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23

Thank you for your sensitivity in asking this question. As pointed out in comments, you are actually Jewish (whether you follow Judaism or not). But as you say in your question, you've been raised with Christianity and it doesn't appear that you've rejected that. You see Judaism as part of your cultural background, if I'm reading you correctly, the way ...


19

Likely, it is an acronym for קְהִילָה קְדוֹשָה k'hila k'dosha (lit: holy congregation), a title for Jewish communities whose use dates back to the Talmud (Tamid 27b).


18

The Bible prohibits tattoos. (Leviticus 19:28). I'm sure the athlete you describe means well, but it's still prohibited if he is in fact Jewish. He was likely mistaken or unaware. (Alternatively, a non-Jew could choose to express solidarity with the Jewish people by obtaining a Jewish star tattoo, if it floats his boat; that really doesn't do anything one ...


18

Fascinating! I've always wondered about this myself. BaMidbar Rabbah 2:7 has a list of each tribe and its flag, with the colour, stone, and symbol associated with it, which I believe is probably the original source (or one of the earliest that we'll find) for this. I'd be interested to see what other people come up with. Interestingly, the list is a little ...


17

Per Rabbi David Sperling it is not problematic to own or use a Swiss gear bag. The use of the cross - which is of course a Christian symbol - is widely discussed in halacha. When the cross is one that people bow to, or use in their worship, then there are serious halachic problems with owning such an item. However, when the cross is clearly not for ...


14

Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Frederick. The "average" Jew does not have a symbol for "evil" or the "devil," especially the latter. The "devil" is a Christian innovation shared also by Islam, and which probably owes some of its origins from pagan and other non-Christian sources such as Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, both of which are dualistic religions. ...


13

In Orach Chayim, it refers to a comment by the Yad Efrayim, in the margin. The Business Halacha Institute tells me that in Choshen Mishpat it points to a chidush [a novel thought or opinion].


13

Obviously, I can't actually speak for the family involved, however, in general, giving any kind of Christian religious symbol to a Jewish family will be considered offensive. The meaning conveyed by the cross for most Jews is very different from the meaning that Christians see in it, and not the least bit positive.


12

The luchot are a 1 amah cube of sapphire (6x6x6 tefachim) (Baba Basra 14a) 3x6x6 tefachim individually (Baba Basra 14a) The writing filled each side ("tradition". I think I saw this in a Gemara too) There are more words in the first 5 commandments, so the letters were a smaller size to fit.(Mabit) The letters were carved straight through the luchot. (Shmot ...


12

Indeed, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l (sicha of Shabbos Parshas Ki Tisa 5741 secs. 55-57) called for them to always be depicted as square, in keeping with the Gemara you mentioned. (And Chabad publications long before that, as far back as 1942 at least, followed the same convention.) He states that shape with rounded tops was popularized by non-Jewish ...


12

Is a rainbow a bad sign? As was mentioned in the other answers, G-d tells Noach that he will never bring another flood to destroy the earth. The rainbow will be a sign, when G-d will see it he will remember the and refrain from destroying the earth (Bereshit 9:6-17). In particular, verse 14-15 says: "At a time when I bring clouds over the earth (i.e. ...


12

I think the conclusion of that article sums it up very well. Indeed, in halachic Judaism, tattooing is forbidden, see Shalom's answer. (I can't say for Reform or Conservative, though I imagine they'd be more lenient.) However, tattooed people are not shunned or treated differently. Personally, I find a tattoo of the Star of David ironic. Generally, if a ...


12

Assuming it was your father's Mother's Mother or some combination thereof who was Jewish, then it might be best for you to find a Large cross with a small Jewish star. The Jewelry you currently have has strong associations with "Messianic Jews", or "Jews for Jesus", both groups which are roundly rejected by Jewish groups as being either an oximoron or ...


11

Kashrut.com lists that symbol as belonging to Rabbi Mordechai Kaplinsky, in Brooklyn, NY. See there for contact information.


10

That's the symbol of the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis.


9

I would suggest that it probably reflects the beliefs of some messianic Christians who call themselves Jews (and some who are technically Jewish by the Jewish standard of matrilineal descent), and I would interpret it to mean that you are of that ilk. Many Jews (and I count myself among them) do not have any nice thoughts towards these groups, to put it ...


9

The only thing that would be offensive is if you posed as accepting the Jewish faith and then went around telling everyone that they have to believe in Jesus.


8

Gershom Scholem has an essay entitled "The Star of David: History of a Symbol", in The Messianic Idea in Judaism (New York: Schocken Books, 1995), 257-281. In this essay, he chronicles the development of different theories that accounted for its origin (in David's shield, in Solomon's signet ring, etc), its usage in Christian and Islamic art and its frequent ...


8

From: http://www.shmais.com/articles/stories/4232-a-story-of-the-rebbe-225-the-artist A non Torah-observant artist once wanted to give the [Lubavitch] Rebbe a portrait he had painted of him. However, the Rebbe noticed that the picture showed him with his fingers intertwined, and he explained to the artist in terms that he would relate to as to why we do ...


8

Need to look up exact source of the tshuvah, but paraphrasing the Ben Ish Hai: crosses in churches (and those found inbas-relief on antique "expensive" vessels, bowls etc) are to be considered as idols and used in idol-worship. He says however crosses worn on necklaces nowadays (in his day) are not considered such and are merely decorative. He also ...


8

Rav Mirsky in his first volume of Hegyonei Halacha has an interesting article on Ameilah shel Torah and includes the virtues of a bear. In speaking about how important 'toil' in learning is (rather than rote learning) he brings a Radak on Hosea (13:8): .אֶפְגְּשֵׁם כְּדֹב שַׁכּוּל, וְאֶקְרַע סְגוֹר לִבָּם; וְאֹכְלֵם שָׁם כְּלָבִיא, חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה ...


7

Ben Ish Hai (Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas sim. 13) actually endorses the Hamsa. A few months ago, I asked HaGaon HaRav Meir Elyiahu Shelit"a this question (question 108 on RabiMeir.com): שמעתי שקדן גדול בהיסטוריה, כי חמסה היא מן התרבות המוסלמית, ולכן החלטתי לתפוס לדעת כי היא, שאסור להשתמש בהם. האם זה נכון He answered: צורת החמסה אכן לקוחה מאגדה ...


7

I found the site I was thinking of, anyone know of any others? http://www.hechshers.info/shapes/index.htm


7

The former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, Rabbi Israel Brodie, ob"m was a freemason. See here where it shows a picture of the Rabbi in the regalia.


7

Update on the stones of the hoshen / 12 Tribes, and their identification. This information is from my father's book "The Natural Bible: Judaism and the Environment", which will be published (be"h) by Berman House this spring. Odem: clearly a red stone. Scholars suggest either red jasper, or carnelian sard (a type of quartz). Piteda: some sort of ...


6

While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it's close: the Rama's Toras Ha'Olah, which does go through just about every mitzvah/halakha in Seder Kodshim and explains the reasoning for their details in a super-cool-scientific-mystical way. It's not an encyclopedia in that it isn't in alphabetical order, but it is ordered systematically, by topic. ...


6

The Taz (OC 473:4) suggests the reason is so that we can eat it, because it is forbidden to eat roasted meat on the Seder night. The Mishna Berura (:23) quotes two other reasons. First, that we use an egg, which is commonly served at a meal to mourners, to represent our mourning the loss of the Beit HaMikdash and the Korbanot. Second, the word for egg in ...


6

The Shulchan Aruch Harav says that one eats eggs to remind him to mourn the Beis Hamikdash, since had the Beis Hamikdash stood, we would have been eating the korban Pesach.


6

Rav Ovadia Yosef Shelit"a (Yehawe Daat 3:63) brings the ישכיל עבדי חלק ב' בקונטרס אחרון חלק יורה דעה סימן י that based on the Zohar and the Ari one shouldn't get his picture taken.


6

I can speak for myself. I am not offended by a Christian that wears a cross. However it bothers me when a Jew wears a cross, especially if he/she does not realize they are Jewish.



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