Posts by Jared Abram Seltzer

Report: The Second B’nei Anusim International Conference in Portugal, May 2019


The Second B’nei Anusim International Conference that we and our brothers from Brazil organized with the towns of Castelo de Vide and Trancoso, Portugal was wonderful! To those of you who could not attend but supported in prayer, we extend a special thank you. The previous Portugal conference, nearly 10 years ago, raised international interest in the Anusim (the Sephardic Jews also called Marranos, New Christians, and Crypto-Jews that were ordered to convert to Catholicism or else flee Iberia for their lives). That conference preceded, and through raised awareness, led indirectly to the subsequent founding of multiple Israeli organizations whose goal…

Read More

The Kinneret: Why Israelis are Happy for Rainy Days


If you trace the food chain backwards, all food comes from the ground and it needs rain to grow. Is rain a good thing or a bad thing? Yes, both. Naturally, a lack of rain dries up the crops and can lead to a serious food supply crisis, but too much rain damages or washes away plants. Only an adequate amount of rain in its seasons is a blessing. Throughout modern Israel’s history, water has remained an immensely precious resource; Israel, after all, is a Middle Eastern country and most of our land is desert. But more importantly, during the…

Read More

The Hillel II Calendar and Double Torah Portions


Typically, the parashot (weekly Torah portions) Vayakhel and Pekudei are combined together into a single reading. Occasionally, like this year, however, they are separated, because it’s a Hebrew leap year. Unlike the civil Gregorian calendar that adds February 29th once every four years (except in years divisible by 100 but not by 400), a leap year in the Hebrew calendar adds a thirteenth month to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons. The Scriptures command us to celebrate Passover in the spring at the time of the ripening of the barley, so the Jewish calendar has to be a solar calendar.…

Read More