Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.
I began my journey to Judaism nervously. Unlike the Charedim (ultra-Orthodox) who are anxious before the word of God, I was anxious in the uncertainty of the future.
You know that feeling you get sometimes when you hear a piece of music and it makes your heart want to leap right out of your chest? Maybe it's because of what the words mean, or because of how the melody lifts you, or because of what the song represents in your memory.
Although we never take off our watches, everyone seems to know that camp time runs at a different pace.
Four hundred years ago, the mystics of Tzfat began walking out into the fields to greet Shabbat (many of us reenact this by standing for the last verse of L'cha Dodi). Contemporaries scoffed: Shabbat comes to you, wherever you are!
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.