When I was a kid, my family did not keep kosher. The closest we got was the story my mother told about how, when she was growing up, her father once yelled at her as she poured a glass of milk to go with her BLT sandwich: “We don’t mix milk and meat!”
Still, my mother always used a kosher chicken when she made chicken soup. “It tastes better,” she said with a shrug, and she made amazing chicken soup. It was mostly for holidays, like Rosh HaShanah or Passover – big, extended-family meals that came out in a thousand courses.
Each one of them started with soup – and noodles,...Read More
Thanksgiving used to be a day unto itself; now we have a whole Thanksgiving season! Americans' shopping habits brought us catchily-named, add-on "holidays" like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. In the last couple of years, we’ve thankfully (no pun intended) added a new day to the mix: #GivingTuesday.
As we gather for the Thanksgiving feast with family and friends, some of us may find it difficult to be as thankful as we ought to be. We may be troubled that the prosperity we enjoy has passed over the homes of those who suffer from hunger. Feelings of...Read More
Growing up the child of a Jew-by-choice, everything about Judaism was a choice for us. For my mother, Judaism was a gift. She felt very proud to count herself among the Jewish people. She felt blessed to have the opportunity to do Jewish things. And she felt great joy in being able to give me Jewish experiences. To this day, she calls Jewish overnight camp “the best investment I ever made.”
In our home, I don’t ever remember hearing the words “have to” when it came to Judaism. I only remember hearing “get to.” We get to light Shabbat candles. We get to go to synagogue. We get to...Read More
The number of months, with God, is 12 in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth… The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another…
The media were ready for blood during the days leading up to Yom Kippur this year, as the holiday fell on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha. Given the fraught atmosphere between Jews and Arabs that was created during the Gaza war this summer, there was concern that the usual small-scale Yom Kippur...Read More
We are right now in the midst of the journey from Passover to Shavuot. If Pesach is our moment of physical courage, Shavuot is our moment of spiritual courage. Shavuot is an encounter with God’s presence.
How would you feel if you were told, “Next week you will have the most powerful life-changing spiritual experience of your life?” Would you panic? Would you be excited? Would you be afraid?
Personally, I would be terrified. If the past is any indicator, I might even run away.
I like my life the way it is now. I don’t want to shake things up. I like order and...Read More
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