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.
Summer is coming soon, and it’s all I can think about this Shabbat, when I am at home in D.C., dreaming of Massachusetts. Because out of all of the things I love about camp, it’s possible I love Shabbat the most. And as my countdown ticks down, my excitement riles up.
Leading your own synagogue Shabbat hike is incredibly easy. In just 10 steps – simple but effective – you can embark on a moving spiritual experience. And, as we discovered on Congregation Or Ami’s own Shabbat hikes, the journey is inspiring and refreshing.
Outdoor services offering kid-friendly, informal or abbreviated worship, and camp-style music are popular during the summer. Here’s a sampling of good ol’ summertime Shabbat celebrations in some Reform congregations across North America.
In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the year’s liturgy. (Note: Even though I may have to repent for it, I will leave you in suspense about my favorite liturgical moment and my greatest liturgical pet peeve. Also, “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days” is fictional, although I hereby declare copyright in the event Mattel or Hasbro comes knocking at my door.)
On July 2, 2014, the prestigious science journal Nature retracted two heralded papers in the field of stem cell research, papers it had published only a few months earlier. The articles described a revolutionary process called STAP, where biologists subjected mature adult cells to physical stresses and transformed them into stem cells. Yet, in the editorial announcing the papers' retraction, Nature's editors reported that the "data that were an essential part of the authors' claims had been misrepresented" and that the authors' work was marred by "sloppiness" and "selection bias" ("Editorial: STAP retracted," Nature, vol. 511, no. 7507, July 2, 2014). All told, as the journalist Dana Goodyear has written, "a far-reaching and sensational conjecture" was "defeated by flaws that were at best irreparable and at worst unconscionable" ("The Stress Test," The New Yorker, February 29, 2016, pp. 46-57).