Columns - 2018

    Shalom Buy It

    Jewish matrimonial tradition includes a concept called Shalom Bayit. Literally "peace of the house," it is one of the key ingredients of a strong marriage right up there with separate dishes for dairy, meat, and when he forgot to take out the trash.

    And what better way to ensure Shalom Bayit than with these marvelous, rare gift items? Just in time for the Shavuot shopping season, they can be yours just as quickly as you can click "Bid" and secure a second mortgage.

    You don't have to be an international diplomat to put a price on peace! Biblical Archaeological Review doesn't talk about any of these priceless prizes. They're such rare finds that even they don't know about them. You're the first.

    Torah scroll, first edition

    Be the envy of scholars and ritual committees alike with this original, straight from the Sinai desert Torah scroll. Read the story of our people as it was first recorded, with ink and parchment dating back thousands of years farther than any archaeologist will admit exists.

    But wait. There's more. This first edition Torah scroll is autographed by the original author. Make this Torah yours and put to rest the centuries-old debate about the Torah's authorship. You have the signature! Your spouse will be proud when you resolve this generations-long argument. It'll give hope that you can resolve your next one at home.

    Original Exodus matzah

    Set your seder table with something that'll even make Elijah stay for a second drink. This box of matzah was cooked for the original Exodus from Egypt, and is guaranteed to taste nearly as old as Shmura Matzah.

    Passover just ended, you say? This matzah has lasted over three thousand years. It will keep until next April.

    Unseen footage -- The Ten Commandments

    This is the footage Cecil B. DeMille never saw and never wanted you to see: The actual giving of the Ten Commandments. This 70mm footage captures the actual descent from Mount Sinai by Moses and his reading from the two tablets to the People of Israel and proximitous desert animals who had no less idea what was going on than many of the Israelites. (A million people; hard to hear from the back.)

    Forget the burning bush or parting of the Sea of Reeds. (Don't forget the 1969 Mets.) This footage is a rarely spoken of biblical miracle, given that its origins are millenia before the invention of film, cameras, or the metric system. So mystifying is this ancient artifact that you won't find a rabbi today who'll admit hearing of it, let alone discuss it.

    My Brother's Kippah

    The early chapters of Genesis predate kippot. They predate the Jewish people. Nevertheless, on that fateful day when the Big G confronted Cain about his invention of fratricide, Cain was wearing a head covering. Now, it can be part of your post-Labor Day collection.

    Lock of Samson's Hair

    For centuries, sending someone a lock of hair has been a romantic gesture. Delilah took this one step too far with Samson. Of course, the roof fell in on her plan, but what happened to the hair?

    Forget string theory. Centuries of studying strand theory are resolved! Medical specialists can't wait to approach the proud purchaser of this mane to try a surgical hair implant with it and see whether it provides human strength of biblical proportions.

    Joseph's Coat

    Be the envy of musical theatre costumers everywhere. This is the original tunic that Jacob gave Joseph, and that Joseph's brothers mangled to fake Joseph's untimely demise.

    You can be the one to write to Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, informing them, "'red and yellow and green and brown...' sure, but 'scarlet and black and ochre and peach...' not so much." And you have proof!

    Log B'Omer

    Yes, Lag B'Omer gets its name from being the 33rd (l''g in Hebrew numbering) day of the Omer. But there's a bonfire. Therefore, there was a first bonfire. Like most Jewish celebrations, there were leftovers. Don't lag behind your neighbors, get this log chopped for the original Lag B'Omer bonfire.

    Operators are holding their breath.

    Doug Brook is hereby the first to dub how the Mets manage their imminent dynasty as The Metric System. To read past columns, visit For exclusive online content, like

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.