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Jewish holidays

Person facing a choice: Order to the right; chaos to the left

Purim is a holiday of excesses and extremes. For someone who thrives on control, order, quiet reflection, and decorum, it can be troubling and uncomfortable.

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
Silver crystal studded crown lying on pillowy satin material

Themes relating to gender are especially relevant this Purim, as sexual harassment and assault allegations against high-profile men continue to emerge.

Josefin Dolsten (JTA)
Plate of hamantaschen with different fillings

When I was growing up on Long Island, hamantaschen had a golden yeast dough and filling that oozed from the seams. What ever happened to those delicious treats?

Cantor Evan Kent
Tree as seen from below

In college, being outdoors and celebrating the natural world was an important part of my spirituality, so I sought out hints that other Jews felt the same way.

Rabbi Daniel Swartz
Forest in summer; sun streaming in on tall, full leaf trees

Even though “Crossing Delancy’s” Sam the Pickle Man and Tu BiSh’vat both are somewhat predictable, they also are filled with wisdom, poetry, hope, and faith.

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
Arms hugging the trunk of a tree with the hands coming together to form a heart shape in front of it

May each of us, at this Tu BiSh’vat – the New Year of the Trees – refuse to be complacent in accepting the ills and sorrows of our lives. 

Rabbi Emma Gottlieb
Challah, wine and Shabbat candles

Growing up, my family didn’t usually celebrate Shabbat at home. Only when I went away to college did Shabbat become truly meaningful.  

Alex Anesetti
Trees after a forest fire

The wind and the smell of smoke woke us. We stumbled out of bed, joining neighbors in the cul-de-sac to stare at the red glow lighting up the hills behind our houses.

Rabbi George Gittleman
Trays of colorfully decorated donuts for Hanukkah

In Jerusalem, Hanukkah is all about food. The famous Israeli jelly donuts appear in shops about a month before the holiday screaming, “Buy me! Eat me! Savor me!”

Cantor Evan Kent
Assortment of dreidels amidst holiday lights

Sometimes we create our own traditions, sometimes we carry on a tradition we inherit, and sometimes a tradition can come from unexpected places.

Ann Imig


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