We Stood Together at Sinai: We May Stand Together at the Kotel, Too
I grew up in a home with my single mother and two sisters. My mother had one sister, two nieces, and one nephew. When my mother died, our synagogue shipped in the men of the traveling shiva minyan to say Kaddish for her the night of her funeral.
Stan's Rice Pudding and Beyond: The Power of Jewish Food
Sharansky’s Kotel plan loses support from both sides
Following a court ruling in their favor, leaders of an organization pushing for women's prayer rights at the Western Wall have withdrawn their endorsement of Natan Sharansky’s compromise proposal to expand the egalitarian section there.
A Reform Jew-by-Choice Begins His Journey to the Rabbinate
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.
Why Praying at the Western Wall Matters to Jewish Women
I had come to Israel to join my friend Anat Hoffman, who is one the leaders of the Women of the Wall. The previous month, there had been a random decree that as women were coming in, they were not allowed to wear their prayer shawls, their tallits. I’ve been wearing a prayer shawl since I would say the late '70s, a long time. And it’s just considered a regular part of my ritual in prayer. In 1968, the Orthodox rabbinic created a mechitza, which is a separation between men and women at the Western Wall. And the understanding here in a very traditionally observant manner, in an orthodox manner, is that men are obligated to pray. Women are not. The Orthodox have deemed this site to be a synagogue.
The Music of Avinu Malkeinu
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.)
How Midrash and Commentary Help Us Read Between the Lines
As Rosh HaShanah approached last year, I was living in southwestern China, where I celebrated by eating apples and explaining the Jewish New Year to my Chinese roommate.