(All answers can be found in the Spring 2001 issue.)


  1. Pike, carp, and white fish.

  2. In the Book of Leviticus it is written: "You shall not rule over your worker ruthlessly." With this in mind, the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism has compiled a manual designed to help congregations understand and respond to the problem of sweatshops. For more information call 212-650-4160 or e-mail

  3. From the perspective of Jewish tradition, the hesped is not recited for the sake of the mourners but "for the sake of the dead" (Sanhedrin 46b-47a). More specifically, "From the funeral oration over a man, it may be known whether eternal life is his or not" (Shabbat 153a). Through the words we choose for a hesped, Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig writes, "it is said that we can sway God to have mercy on our loved one-in the same way that reciting Kaddish for a parent redeems the parent's soul from Gehinnom" (Midrash Tanchuma, Parshat Noah).

  4. The War in Lebanon.

  5. A taharah (i.e. purification) is the Jewish ceremony of washing and dressing a corpse before burial. Traditionally, it is performed by members of the chevra kadisha, the community's burial society. Says author Nancy Kalikow Maxwell: "Performing a taharah is considered the ultimate mitzvah because the recipient can never acknowledge or repay the act."

  6. Rabbi David Wolpe, in his book The Healer of Shattered Hearts: A Jewish View of God, which has been selected as a UAHC Significant Jewish Book for the Spring 2001 issue.

  7. "Sacred Jewish choral music originated in the Levitical choirs in the Temple," writes Rahel Musleah. "Its modern roots date to the 1830s and '40s, when Reform congregations introduced mixed-gender choirs (as well as the use of musical instruments) in the service. The synagogue choral movement reached its height in the 1940s…when most Reform synagogues used choirs instead of cantors. Today, many choral singers belong to synagogue choirs and many congregations have volunteer choirs, but with few exceptions, choral singing is not a regular feature of worship services."

  8. Yom Kippur is also called Yom Hakippurim ("the Day of Atonements"), says Anne Brener: "a plural form signifying that we atone not only for our misdeeds, but for those of others as well."

  9. Tel Dan. During HUC-JIR's excavations at Tel Dan, a clay plaque from the 14th century BCE was discovered. "Dancer from Dan" depicts a man playing a lute and kicking up his heels in a Late Bronze Age version of a jig. It is currently on view at HUC-JIR's Skirball Museum of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem.

  10. The Birnbaum Collection features the world's largest collection of musical manuscripts predating 1850. Cantor Eduard Birnbaum (1855-1920) of Koenigsberg achieved international recognition during his lifetime as the leading expert in the field of synagogue music, collecting an immense and varied treasury of musical scores. His legacy, the Birnbaum Collection, is prized by music historians and scholars for preserving the complete, handwritten vocal scores of liturgies for the entire Jewish calendar arranged by community from 1825 through the 1860s. It is preserved at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati.

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