What 's Nu?*

The Glossary of Jewish Terminology is constantly updated to reflect every Jewish term used in this site.

The Current Calendar is updated regularly, and contains calendars for the current three months.

March 18, 2020 (show) (hide)
In this time of fear of the COVID-19 virus sweeping across the world, it's time for me to post this long-overdue page offering the text of two common Prayers for Healing.
August 4, 2019 (show) (hide)
I have made some substantial improvements to the look and feel of the mobile version of the site. The links that open and close a section are now on the heading of the section, and if you choose to view the full version from a mobile device, a cookie (the only one used by this site) prevents you from being forced back to the mobile version.

In the course of making those changes, I also updated all of the external hyperlinks, many of which had become out-of-date. I brought some of the numbers for Jewish Population and Movements of Judaism up-to-date and added some great links for learning Trop (chanting Biblical readings).

I have added a few paragraphs to the discussion of ritual items in synagogues to discuss the memorial plaques and Holocaust Torah scrolls commonly found in synagogues today.

I have added a brief mention to the discussion of Background and History of the calendar to compare ours to the Chinese and Islamic lunar calendars.

The Current Calendar is now mostly self-maintaining. I am still double-checking everything and tweaking some things but it is mostly complete. Once I have finished my validating, I will make it possible for you to pick any date after 1800 to view! I hope to have that before this Rosh Hashanah.

While working on the calendar, I became aware of how frequently certain holidays are moved to avoid interfering with Shabbat. I have added some explanation of this to the discussion of Shushan Purim, Holocaust Memorial Day, Israeli Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day, all of which are often moved.

June 7, 2019 (show) (hide)
It's been way too long since I did much in the way of a formal update, but as I told a friend of mine, it's not like Judaism has changed recently!

I have updated the Current Calendar to be self-maintaining. I used to create each month manually about a year in advance, occasionally with mistakes and often too late. That will never happen again. The code is not complete yet but it is complete up to August and should be finished long before then.

I have also updated the holiday dates on all of the holiday pages to show the list of dates for the next five years. They had fallen a bit behind. That part is still manual.

I also added a bit more information about Yom Ha-Shoah (Holocaust Rememberance Day) and the United Nations' corresponding day to the page about New Holidays. This information is largely from a blog post I wrote last year explainng why there are two Holocaust Memorial Days, but it belongs in the site. I should have put that in sooner but the United Nations version didn't even exist when I first wrote that page!
September 25, 2017 (show) (hide)
It's a new year (5778), and the site has a bit of a new look. So far, I have only some of the pages updated (the ones in the Times section, which has the holidays that are so popular at this time of year, and a few others), but the rest of the pages will be updated very soon.

You will find that the title bar and menus stay at the top of the page and the section headings stay on the left side of the page while you scroll through the page, for greater convenience. In the process, I am finally upgrading the site to proper HTML5 and cleaning up the code and style sheets to give the site a consistent look-and-feel. I am checking all of the external links in the site to make sure the page they point to is the same as what it was when I added the link (one of them became a link to a virus! It has been removed.) I am also validating all of the code thanks to CSE HTML Validator, so everything should work properly for everybody.
April 25, 2017 (show) (hide)
In honor of National DNA Day, I wrote a blog post about the challenges of DNA testing for Jewish genealogy, and incorporated a brief overview of the problem on the Jewish Genealogy page, under the heading DNA Testing and the Ashkenazi Problem. There were also a few other minor updates on that page.

*For those who don't get the pun: "nu" is a Yiddish word equivalent to English words like "so?" or "well?," and can be used all by itself to mean "What's new?"

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