What Short-Answer Questions Do We Have This Week? Originally Published January 27-28, 2023.
Your correspondent refers to it as a “Torah schmatte,” but what do we call that fancy cover we put over the sefer Torah in the middle of reading it while we are doing other things? It is called a bein gavra. As those who sell them say, “the flat Torah cover is an ornate covering […]
What Is a Ḥevrah Kaddisha? Originally Published January 20-21, 2023.
A ḥevrah kaddisha (חֶבְרָה קַדִּישָׁא, literally “holy society”) is a group of individuals who collectively tend to the bodies of our deceased, preparing them for burial and tending them until funeral and burial rituals take place. They cleanse the body and dress it in a shroud, all a part of the ritual of tohorah (טׇהֳרָה) […]
Colorful History of Stained Glass Windows - Sunday, June 4
Join us to hear the fascinating stories behind the stained-glass windows in the Beth Shalom sanctuary led by Barbara Oleinick. The presentation will begin in the Samuel and Minnie Hyman Ballroom and then move up to the Faye Rubenstein Weiss sanctuary. The cost is $10 for members of Congregation Beth Shalom and the Squirrel Hill […]
What Is the Steckel Torah? Originally Published December 30-31, 2022.
Our member Alan Steckel has generously placed on indefinite loan to Congregation Beth Shalom a sefer Torah which has been in his family for approximately 100 years. It was commissioned by Alan’s grandparents, Jacob and Hannah Kruger Steckel, on the occasion - family lore has it - of their daughter surviving polio. It resided at […]