Tagged religion

Why Did Abraham Care What We Eat? Food Restrictions in Major Religions

We often emphasize distinctions between the main Abrahamic religions, but they have something culinary in common: each year Muslims, Christians, and Jews restrict their diets to mimic the fasts of their respective prophets Muhammed,…

Baking with Becca: Cooking Outside the Box

Baking with Becca began at Whitman Library , nestled between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Snyder Avenue in South Philly. When COVID hit, we had to take a long break. I continued to grow and learn to strengthen this class and to steel myself…

The Jewish Festival of Lights

The night of Thursday, December 10 begins the Jewish Festival of Lights known as Hanukkah. That much we can agree on, eh? Well, err, kind of. Yes, the holiday begins on Thursday evening, but what is the correct spelling, in English, of…

Judaism 101: History, Religion, and Culture

Are you curious about Judaism? Are Judaism and Jews a people, a nation, a religion, a culture, a way of life, or something else? What does it mean to be a Jew or Jewish? On October 11 , Rabbi Joel Kessler will attempt to demystify one…

Learn of the Luminous Mysteries of Kabbalah

Do you know what Kabbalah is?  Join us on May 23 at 7:00 p.m. to learn about this ancient mystical Jewish tradition.  Professor Joel Hecker will talk about the history of Kabbalah, focusing on its central and canonical text,…

#OneBookWednesday: Spiritual and Religious Identity

"I refused to cover my head in public. Refused to walk through the world as a messenger of Allah’s teachings, ate hot dogs and bacon when I was with my girls. My Muslim beliefs lived just left of my heart. I was leaving space…

Rosh Hashanah Is a SWEET Time to Visit the Free Library

Rosh Hashanah —the celebration of the Jewish new year—begins at sundown on Wednesday night, September 20. Even those not celebrating the holiday may be preparing, as Philadelphia schools are closed Thursday and Friday .…

Librarian Traces Family Roots Through Historic Bible

The Rare Book Department 's Judaica includes a beautifully written and lavishly hand-decorated Spanish Hebrew Masoretic Text bible . Commissioned in 1496 in Lisbon, Portugal, the book is well-known among contemporary Hebrew bible…

Philadelphia: City of the Uncanny and the Arcane

Philadelphia is a wild and weird city. There’s so much to love, to hate, to love to hate, and to hate to love. There’s also so much that we, as every day Philadelphians, have somehow forgotten or never learned about our…

Ramadan Mubarak

The holy month of Ramadan began earlier this week, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance of fasting is based…

Sunday Fundays (in partnership with Folkshul)

Sunday Funday is a partnership between Folkshul and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Join us for a morning of stories & songs + mindfulness, meditation, and movement in celebration of Jewish culture & Jewish Life. For children…

Academic Search Main Edition *

Academic Search Main Edition is a multi-disciplinary database providing full text for nearly 2,000 journals and periodicals and is updated daily on EBSCOhost.

Brian Greene | Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe

In conversation with Dennis Overbye, science reporter for the New York Times and author of the books Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos and Einstein in Love “The single best explainer of abstruse science in the world today” ( Washington Post…

Tamara Payne | The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X

In conversation with Sarah Glover, veteran journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists.   In 1990, Pulitzer Prize -winning journalist Les Payne set out on a nearly 30-year crusade to write the most…

Cecile Richards | Make Trouble: Stand Up, Speak Out, and Find the Courage to Lead—My Life Story

In conversation with Tamala Edwards , anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition A “heroine of the resistance” ( Vogue ), Cecile Richards was the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund…

Nathan Englander | Kaddish.com with Thomas Mallon | Landfall

Nathan Englander is the author of the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank , a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story…

Jane Brox | Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives

Penning “nonfiction literature of a high and lasting order” ( Chicago Tribune ), Jane Brox is the author of, among other books, Five Thousand Days Like This One , a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Brilliant: The…

Elaine Pagels | Why Religion?: A Personal Story

In conversation with award-winning journalist, Tracey Matisak One of the most esteemed religious scholars of our time, Elaine Pagels is the author of Revelations , Beyond Belief , and The Gnostic Gospels . Her many honors include…

Mary Morris | Gateway to the Moon with Nathaniel Popkin | Everything is Borrowed

“A marvelous storyteller” ( Chicago Tribune ), Mary Morris explores some of her favorite themes—away versus home, childhood memories, and the Midwest—in such works of fiction as A Mother’s Love, House Arrest , and The Jazz Palace . The…

Walter Isaacson | Leonardo da Vinci

Watch the video here . Released just weeks after the tech guru’s death, Walter Isaacson’s “staggering” ( The New York Times ) portrait of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs instantly became an international bestseller. Isaacson has also penned…

Nikki Giovanni | A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter

Watch the video here . “One of the finest poets of our time” ( Ebony ), Nikki Giovanni is the author of nearly 30 books, including the collections Acolytes; Black Feeling, Black Talk, Black Judgment; Those Who Ride the Night Winds ;…

Simon Schama | The Story of the Jews Volume Two: Belonging: 1492-1900

Watch the video here . In conversation with Carlin Romano , Critic-at-Large, The Chronicle of Higher Education , former literary critic The Philadelphia Inquirer and author of America the Philosophical   Lauded historian Simon Schama is…

Stephen Greenblatt | The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Watch the video here . Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern , Stephen Greenblatt is widely acclaimed as the father of New Historicism, which strives to understand works of…

Janet Benton | Lilli de Jong

In conversation with Sam Katz, civic entrepreneur and executive producer of History Making Productions. Janet Benton’s writing has appeared in some of America’s most prestigious periodicals and literary journals, including The New York…

Joan Nathan | King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World

Watch the video here . Joan Nathan is the author of 11 bestselling culinary guides, including The New American Cooking and Jewish Cooking in America , both of which won James Beard and IACP awards. The latter book was adapted into a PBS…

Bernard-Henri Lévy | The Genius of Judaism

In conversation with Carlin Romano, Critic-at-Large,The Chronicle of Higher Education  “Perhaps the most prominent intellectual in France today” ( The Boston Globe ), Bernard-Henri Lévy led the vanguard of the radical 1970s “New…