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Mondays are a universally hated day. We drudge along during the week, looking forward to a couple of days of rest, only to restart the process all over again the next week.

Thankfully, we have, intrinsic to our religion, a day for us to rest. It is a day that separates the mundane from the holy during which we can disconnect from our work and focus on our family and ourselves. As welcome as it is, one (or...

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When we open the ark in the sanctuary during the 45 minutes of quiet before Neilah, the closing prayer on Yom Kippur, hundreds of worshipers come up and stand before the open doors. Some are sobbing, while others cover their faces. Something important is going on, something about doors opening and closing, something to do with the yearnings of souls. We can discern a hint of this dramatic moment in the High Holiday prayer that begins: “We knock at your gates, merciful God; please do not turn us away empty...

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My book, When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible’s Framework for Deciding (Jewish Lights), had just come out when another guest turned to me during a Shabbat dinner and asked, “Now that you’ve written about lying, do you tell fewer lies?”

Do I tell fewer lies?

That’s some nerve!

The question assumes that I’ve lied in the past and continue to lie. Imagine I wrote a book about theft instead and he asked, “Do you steal as much as you used to?” and I say, “Oh, no! Now I only steal half as much.”...

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When Congregation Hakafa of Glencoe, IL, publicized its four-day camping and canoe trip in Michigan, how could we resist such an unusual temple offering?

I admit that I was tempted to resist, since my husband and I hadn't camped and done daily river canoe tripping in decades, but he convinced me not to worry – almost.

In anticipation, I knew just what I should worry about. Would I get any sleep for three nights in a row lying in an uncomfortable sleeping bag in a tent? Could I endure that much canoe paddling in an adept and continuous way?...

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I have a slight problem at Rosh HaShanah.

Although I set out the most beautiful apples and a bowl of honey on our holiday table each year, I don’t like the taste of traditional bee honey. No offense to the bees, but it’s just too pungent and sharp for me.

I never gravitate toward recipes that include honey when I cook or bake, making baklava, sopaipillas, flan, and the like nish fir mir (not for me). Nonetheless, apples and honey provide a brilliant symbol for a sweet new year, and one that has many...

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