Kippah Way

Jews wear a yarmulke, or skullcap, to cover their heads during prayer. Covering one's head is a sign of respect for G-d. Many Jews wear a yarmulke all the time, even though it is not required.

The Hebrew word for a yarmulke is kippah.

Hair Care

A sheitel is a wig worn by Orthodox Jewish women to cover their hair.

There are many good reasons why a Jewish woman should shave her head when she marries. One explanation is that, during mikvah, water must touch every part of the woman's body. If the hair is knotted, water might not touch everything, and would render the mikvah invalid. So, best to shave completely!

Another reason is that we want to keep our wives under control, so they should not be tempted by contemporary culture. Shaving her head makes our wives less attractive.

Also, if a Jewish wife commits adultery, she must be humiliated by exposing her hair. Completely shaving the head is good incentive not to cheat, because what woman wants to reveal her bald head?

Incidentally, Jewish women and their pubic regions may be a hairy subject, but the topic certainly has been discussed.

Sheitel, sheital, shaitel ...

Patron Saint

"St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition." 
"One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men—his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death." 
"While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine''s death or burial—which probably occurred around 270 A.D—others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine''s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to ''christianize'' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival." (Source: The History Channel, The History of Valentine's Day)
Happy Valentine's Day from Shabot!


Exodus 25:1-27:19

The people of Israel are called upon to contribute fifteen materials—gold, silver and copper; blue, purple and red-dyed wool; flax, goat hair, animal skins, wood, olive oil, spices and gems—out of which, G-d says to Moses, "They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, and I shall dwell amidst them."

On the summit of Mount Sinai, Moses is given detailed instructions on how to construct this dwelling for G-d so that it could be readily dismantled, transported and reassembled as the people journeyed in the desert. (from

Parsha: the weekly Torah portion

Get your bling on!

Shadow of Doubt

The groundhog, also known as a marmot, woodchuck, and whistle-pig, is a rodent and member of the squirrel family.

I say: groundhog, hamburger . . . what's the difference?

Happy Groundhog Day!