Holidays

Yom Kippur — The Day Atones

October 4, 2014
Yom Kippur — The Day Atones

Yom Kippur atones only for those who repent.  Rabbi says: Yom Kippur atones whether one repents or one does not repent. …Talmud, Shevuot 13a On Yom Kippur, the day itself atones… as it is written, For on this day, it shall atone for you.  …Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance...
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Tisha b’Av 5774 — Why I’m Fasting Today

August 6, 2014
Tisha b’Av 5774 — Why I’m Fasting Today

Today is Tisha b’Av, the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. The Mishnah says five disasters occurred on this date:         The twelve spies came back with their report on the land Israel, and ten of them had a negative report that...
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Two Minutes

April 28, 2014
Two Minutes

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here in Israel a two-minute siren just went off. The country mostly stops – cars pull over, drivers stand respectfully by their cars, everything just stops, for two minutes. I work from home; the one daughter who was at home at the time and I stood outside....
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Passover: Feast of Love, Feast of Faith

April 14, 2014
Passover:  Feast of Love, Feast of Faith

Every year at our seders we explore the concept of freedom. What is it? Who’s free and who’s not? Is it about being free from Pharaoh, or being free to serve God? Is it individual freedom or collective freedom? What are we personally enslaved by? But there are other themes associated with the holiday....
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Happy Thanksgivukkah!

November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Chanukah very typically overlaps with Christmas – that’s why for American Jews at least, the holiday has become a sort of “Jewish Christmas,” with gift-giving and a feeling of being included in the “Happy Holidays” greetings, and an occasional Chanukah song thrown into the mix with the Christmas music. This year, however, is different....
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Tisha b’Av 5773

July 16, 2013
Tisha b’Av 5773

Planning a family vacation that over Tisha b’Av is perhaps not the most felicitous planning. But various other commitments led to this being the only real option, and so it is for the first time since 2007 I find myself marking the most somber day on the Jewish calendar – the day when we...
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