Author: Yossi Belz

My Personal Eshet Chayil

Every Friday night my husband sings me the ancient song of Eshet Chayil (Women of Valor) to me. While he is singing the same song that has been sung by Jewish men to their wives for generations, I always feel as though he himself composed the song just for me. Eshet Chayil is a twenty-two verse poem found in the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs. Traditionally, the poem is recited by married men to their wives upon returning home from synagogue on Friday evenings. The poem, which may have been composed by Abraham after his wife Sarah’s...

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Mystical Kabbalah Jewelry: The Seventy-Two Names Pendant

In recent years there has been a popular Kabbalah pendant being sold in Judaica stores. The pendant is often called “The Seventy-Two Names Pendant” and is reportedly engraved with seventy-two names of G-d. I am loathe to wear pieces of jewelry that are deeply meaningful if I don’t know why they are deeply meaningful so I decided to research the subject a little and what I found was quite fascinating… Have you ever heard of a piece of Kabbalistic jewelry called “The Seventy-Two Names Pendant”? Well, in recent years, this pendant has become very popular, partly due to the...

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Charity or Justice?

Bnei Brak Novelties We recently moved to the city of Bnei Brak and there are many, many fascinating things about this city. I could tell you about the elderly Yemenite neighbors with their leathery, wrinkled faces who sit outside playing dominoes and clucking at the gleeful children who run by with their side locks bouncing in the sun. I could tell you about the stench of chickens that enveloped the city prior to the High Holidays due to the ancient Kapparot ritual that many religious Jews carry out so as to atone for the sins of the previous year....

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Beautiful Wings Of?

I just happened upon the photography of Isaac Fichman and think his pieces are simply stunning. Each category is beautiful in its own right but for some reason I found myself drawn to the categories of dragonflies. There is something so fragile, so light, airy and summery about these creatures and Isaac managed to capture them incredibly well. Some manage to capture them incredibly well. On stumbling across Isaac Fichman’s photos, I found myself drawn to his photographs of dragonflies. Such flighty creatures that it is wondrous that Isaac managed to catch them so beautifully. If you take a...

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Frogs, Elephants And Hazelnuts Considered Symbols Of:

This custom is very old and continues on until today. On searching the internet for other fertility customs and symbols, I revealed that, unsurprisingly, there are a whole lot of different ones from all different places. Here is what I’v found on the subject: Hazelnuts The Celts in ancient Ireland believed that the Hazel tree was a particularly fertile being. They had the custom to carry them around in their pockets or to hang them in their homes as a symbol of fertility. Interestingly enough, studies actually show that the oils in hazelnuts help regulate insulin and blood sugar which can actually improve fertility. Mistletoe Mistletoe spreads quickly due to its evolved ability to grow on branches of trees. It was believed, by Celtic Druids, that mistletoe is a bestowed of life and fertility. Oh, and the custom of kissing under Mistletoe at Xmas is due to the fact that it is considered an aphrodisiac- a substance that increases sexual desire. Pomegranate According to Jewish tradition, the pomegranate was one of the species brought by the spies to Moses to show that the land of Canaan was fertile. Also in Feng Shui, the fruit is considered a symbol of fertility. Additional symbols can be found in Kabbalah, specific letter combination engraved on a silver pendant believed being helpfull in many cases. (See these pendants for example) Lotus Flower According...

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