Even though “Crossing Delancy’s” Sam the Pickle Man and Tu BiShvat both are somewhat predictable, they also are filled with wisdom, poetry, hope, and faith.
Growing up, my family didn’t usually celebrate Shabbat at home. Only when I went away to college did Shabbat become truly meaningful.
May each of us, at this Tu BiShvat – the New Year of the Trees – refuse to be complacent in accepting the ills and sorrows of our lives.
In my past life as a cantor in Los Angeles, I was always facilitating the concept of “Jewish time” for others. Here in Jerusalem, it just sort of happens on its own.
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.
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.
Hafrashat challah (separating the challah) is a practice popular in Orthodox circles, as it is one of three mitzvot (commandments) considered special for women. The practice also offers opportunities for women to gather to say special prayers, often for people in need.