Awake O north wind, and come, thou south;
blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.... (Song of Songs 4:16)

Dear readers,

From the sanctuary of the Sabbath, from the family kitchen, from the garden of love, and across the high seas blow the north and south winds, bringing forth the intoxicating fragrances of spices and perfumes. The thirteenth edition of JHOM takes a close look at spices and perfumes in Jewish culture and tradition.

Among the articles:

Balsam and bosem: the ancient perfumes of Ein Gedi
The lowly hyssop: mother of the za’tar spice
A literary analysis of chapter 4 of Song of Songs
How food was enhanced in Talmudic times
The symbolism of the tower-shaped spice container
A short summary of the Jewish spice trade
All about aromatic spices used by Sephardi Jews
An excerpt from a short story by the great Yiddish writer, I.L. Peretz
An interesting anaysis of the Hebrew rootword for "spice"

The JHOM Bookshelf is now on-line. One of our featured books are The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, by Simon Wiesenthal.

Those of you who haven't visited "Exile at Home," a photographic essay by and an audio webcast interview with photographer Frederic Brenner, are urged to do so.

Have a look at our unusual and growing collection of JHOM electronic greetings cards, all original artwork based on motifs in medieval Jewish manuscripts. These may be sent at no cost to your friends and relatives. Since last month we have added Hanukkah, Shabbat and Mazal Tov cards. Also have a look at our exquisite Judaica clipart; we've added a new batch which you may download and use for your personal needs.

As always, we welcome your feedback, ideas and suggestions.
Hag Urim Sameah
. A Happy Festival of Lights.

B'vraha (with blessing),
The Editor




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