Q & A with Random Strangers on the Internet, Pt. 5!

Posting a Search Term Q & A with Rosh Hashana coming up next week, all the pre-referendum drama in Catalonia (yes, Josep, I’ve been watching carefully), and my debut novel, By Light of Hidden Candles launching in one month and three days (aaaahhhhhhhhh) feels like cheating, but as you can imagine, I’ve been busy 😉 Besides, this list is getting long, and it’s time to get it out there!

For those of you just tuning in, every once in a while I write a post responding to questions and phrases that people have typed into search engines, which led them to this blog. You can find links to previous Search Term Q & A’s at the bottom of this post.

Shall we begin?

“why do you have to kiss a prayer book if you drop it in temple”

To be fair–you don’t have to. But there’s a Jewish custom to kiss holy books when they have been inadvertently treated disrespectfully–like if you drop them on the floor by accident. (This doesn’t apply just to synagogue/temple, either. It applies everywhere.) Some of us actually always kiss prayer or other holy books after using them, just out of respect and fondness.

BTW–it’s a much bigger deal if you drop a Torah scroll. This is such a grave degradation of the sanctity of the Torah that for hundreds of years, the custom in Jewish communities was for everyone who witnessed a Torah scroll being dropped to fast for 40 days! These days, because Jews aren’t as badass as our Ramadan-observant Muslim friends when it comes to fasting and 40 days is a bit much for us, most communities give charity instead.

This is why we are EXTREMELY careful when carrying Torah scroll!

“things you dont know about jews”

Huh. That is a very interesting question, Internet Stranger. Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to answer, since you can’t really know exactly what it is you don’t know, now can you?

“what is the meaning of bein hatzlilim”

Literally, Bein HaTzlilim (the title of Yonatan Razel’s second album) means “between the sounds” or “between the notes.” The word tzlil (צליל) implies a musical note or pleasant sound. The title song of the album is about man’s relationship with God and responsibility to the earth and fellow man; some heavy stuff!

Here’s my translation of the chorus:

It’s between the sounds,
Between the words
And above the stars
But also very close to me,
Deep in my heart
Calling me to Him
To choose life
Not to forget or try to hide
So before the sun sets,
Maybe a new light will dawn
Maybe we will change

It’s a very deep and powerful song. I’m glad you asked! Razel recently put out a new album, Poteah Lev, and I enjoy it, but I think Bein HaTzlilim was his best so far.

“100 facts about judaism”

Okay, Internet Stranger, now that’s just overly demanding. I’m sure you’ll find at least that many if you spend enough time reading this blog. (Might I recommend my book instead? It’s easier to read and more organized.)

“things man cannot tell a woman”

Ahhh, Internet Stranger. You are asking the wrong question. It’s not what you say; it’s how (and when) you say it.

Allow me to give you the exact same advice I gave Josep when he expressed a thorough (and highly justified) bafflement with womankind: read this book. It will change your life.


“hebrew names of god mephenaij phaton tattoo.com”

I… don’t even…

“israeli bizarre culture”

I won’t deny it. However, have you heard of Catalan culture? That one’s pretty bizarre too.

“what are weird facts about jewish people”

Personally, I think the weirdest fact about Jewish people is that we still exist. By all accounts, that should not be true. And yet here we are.

“did haman come from the amalikites”

Yup! He was a descendant of Agag, the Amalekite king whom the prophet Samuel killed after King Saul failed to do so.

“old yahud coins”

I assume you mean Yehuda, a.k.a. the Kingdom of Judah. (“Yahud” means “Jews” in Arabic.) I do believe coins have been discovered from that period. However, I personally am not in possession of any. Good luck!

(ETA: My husband–tour guide Rabbi Eitan Levy–informs me that “Yahud” is also the Persian name for Judah, and it was called that as a province under Persia; and many of the coins that were discovered in Israel were from that period. He even showed me that the 1-shekel coin that we currently use has “Yahud” written on it in ancient Phoenician script. You learn something new every day!)

“very sad pictures of love blood boy haman”

I must admit, I never, ever imagined seeing the words “love”, “blood”, “boy”, and “Haman” consecutively in one sentence.

I Google-Imaged this to see what on earth you might have found from my blog with these search terms, and what I found was a painting of a blood libel from my Great Post of Jewish Conspiracies. Joyful stuff.

“friends boring strangers”

Yup, that’s us. Daniella & Josep: friends boring strangers since 2014. (I feel like there should be a silly photo of us to accompany this. Alas, photos of any sort featuring both of us are in very short supply due to a minor geographic issue.)

“torah on friendship”

I did, indeed, post about friendship in Judaism in honor of our tenth friendversary!

“hinna rabbinic”

The hinna (henna) ceremony held before weddings in North African and Middle Eastern Jewish communities is not even rabbinic; it’s just a custom, one that doesn’t even originate in Judaism. Muslims in those areas also have henna ceremonies, if I’m not mistaken.

“describe the changes in his eye that enabled him to see the red light at a distance of 150m.describe also how he was able to hear the siren and restore his balance instantly”

I… will gladly do so, but first I need a few clarifications:

  1. Who are we talking about?
  2. What was wrong with his eyes before the alleged changes?
  3. What kind of siren are we talking about?
  4. What made him lose his balance in the first place?
  5. Why in the name of all things purple did Google direct you to my blog?

“write a letter to your aunty and invite her on dinner at eid event”

Dear Aunt Sue,

I have been instructed by a Random Stranger on the Internet to invite you to a dinner for an Eid event. I assume they mean Eid al-Fitr, since this request came in during the Muslim month of Ramadan. I’m afraid there might be some technical issues, however. One is that being Jewish, we don’t celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Another is that you might have some difficulty getting here, seeing as you live on the other side of the planet; and though I know you’d really love to be able to come visit, you need to stick around to keep your mom (my Bubbie) company, and it might be hard for you to travel here alone.

Nonetheless, do consider yourself invited for dinner any day of the year!

Love you and miss you!


“letter on english eid invitation for my best friend”

Dear Internet Stranger’s Best Friend,

I have been requested to write a letter in English–which, ever so fortunately, is my native tongue–inviting you to join him/her for Eid. I assume s/he means Eid al-Adha, given the timing of this request, but unfortunately I believe you have missed your opportunity this year.

However, given that you are best friends, I trust that s/he found another way to invite you. In any event, I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday.

Many blessings,


“how i spent my eid letter”

(Yes, you wouldn’t believe how many poor, unsuspecting Muslims have stumbled across my blog because they Googled something to do with letters and some Eid or other.)

To Whom It May Concern,

I have been requested to write a letter describing how I spent my Eid.

Well, Eid Al-Adha fell on September 1st this year, which was also a Friday. So I spent the day enjoying a quiet morning with my kids (FINALLY) at school, baking challah, packing, and otherwise preparing to spend Shabbat at my parents’ house. I enjoyed a wonderful and delicious Friday night meal with my parents, cousin, brother, and brand-new future sister-in-law. The challah came out great, in case you’re wondering, but no, we did not slaughter any goats, sheep, or other livestock in the process.

Many blessings,


Amused? Check out previous Search Term Q&A’s:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

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