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.
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.)
Although Israel is filled with many religious people, most supermarket visits don’t come with a side of checkout-line-blessings like the ones I witnessed recently.
There’s nothing unique about my grief following the murders in Pittsburgh except that the fear imbedded in it is new to me.
Nigunim, wordless melodies, can take numerous forms: some are fast and energetic, others are ponderous and slow, still others dance back and forth between joy and sorrow.