I know that the Purim Spiel (or "shpiel") dates back to late medieval times, but I haven't been able to find any English-language theater or other histories that describe its origins and evolution, nor have I found any early texts in any language. I assume that there are books on this form in the same way that there are books on miracle plays, but JSTOR and archive.org did not reveal any. Are there any out there?
When I was young, I remember reading a Jewish fable, or maybe even many different versions of a fable, about a wily trickster who outwits someone or something who is holding him or his community hostage. It might have been Herschel or Hillel, but whoever it is, he succeeds by bluffing that he is going to do something awful if he doesn't get what he wants. [more inside]
Connecting to my Dad's past [more inside]
I want to observe the Jewish holidays without going to synagogue this year. Ideas for non-traditional ways I can commemorate the holy days? [more inside]
The experience sounds amazing but it feels, for lack of a better word, sleazy to go while they're busy bombing Gaza. I want to go really badly but not if I have to pretend to love the IDF. [more inside]
Books on Judaism and Hebrew? [more inside]
I'm trying to rediscover a webcomic in which the protagonist is a Jewish girl who defeats a monster in a sweater-knitting competition. I think it may have been linked from MetaFilter circa 2010, but I can't re-find the post, and apparently failed to bookmark it. Can you assist, O Hive Mind?
Are you a member of a religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas? (I'm not looking at you, atheist with a christmas tree.) Do most of your friends celebrate christmas? Do you send out holiday/christmas/seasons greetings cards?? Alternatively, do you celebrate christmas and have friends who don't celebrate because they subscribe to another religion/culture? [more inside]
I feel a calling to learn more about my religious faith and lead a more spiritual life. How can I do this in a meaningful way when my partner does not share this interest?
I feel a calling to learn more about my religious faith and lead a more spiritual life. How can I do this in a meaningful way when my partner does not share this interest? [more inside]
(Jew Filter) High Holy Days ideas for the unaffiliated? [more inside]
Is there a podcast, website, or lecture series aimed at non-Jews trying to study Daf Yomi? [more inside]
What would be some good radio monologues to have kids read for a sleep-away camp podcasting group? [more inside]
Two synagogues in the Buffalo area decided to merge. One is Reform and one is Reconstructionist. While I have a good idea of what these particular movements are in and of themselves, what would a merger of these two temples mean for everyday life for members, temple services, rabbinical duties, etc. I am interested as one of the articles mentions this is the first merger of its kind for both movements. Thank you!
What do we know about the origins of vehi she'amda from the Passover haggadah? [more inside]
Is giving my kid a traditionally Jewish name (as a gentile) a bad idea, naive? [more inside]
What books/websites can I have my non-Jewish boyfriend read to teach him about what to expect at his first Passover seder? [more inside]
Gifts for Orthodox Jewish baby? [more inside]
Interested in learning about Reform Judaism. Book recommendations? [more inside]
I'm looking for reputable (i.e. with citations/bibilographies) histories or studies about the evolution of sexuality within the Judeo-Christian religions. [more inside]
I read somewhere of 12 or so jews who, according to legend, carry with them the suffering of the world. Name of these people and textual sources, if possible?
Does traditional Judaism and/or the Talmud say anything positive about women who do not marry or have children? [more inside]
Is a Christian adoption of the Seder an inappropriate appropriation of Jewish tradition? [more inside]
Will the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) ever be appended to include events such as the Shoah (Holocaust) and the foundation of Israel?
Judaism Filter: Is there a principle or law that Jewish people who keep kosher must also avoid appearing not to keep it? What is it called? [more inside]
I need help un-disorted a sound clip. There is a sound in Civilization 4 that plays whenever you discover Judaism. I could not place it--and I know my Jewish prayers--so I dug in the install folder and found the full file. It is heavily distorted in a way I cannot quite figure out. Could someone help me see if this was ever a prayer to begin with, or was just random vocalizations approved as being "Jewish enough" in order to avoid offending people with actual prayers? [more inside]
I'm writing a fiction book where the main character is a Jewish male aged in his late 30s living in London during WW2. I want to make this character sound as real as possible. My problem; I'm not Jewish and I don't really know anybody who is. Help me write this character as realistically as I can! [more inside]
Help me ID this foreign (English subtitled) Holocaust movie, please. [more inside]
JewishMontrealFilter: Help a liberal but Jewish adopted Montrealer find a minyan, specifically for the high holidays but hopefully for after as well. [more inside]
Help me identify (and find a recording of?) an old Jewish comedy song: "When it's Rosh Hashana time in Dixieland..." thereby blowing my dad's mind in time for High Holidays. [more inside]
An Orthodox Jewish friend is coming to stay with me for a couple of days, including a Saturday. How can I best make sure we have a great time without her breaking any of her Sabbath restrictions? [more inside]
I am searching for a DVD on Jewish religion. I intend to show the DVD in a Protestant college to students who have little or no awareness of Judaism. Do you know of a good documentary from PBS, BBC, or History Channel, or another responsible source? I would be especially interested in a DVD that explained fundamentals of faith, practice and ritual, and ideally did so in a historical setting. Any ideas?
I want to travel to Israel over the summer - visit family, explore the country, see the holy sites, etc. I intend it as a learning experience, however I won't be participating in an organized program because I want the freedom to determine how I spend my time. I know there are programs that help finance trips to Israel, however I don't know if any of them apply to personal trips. Additionally, my parents are secular, and I am not affiliated with a regional Jewish community or synagogue who could help support the cost of my trip. [more inside]
I'd like to learn about various religions—scriptures, beliefs, everything. [more inside]
queer-judaism filter: can't find an answer online: two moms, one jewish, the other not. how does traditional matrilineal descent apply to "lesbian" couples? [more inside]
Is Yiddish a creole? [more inside]
Is there an official bible for the Greek myths? [more inside]
I need suggestions on having a Bat-Mitzvah for my kid with the least amount of religion and religious school possible. [more inside]
I am converting to Judaism and need to pick my Hebrew name. Any ideas? [more inside]
Kabbalah Obscura: looking for the source of an old Jewish parable where either Moses or Solomon doubt an Archangel's word, and the Angel takes them along to observe what angels do to accomplish the tasks of the divine mission... [more inside]
Should I go to a religious weekend retreat w/my wife and kids even though I am very, very lukewarm towards the the idea of attending a religious weekend retreat? [more inside]
I hate cholent, and most chamin recipes are just slightly-improved versions of cholent. Given that cooking must begin Friday afternoon, and the food has to be under constant heat until until noon-time Saturday, could you recommend any replacements for Shabbes cholent? [more inside]
I'm meeting with Mormon missionaries tomorrow for a religious discussion, and they want me to come prepared with questions about Mormon history/ belief/ doctrine, etc. I'm looking for a list of questions that will give me interesting answers and lead to longer discussions about the nature of Mormonism. I'm very interested in their religion, I just don't know enough to know what to ask, and I have three hours with them so I need a good amount of discussion questions. Thanks!
Converting to Judaism in Boston - suggestions? [more inside]
Trying to plan a meeting in late September or early October and not inconvenience observant Jewish attendees. Is the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur ok? Should I skip the week that is Sukkot? This will be a Thursday/Friday meeting if that makes any difference.
How should I handle this? (Father-in-law wants me to take him to Jewish bookstores in NYC without my wife, I have to work, I have never met him, and I know nothing about Judaism.) [more inside]
I know that some Hebrew and English names are identical (e.g., Maia, Deborah, and Miriam), some English and Hebrew names are similar (e.g., Isaac/Yitzchak, Jonathan/Yonatan, Jonas/Yona), and some are translations (e.g., Eve/Chava). Are there other less obvious correspondences between Hebrew and English names? Specifically, nobody has been named for my late grandfathers, whose Hebrew names are Chaim and Yona. We could use those as Hebrew names for a boy, but what are the options for Hebrew names for a girl and English names for either? My Hebrew name is Chava, so I would not want to use that as a feminine version of Chaim.
I (think I) want to become Jewish in the California Bay Area, but need some help. [more inside]
Spending the first night of Passover with a newish SO's family... I need suggestions for a gift that makes a dazzling first impression. [more inside]
Any interesting, meaningful readings for a liberal Passover Seder on the theme of hope? [more inside]
How do I celebrate my first Messianic Hanukkah? No one else in my family is Jewish, and they're trying to "make me" celebrate Xmas. [more inside]
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