Joshua M. Z. Stanton

You Are What You Wear

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Elyse Goldstein

He shall be dressed in a sacral linen tunic, with linen breeches next to his flesh, and be girt with a linen sash, and he shall wear a linen turban. They are sacral vestments; he shall bathe his body in water and then put them on. (Leviticus 16:4) A few years ago, I was in Jerusalem in a Chasidic neighborhood, surrounded by stores carrying tallitot, kippot, and all sorts of Judaica. To my utter shock, prominently displayed in one store's window was a bright pink tallis! I went inside and started talking to the owner, a Chasid in full regalia: black coat, knickers, side curls, and fur-trimmed shtreimel hat. "Who would buy a pink tallit?" I asked. "A bat mitzvah girl of course," this Chasid said, with no hesitation. ". . . no, not the girls in my community," he added, "but in yours, sure, why not?"

Hanukkah's History: Challenging but Full of Meaning

Joshua M. Z. Stanton

The history of Hanukkah squeezes us between two competing narratives: one of idealization and one of consternation.

The former encourages us to view Hanukkah as a holiday of liberation, when the Maccabees overthrew their Hellenistic occupiers in pursuit of...