April 12, 2012
Shy TOO Shy...: Matzah Recipe (For those who asked for it)


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup of water

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

Combine all ingredients and knead dough for about 5 minutes. When it gets sticky just keep dusting everything with flour (especially when you’re rolling it flat). Place the rolled out dough on a cookie sheet, which should be oiled a little bit (You can use an oiled parchment paper on the cookie sheet as well if you like). Bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for about 16 minutes. Depending on how thin you rolled it, the time it bakes could be slightly more or less.

(via snackrack-deactivated20140410)

April 11, 2012
Shy TOO Shy...: Happy Hag HaMatzot!!


Soooo I guess this is an obligatory Passover post. (maybe not?) Anyways, this year I decided to make my own matzot.

I’m not good at cooking and I’ve never did this before, so my first attempt looked like this.

lmao at my pin rolling skills…anyway after it baked…..

IT TURNED OUT DELICIOUS!!! Store bought matzah tastes horrible, BUT THIS!!!

Great success! I’m still cleaning because I’m a huge procrastinator which is horrible so I’m just rushing with everything! After this though I shall enjoy a well needed vacation :)

BTW!! I made a HUGE MESS!! >____<

(via snackrack-deactivated20140410)

April 2, 2012
Get a free, unique Passover haggadah

Illuminated Rabbinical Passover Hagaddah showing the Ten Plagues. How are these haggadahs different from all other haggadahs? They rely heavily on the Torah narrative to teach the lessons of Passover and tell the story of the Exodus. This Passover, read the actual story and see why it’s important, as opposed to reading about the story and why other people have said that it’s important.

Two historically notable Karaite haggadot. At about six pages, the Egyptian version of the haggadah is concise but complete. The Russian version is only slightly longer, and, published in 1901 in Odessa, the the older of the two. Translated from Hebrew into English by Nehemia Gordon.

A traditional Karaite haggadah. A Hebrew / English haggadah in the tradition of Egyptian Karaite Jews. Newly compiled, arranged, and translated by Meir Yosef Rekhavi.

A modern Karaite haggadah. This Hebrew / English haggadah is thoughtfully arranged, is full of beautiful pictures from Israel, and has traditional Passover songs, such as Dayenu. By Melech ben Ya’aqov.

March 27, 2012
Academy of the Hebrew Language: “Aviv” is a stage in the ripening of barley

Here’s an article from the Academy of the Hebrew Language explaining how the word “Aviv" [אָבִיב] originally signified a stage in the ripening of barley in ancient Hebrew. The word “Aviv” only took on the modern Hebrew meaning of “Spring” in the writings of medieval Spanish rabbis. The article further explains:

Today, it is common to divide the year into four seasons…. This division is influenced by the division in European languages based on a climate that has four clear seasons. However, in our region there are actually two seasons — Summer and Winter. As it says in the Book of Genesis: ‘All the days of the Earth there shall not cease seed-time and harvest, cold and hot, Summer and Winter, and day and night’ (Genesis 8:22).

By Nehemia Gordon / Facebook post / March 27, 2012.

Thus, when the Torah says “Observe the month of Aviv, and keep the passover unto YHWH thy God; for in the month of Aviv YHWH thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night” (Deut. 16:1), it does not merely mean that Passover happens sometime in the Spring. Rather, it means that Passover occurs during a specific month that is determined by observing the state of barley in the Land of Israel.

March 8, 2012
In the 11th century, Karaite merchants on the Silk Road

More details on the Karaite manuscripts that have been found in Afghanistan.

In brief:Samangan Province

  • 150 or so documents, dated from the 11th century.
  • Found in Samangan province.
  • Documents belonged to Jewish merchants on the Silk Road running across Central Asia.
  • Written in the Judeo-Persian language.

(Reuters) - A cache of ancient Jewish scrolls from northern Afghanistan that has only recently come to light is creating a storm among scholars who say the landmark find could reveal an undiscovered side of medieval Jewry.

The 150 or so documents, dated from the 11th century, were found in Afghanistan’s Samangan province and most likely smuggled out — a sorry but common fate for the impoverished and war-torn country’s antiquities.

Israeli emeritus professor Shaul Shaked, who has examined some of the poems, commercial records and judicial agreements that make up the treasure, said while the existence of ancient Afghan Jewry is known, their culture was still a mystery.

"Here, for the first time, we see evidence and we can actually study the writings of this Jewish community. It’s very exciting," Shaked told Reuters by telephone from Israel, where he teaches at the Comparative Religion and Iranian Studies department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The hoard is currently being kept by private antique dealers in London, who have been producing a trickle of new documents over the past two years, which is when Shaked believes they were found and pirated out of Afghanistan in a clandestine operation.

It is likely they belonged to Jewish merchants on the Silk Road running across Central Asia, said T. Michael Law, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford University’s Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

"They might have been left there by merchants travelling along the way, but they could also come from another nearby area and deposited for a reason we do not yet understand," Law said.


Cultural authorities in Kabul had mixed reactions to the find, which scholars say is without a doubt from Afghanistan, arguing that the Judeo-Persian language used on the scrolls is similar to other Afghan Jewish manuscripts.

National Archives director Sakhi Muneer outright denied the find was Afghan, arguing that he would have seen it, but an advisor in the Culture Ministry said it “cannot be confirmed but it is entirely possible.”

"A lot of old documents and sculptures are not brought to us but are sold elsewhere for ten times the price," said advisor Jalal Norani, explaining that excavators and ordinary people who stumble across finds sell them to middlemen who then auction them off in Iran, Pakistan and Europe.

"Unfortunately, we cannot stop this," Norani said. The Culture Ministry, he said, pays on average $1,500 for a recovered antique item. The Hebrew University’s Shaked estimated the Jewish documents’ worth at several million dollars.

Thirty years of war and conflict have severely hindered both the collecting and preserving of Afghanistan’s antiquities, and the Culture Ministry said endemic corruption and poverty meant many new discoveries do not even reach them.

Interpol and U.S. officials have also traced looted Afghan antiquities to funding insurgent activities.

In today’s climate of uncertainty, the National Archives in Kabul keep the bulk of its enormous collection of documents — some dating to the fifth century — under lock and key to prevent stealing.

Instead reproductions of gold-framed Pashto poems and early Korans scribed on deer skin, or vellum, are displayed for the public under the ornate ceilings of the Archives, which were the nineteenth century offices of Afghan King Habibullah Khan.

"I am sure Afghanistan, like any country, would like to control their antiquities… But on the other hand, with this kind of interest and importance, as a scholar I can’t say that I would avoid studying them," said Shaked of the Jewish find.

(Additional reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Rob Taylor and Sanjeev Miglani)

By Amie Ferris-Rotman / Reuters / January 23, 2012 / “Ancient Jewish scrolls found in north Afghanistan”

February 26, 2012
A Lithuanian Karaite town dating back to the 17th century

Coat of arms of Naujamiestis, Panevėžys, Lithuania.

One of the smallest nations living in Lithuania – the Karaites – were honored by the blazon of Naujamiestis eldership, in Panevezys district, writes ELTA.

After long discussions of the Heraldry Commission of Lithuania, it was decided to portray an angel and a symbol associated with the Karaites on the blazon. According to Antanas Katinas, elder of Naujamiestis [“new city”] eldership, Naujamiestis is called the new town of the Karaites in the written sources dating back to the 17th century. The figures of the census of 1858 indicate that there were 150 Karaite men in the town.

They had their own praying places – kenesas and cemetery. Thus, it was decided to depict a two-horn spearhead (tamga) on a separate section of the blazon in honor of the Karaites.

By The Baltic Course / September 3, 2008 / “Karaites honored by blazon of Naujamiestis eldership”.

February 25, 2012
Legal history of Karaite Jews in the State of Israel

Both [Karaite and Rabbanite Jews] were expelled from Jerusalem when the Seljuks conquered the city in the 11th century. About a thousand years passed, and the state of Israel was founded.

The Karaites, who lived mainly in Egypt and Iraq, returned to the area by right of the Law of Return, and they settled primarily in the south.

Yet the rabbinical split continued even then. During a stormy Knesset session in 1956, in the wake of a rabbinical ban on marriage between a Karaite man and a [Rabbanite] woman, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion warned that without a solution to the centuries-old conflict, “it is inevitable that there will be a majority [vote] to change marriage and divorce laws to grant sole authority to the rabbinical courts in these matters.” …

[The case of a Karaite named Morris Marzuk], Haaretz noted, “shows the confusion that reigns in government offices when it comes to the status of Karaites in Israel.”

A public committee headed by Prof. Moshe Zilberg was appointed to examine the status of Karaites. On September 13, 1967, it concluded that the Karaites are, for all intents and purposes, Jews, and that “the gates of the rabbinical court [should be opened] to bring them back into the nation’s fold.”

The committee also recommended “the ordination of Karaite authorities to decide personal matters for members of the community.”

Years later, the committee’s recommendations still had not been implemented. …

The Karaite court was not granted judicial authority until 1995.

By Lital Levin / Haaretz.com / September 15, 2011, using material originally published in the 1960’s / “Morris Marzuk shoots nurses over Karaite rights battle”.

February 23, 2012
Thousand year old Karaite manuscripts in Afghanistan

[In December 2011], reports began surfacing … that an exceptionally rare collection of ancient Judaic manuscripts — some of them dating back more than a millennia — were discovered in a cave in Samangan province in northeastern Afghanistan.

The documents, which number about 150 — far fewer than the thousands in the Cairo Geniza — are generally believed to be about 1,000 years old, though a few are probably older. They include early texts suggesting the community may have been Karaite…

By Ben Harris / JTA / January 24, 2012 / “Mystery swirls around Judaic manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan”.