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.)
On Shabbat a group from Physicians for Human Rights Israel, the only Israeli non-profit allowed to enter Gaza, goes to the West Bank to offer a mobile medical clinic.
Eventually, I felt as if The Holy Blessed One had nudged me out of my rest, telling me that I’d stayed there long enough: that my destiny as a Jew awaited me.
The “Days of Awe” is a good name for the High Holiday season because when we are in awe of something, that's a good thing, but I like “Awesome Days” so much better.
On a recent Shabbat, I spent the time with friends in the park. Within a few steps of our blanket, we watched people from every corner of Jerusalem spend the afternoon.
When a non-Jewish acquaintance asked me: “Are you a practicing Jew?” I answered “Yes,” but the question got me thinking about what it means to be a practicing Jew.