“What’s With The Sidelocks?” – Hairdos and Tzedekah in Jewish Thought

“What’s With The Sidelocks?” – Hairdos and Tzedekah in Jewish Thought

Some of the content of this was inspired by Rabbi Marc Fitzerman, head rabbi of B’nai Emunah in Tulsa, OK. I frequently get asked by people outside of Judaism, “Hey Ken, what’s with the sidelocks?” I actually also get asked this by people within my own Jewish circles from time to time because wearing longer “payot” are not necessarily a minhag (custom) of many of […]

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VIDEO: How to Tie Karaite Jewish Tzitzit

VIDEO: How to Tie Karaite Jewish Tzitzit

The Monday after the 2015 Shavuot Gathering in Daly City, CA, some of the North American Karaites were hanging out in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. After eating some lunch, Matthew Rolland and Azriel Kowtek decided to show the rest of us the traditional Karaite Jewish method of tying tzitzit. I just happened to have a camera and a phone on me to […]

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Building Bridges of Jewish Unity, One String At A Time

Building Bridges of Jewish Unity, One String At A Time

  The Torah can be an extremely peculiar text. In some sections, it goes into painstaking detail about the observance of how to keep the mitzvot – the holy instructions for living. In other sections, it is quite vague and provides an avenue for self-expression on the part of the Torah keeper. One of my favorite examples of this pocket of expression in regards to […]

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Beautifying Mitzvahs – Celebrating the Commandments of Torah

Beautifying Mitzvahs – Celebrating the Commandments of Torah

Celebrate What You Love  Most anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to the Scriptures, though I love them (and by “love” I really mean “commitment” and not “love” like I love falafel and anything vivace orange), I tend to be pretty straight-forward with them. I usually don’t like to read things into the text or shoe-horn in theology that I don’t think […]

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OKC Thunder Hebrew

OKC Thunder Hebrew

Getting ready for the next NBA basketball season, fellow Okie Hebrew Paul Monroe Cunningham sent me a pic of his dual team (OKC Thunder + B’nai Yisrael) spirit tziziyot in the team colors of the Oklahoma City Thunder. I wonder if any Oklahoma City Jews will rock these. Shalom and THUNDER UP.

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I Still Miss Pork Rinds

There are many rabbis I’ve heard talk about how we should make our will conform to the Torah. I’ve heard Christian pastors say similar things about believers. While I see some value in keeping organizations together, I find that this kind of thinking makes it where the Torah isn’t that much different from the world. It doesn’t feel as fresh. If the Torah’s laws are […]

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When Your Tzitzit Come Untied: More Than a Blog About Fringes

There is a Jewish tradition of making a brakha (blessing) over the ritual fringes that are commanded in the Torah:  דבר אל־בני ישראל ואמרת אלהם ועשו להם ציצת על־כנפי בגדיהם לדרתם ונתנו על־ציצת הכנף פתיל תכלת “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on […]

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