The Etrog’s Magical—and Literary—Power

Oct. 17 2019

One of the four species of plant that are ritually waved on the holiday of Sukkot, the etrog (citron) often has a small protrusion, known in Hebrew as a pitom, on the side opposite the stem. Some rabbinic authorities prize an etrog with a pitom; others maintain that an etrog without one is preferable. Among East European Jews, the feature was bound up with various folkways and superstitions, which in turn became fodder for Yiddish writers, as Rokhl Kafrissen explains:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: East European Jewry, Etrog, Sukkot, Yiddish literature

Hamas Returns to Its Cycle of Extortion

Aug. 13 2020

Last week, Hamas resumed launching explosives attached to balloons and kites into Israel, one of which landed in the southern town of Arad. The IDF responded with airstrikes, and the terrorist group first test-fired a barrage of missile into the Mediterranean and then fired a missile at an Israeli town—provoking further counterstrikes. Why disturb the peace now? Because, writes Yoav Limor, the monthly aid Hamas receives from Qatar is set to expire next month:

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Qatar