been talking about of late. Political parties in Israel are now preparing to air their TV ads for the upcoming elections scheduled to take place in the Knesset. He has been quoted as saying that, “When a man buys a home, he does not […]

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Mezuzah!

Daniel Libeskind, a world famous architect, artist, and set designer, is a Polish born accordion prodigy of two Holocaust survivors. He has used his rather formidable talents to design a cover for the mezuzah gracing the entrance of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, California. It is a very, very, modern looking piece. The […]

A “Sight for Sore Eyes”

We are all aware that the information highway in the internet age is a place where all types of knowledge is just a click away. The “Yahaduton Channel, Your Personal Guide to Judaism,” has previewed a series of video clips which explain how to keep mitzvahs on a daily basis. Rabbi Shmuel Bistritzky is the […]

A Great Miracle Happened Here!

“Nes Gadol Hayah Poh”a great miracle happened here! This timely phrase was recited by President Daniel Lehmann at a Chanukah celebration on December 11th to rededicate the building which houses the Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. 150 members of the Hebrew College financial committee found themselves in serious debt, to the extent that that the […]

The Most Famous Mezuzah in the World

There exists a mezuzah in the world, the largest, most expensive (equal in price to a Sefer Torah), which is the one and only calligraphic entry in the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records. The scribe is Avraham Borshevsky, an artist and calligrapher from Jerusalem, Israel. He began his career as a secular, formidably talented […]

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Most people are aware that the halacha requires that each letter in a mezuzah be written perfectly. Also, it must not be written by erasing. For example, if in error the Sofer wrote a beis instead of a kof, he might be tempted to save time by erasing the foot of the beis so that […]

The Times, They are- a- Changing?

The Talmud Gittin 45b states that Sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzah scrolls are considered kosher only when written by certain select groups of specially trained scribes.  Women, as a category, are not mentioned to be among them. However, in 2003, Canadian born Aviel Barclay became the world’s first known ‘traditionally’ trained female sofer. Since that […]

Making it Good While Doing Good

Gary Rosenthal runs a suburban Washington, D.C. studio where handmade contemporary Judaica   is crafted, especially in volume before the Chanukah season.  Glass, copper, and steel are expertly manipulated in the making of dreidles, mezuzahs, and menorahs. In the 1980’s, when the former Soviet Union agreed to let hundreds of ‘refuseniks’ out of the country, Rosenthal […]

Mezuzahs on a Mystery Building

Only an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman can provide the answer, and it seems that at this time no one is volunteering. The question is, what is the purpose of Site 911, a new five story underground facility scheduled to be built as an Israeli Defense Force complex near Tel Aviv? Planners of this top secret […]