This morning I met again with my usual cohort of Jewish clergy who study sacred texts together each week in the coffee shop.
Judaism is filled with ritualized counting. From the seven ordered days of creation, to the repetition of forty throughout the Tanach (Hebrew Bible), to God's exhortation to Abraham to "count the stars, if you can count them…" Currently, we are in the midst of counting the Omer, the days from Passover to Shavuot.
I’ve always been taught that when the Jewish people read from the Torah, it is not a random passage.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about unplugging for Shabbat – and wondering what that would mean for many Reform and Conservative Jews. Most of us drive on Saturday, answer the phone, write, and turn lights on and off. What would it look like for us to “power down” over Shabbat?
What makes this holiday a favorite among secular Israelis, while it is almost forgotten by Jewish kids in the Diaspora?
I had always thought of Jewish cemeteries as solemn places – but that was before going to a hilloula (festivity) 30 years ago in the Moroccan town of Ouazzane on Lag BaOmer, the Jewish holiday that falls on the 33rd day between Pesach and Shavuot.