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Stuff Jews Should Know Podcast by Mottle Wolf

Stuff Jews Should Know Podcast

by Mottle Wolf

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What is Judaism? What is Kosher? Why the land of Israel? What do Jew believe about God? These are things that you know you should know. Maybe you remember learning them in Hebrew school, but some how you can not quite recall. Mottle and Batya Wolfe live in Israel and have wrestled with these questions themselves. Always funny and informative, join them and journey into the STUFF JEWS SHOULD KNOW!


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What is Yom Kippur?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Sun, Oct 09, 2016


Everyone knows that Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish Year, but did you know that the Talmud lists it as one of the top two happiest?  How can a day that deals with such heavy themes as sin and atonement be celebrated with so much joy?  That is for sure Stuff Jews Should Know!   subscribe on iTunes 

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What Are the Ten Days of Repentance?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Wed, Oct 05, 2016


What do Jews do between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? The answer to that question could impact your entire year! Join Mottle and Batya on this new episode of Stuff Jews Should Know for a fun, light hearted, and personal exploration of the Ten Days of Repentance.

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What is Rosh Hashanah

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Classic Rosh Hashanah episode of Stuff Jews Should Know.  Have a good and sweet new year

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What is Tu b’Av?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Aug 18, 2016


Often referred to as the Jewish Valentine's Day, Tu b'Av is the Jewish Holiday of Love. How does Judaism view a holiday dedicated to love? Batya and Mottle explain the origins the ancient celebrations, and the modern revival of this holiday that you may have never heard of.

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What to do with a new Jewish Baby

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, May 06, 2016


Mazal Tov! You have a new Jewish baby. What is next? Have you chosen a name? Brit Milah? What is a Shalom Zachor or a Shalom Bat? How much do you know about a Pidyon haBen? Mottle and Batya take you through the sometimes confusing process of welcoming a new Jewish life into the world.

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What is Purim

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Sun, Mar 20, 2016


Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish People from a genocide in the 5th Century BCE in the Persian Empire. On one hand it is the most festive, joy filled day of the year, but to the Jewish mystics it is on a higher level than even Yom Kippur. Mottle and Batya share 'the Stuff Jews Should Know' about this incredible holiday.

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Jewish Customs about Death and Mourning

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Dec 03, 2015


Death is an experience that every human being comes in contact. Judaism has an incredible 'toolbox' for dealing with this universal experience.

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Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Mon, Nov 16, 2015


Where does the concept of a Bar Mitzvah come from? Today you are a man, tomorrow you are a 7th grader again. Was it always that way? Batya and Mottle dig deeper into this well known Jewish life cycle event and reveal 'stuff' about it that you probably didn't know.

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Gossip!

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Nov 05, 2015


Batya and Mottle do a gossip show.  It is not what you make think. (or may have hoped for).  They explore the Jewish laws about what is considered gossip and what isn't.  It might surprise you and possible change the way you speak about people.  Check it out.

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What are the Major Denominations in Judaism?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Oct 29, 2015


Maybe the question should be 'why are there' major denominations in Judaism?  Batya and Mottle explore the major denominations and the origins, and try to get beyond the labels.   

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Conversion to Judaism

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Oct 22, 2015


Why does Judaism make it so difficult to convert? What are the steps required to become a Jew? How are the laws of conversion today different than they were in the past? What is the difference between a Reform conversion, or an Orthodox conversion? Batya and Mottle dive into these questions and more on this episode.

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What is the Temple Mount?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Nov 06, 2014


For two thousand years where ever Jews where in the world, they have directed their prayers toward a hill in Jerusalem.  What is the significance of this hill historically, and spiritually?  Certain it is Stuff Jews Should Know!  

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What is a Jewish Wedding?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, Oct 31, 2014


What makes a wedding a Jewish wedding? Mottle and Batya walk you through the entire day from start to finish.  You will be shouting Mazal Tov an feel like were there!  

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What is Jewish Prayer?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Oct 21, 2014


Mottle and Batya are back with the Season Premier of Stuff Jew Should Know!  Where does Jewish prayer come from?  How is it different?  This is Stuff Jews Should Know.

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What is Yom Kippur again?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Wed, Oct 01, 2014


The Classic Stuff Jews Should Know Yom Kippur episode.  Prepare for the Day of AtONEment with Mottle and Batya.  NEW SEASON of SJSK begins October 21.  

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What is Shavuot?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, May 30, 2014


Shavuot is one of the three main biblical festivals celebrated by the Jewish People.  It commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.  It is also intimately connected to Israel's ancient agricultural cycle.  Learn more about this amazing holiday with your hosts Mottle and Batya.

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What is Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, May 23, 2014


Special show in honor of Yom Yerushalayim! The anniversary of the Reunification of the Eternal Capitol of the Jewish People after 2000 years of Exile.

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What is Lag b’Omer

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, May 16, 2014


Lag b'Omer is the best Jewish Holiday you never heard of! Outside of Israel, it is rarely celebrated, but in the Land of Israel, it is an ecstatic celebration of joy with deep Kabbalistic themes. Join Mottle and Batya to explore this amazing holiday.  

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Jews and Tattoos

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Feb 04, 2014


  If I have a tattoo am I allowed to be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?  Lot's of people ask this question but what what does Jewish law say?  Does Jewish law conflict with your Bubbie's advice on Tattoos?  Check out the Stuff Jews Should know podcast, Jews and Tattoos.

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What are Tefillin?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Jan 28, 2014


What are those black leather boxes that you see men wearing at the Western Wall? Do women wear tefillin? What are they made of? What is the deeper spiritual meaning behind this ancient Jewish custom? Join Mottle and Batya to explore this and more!       Wanna learn more?  Check out this cool video about making teffilin

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What is Thanksgivikah?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, Nov 22, 2013


First time EVER!!! and last time for 77,000 years!  Chanukah and Thanksgiving overlap into the cultural sensation Thanksgivikah!!! There is actually a depth to this more than the menurkey, and Turkey latkas.  Join Mottle and Batya for this fun exploration of Judaism's newest holiday! Never miss an episode!  Subscribe on iTunes  

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What is the Book of Genesis?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, Oct 18, 2013


It is the beginning of the five books of Moses. We are familiar with the stories, but what is the common thread that ties them all together? Why start what is predominantly a book of laws with a book of stories? What do we actually learn from this. This is the time of year where Jews all around the world are reading the Sefer Bereishit or the Book of Genesis. Join Mottle and Batya to explore why. Never miss an episode! subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Succot?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Sep 24, 2013


For seven days the Jewish People dwell in temporary huts, place with fruit, and rejoice over water?  What is going here?!  Live from their succah in the hills of Judea, join Mottle and Batya to explore the "Stuff Jews Should Know" about the biblical festival of Succot. Never miss an episode! subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Rosh Hashana?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Sep 03, 2013


Shana Tova u'mtuka!! Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year is upon us.  Learn about the deeper meanings behind this holiday with Reb Mottle and Batya.  Explore what the Jewish New year really means and how to connect to it in a way you never have before. subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Elul?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Wed, Aug 21, 2013


Elul is the Jewish month of Return! No better time for Stuff Jews Should Know to return from summer hiatus with a whole crop of episodes, geared for the high holidays. This week Mottle and Batya speak about the Jewish concepts of Teshuva, and the spiritual preparations for the High Holidays.

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What is a siddur?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Jun 20, 2013


In a continuation from last weeks important Jewish Books, Mottle and Batya zoom in on the siddur. What is a siddur? Some people would say it is a prayer book, however that is not what the word means. A siddur is literally translated as "order". What are we trying to make order of? What are Jews trying to accomplish with the siddur? Learn more about this book that is so central to Jewish life. Subscribe on iTunes

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What are the main Jewish Books?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Jun 11, 2013


Everyone knows that the Torah is the center of Jewish Life.  But what do Jews mean by Torah?  Is it the Five Books of Moses?  The "Old Testament"? Does the Stuff Jews Should Know podcast count? Join Mottle and Batya in an overview of the vast library of "The People of the Book".

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What is Passover Chol haMoed

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Mar 28, 2013


Everyone knows about the Passover Seder, but did you know that Passover is really a week long celebration.  The Seder is definitely a highlight, and possibly the most celebrated of all of the Jewish holidays, but if it ends there, you are missing a great time.  Join Batya and Mottle to learn about the joy of the "intermediary days" of the Passover holiday.

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What is a Passover Seder?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Fri, Mar 22, 2013


There is probably no more well known Jewish ritual throughout the year than the Passover Seder.  So many people have memories from childhood, positive and negative, and sometimes both at the same time! The word seder actually means "order" and is a specific set of experiences "ordered" to give someone a real taste of spiritual depth and most of all freedom.  Join Mottle and Batya for an exploration of this well known, but little understood, Jewish ritual.

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What is Rosh Chodesh?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Mar 12, 2013


Rosh Chodesh is the most important holiday, that Jews don't really celebrate!  It is absolutely essential to Jewish life, in fact, the celebration of the beginning of the month is the very first commandment given to the Jewish Nation in the bible.  Explore the centrality of this little know but increasingly popular Jewish holiday with Mottle and Batya Wolfe.

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What is Tu b’Shvat?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Tue, Jan 22, 2013


The New Year for Trees! Tu B'Shvat offers a unique opportunity for insight into living and personal growth. Throughout the centuries, Mystics have used the tree as a metaphor to understand God's relationship to the spiritual and physical worlds. In the 16th century, the Kabbalists of Tzfat compiled a Tu B'Shvat "seder," somewhat similar to the seder for Passover. The Seder involves the eating of different fruits that correspond to different Sephirot and the Four Mystical Worlds.

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What is Shabbat?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Mon, Jan 14, 2013


There is a saying that goes, "more than the Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews"! Why has a day that has so much apparent restriction to it, been so loved and revered by Jews for thousands of years? Join Mottle and Batya on the Stuff Jews Should Know podcast as they take a fresh look at the most frequent Jewish Holiday. subscribe on iTunes 

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What is a Mezuzzah?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Jan 03, 2013


Everyone knows what a mezuzzah is right?  Or do they?  A mezuzzah is NOT the case hanging on the doorpost, but rather it is the scroll inside the box. The mezuzzah is the gateway to the Jewish home.  Why is it so central?  Check out Mottle and Batya sharing insights into this well known but less understood Jewish symbol on the  Stuff Jews Should Know Podcast.   subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Kosher – Part 2

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Dec 27, 2012


We got lots of great comments and questions from last week's show, we decided to do a What is Kosher part 2 episode. In this week's episode Mottle and Batya cover kosher symbols, fruits and vegetables, kosher dishes and eco kosher.   subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Kosher?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Dec 20, 2012


What does Kosher mean?  Is it that a rabbi blessed it?  What makes something kosher and something else not kosher?  Shouldn't it be more about what comes out of a person's mouth and not what goes in? This week's podcast explains in the easiest to understand terms, what Jews mean when they say something is kosher.  This is definitely STUFF JEWS SHOULD KNOW! subscribe on iTunes 

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The Chanukah food special – Stuff Jews Should Know

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Sat, Dec 15, 2012


Every Jewish holiday has it's own special foods associated with it. These holiday foods aren't just foods, they have deep symbolic and historical significance. Mottle and Batya explore the world of Chanukah food and the rich tastes that surrounds the Festival of lights. subscribe on iTunes 

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What is Chanukah?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Thu, Dec 06, 2012


Chanukah comes from very real historical events that happened right here in the Land of Israel, 2200 years ago. And like with many things in Judaism, that I know I grew up with, it has been reduced to a very superficial holiday. We all know when Chanukah is, but do we know what it is? This is definitely STUFF JEWS SHOULD KNOW!   If you are wondering HOW to light Chanukah candles, check the video on the side of the page.  

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What is Judaism?

Author: Mottle and Batya Wolfe
Mon, Jan 16, 2012


  ju·da·ism/?jo?od??iz?m/ Noun: The monotheistic religion of the Jews, based on the laws revealed to Moses and recorded in the Torah (supplemented by the rabbinical... The Jews collectively.   The most common answer you will get if you as a thousand people, “what is Judaism?” is, “a religion”.  Is Judaism a religion?  The answer is no.  But the answer is also yes.  How is that for a Jewish answer?  Judaism can not be solely defined as a religion because there is no belief system or adherence to practice or ritual that would define someone as Jewish. There are Jews who are complete atheists, they are considered none-the-less, just as Jewish as the chief Rabbi of Israel. Would a Catholic who did not believe in Jesus be as Catholic as the Pope?  I do not think so. Not only is Judaism not based on a religious belief system, once you are Jewish there is nothing you can ever do to “unJew” you!  There is no such thing as “no longer Jewish.”  Once you are Jewish you are always Jewish. Here is something really interesting, the Judaism that is practiced today by the majority of Jews who practice Judaism, is a relatively new innovation.  By new of course I mean slight less than 2000 years old. When did the Jewish religion of today start?  A lot of people would say with Abraham.  They would be wrong. When we read the stories of the prophets of Israel, they were not observing Judaism as it is observed today.  Now don’t get me wrong.  We have the same Torah, we believe in the same God, we celebrate the same holidays, but the daily practice and ritual has changed radically. This all changed during the first century of the common era.  Up until that time the ritualistic (religious) dimension of Judaism had been based around the Temple in Jerusalem.  There was a complex system of animal sacrifices managed by the priestly caste of Kohanim, in a central location.  All Jews who were able were commanded to appear in Jerusalem three times a year. This all stops in the year 70 when the Romans take Jerusalem, destroy the temple, and begin an exile of the Jewish People from our land that lasts 2000 years. If you have a set of “religious” practices that are attatched to a specific place, what do you do when you are exiled from that place? Enter one of the greatest sages in Jewish History, Rabbi Yochonon ben Zakai. Yochonon ben Zakai was in the city of Jerusalem during the Roman siege of 70 CE.  He saw the writing on the wall and he realized that life for the Jews was about to change radically.  So he came up with a plan.  The first thing he had to do was to get out of the besieged city. Yochonon ben Zakai, faked his own death, and smuggled himself out of the city.  Immediately outside of the city he was caught by a Roman patrol and taken to the Roman commander of the siege General Vespasian to be sentenced to death. Upon meeting the Roman general Yochonon ben Zakai greeted him as Emperor Vespasian.  The general regarded him as strange and said, “you realize I am a general and not the Emperor of Rome.” To which ben Zakai replied, “but your majesty, you will be very soon.” At that moment according to legend, a messenger arrived from Rome with a senatorial declaration pronouncing Vespasian Emperor of Rome. Dually impressed Vespasian spared Yochonon ben Zakai’s life and offered him “any thing he wanted”. Yochonon ben Zakai responded, “give me the sages of Jerusalem and the city of Yavneh to set up a yeshiva. Yochonon ben Zakai was given what he had asked for, and it was at this yeshiva that he started to put together the pieces of what a Judaism in exile would look like. Faced with the question of how do we as the Jewish people survive for what was sure to be a very long and difficult exile, Yochonon be Zakai came up with the idea to turn the way of life of the Jewish people into a religion that could be portable.

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