Jewish connections to Halloween?

©San Diego Jewish World

By Donald H. Harrison and Sandi Masori

Donald H. Harrison

Sandi Masori

SAN DIEGO –With the coming of Halloween, San Diego Jewish World introduces a new feature — a three-part video reporting series by my daughter, Sandi Masori, who has been after me for years to utilize originally produced video. “Fine,” said I, “you do it!” And so she did.

In this series, which can be viewed above and will continue with two parts tomorrow, Sandi interviews Rabbi Scott Meltzer of Ohr Shalom Synagogue in San Diego about some of the parallels between Halloween and Jewish mythology. They discuss the stories of golems — human-like creatures created by great rabbis — intended to protect their communities, and how golem stories were background to Mary Shelley’s famous tale about Frankenstein’s monster.

They also cover witches, such as the Witch of Endor, whom King Saul consulted when he wanted to speak to the spirit of the Prophet Samuel, as well as ghosts, which Rabbi Meltzer likens to the legendary Ushpitin (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David) who some Jews fancy visit their sukkah during the holiday of Sukkot.

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While on the subject of changes to San Diego Jewish World, I should mention that we have become affiliated with Nordot, a group that compiles news stories from all over the world and then allows participating news organizations to reprint each other’s material.

Even as some of the stories originated by San Diego Jewish World (including this one including Sandi’s video) will be made available to other media, so too will our readers benefit from stories produced by other news organizations that we now have the privilege of running. For example in today’s report, we have two stories from the Deutsche Presse (one dealing with the terrorist attack at a church in Nice, France; the other telling of the British Labour Party suspending its former leader Jeremy Corbyn.) There is an article from Agence France-Presse about the U.S. intention to sell F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates, and even a local story from the San Diego Union Tribune about a lawsuit in which Jewish Family Service is a plaintiff seeking to overturn the “Stay in Mexico” policy for people seeking asylum in the U.S.

We will continue to make changes and modernize our report as the opportunities arrive, all in an effort to keep our Jewish community well informed.

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Donald H. Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World. He may be contacted via donald.harrison@sdjewishworld.com