Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.
Whenever I'm asked if the Jewish holidays are coming early or late this year, I promptly answer that they'll be coming on time. And that's partially true. Rosh Hashanah will always arrive on the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei just as Hanukkah will always begin on the 25th of Kislev.
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.
“On Rosh HaShanah, the year’s decree is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who will live and who will die…”
Nothing is more intimidating than leaving your comfort zone, facing a mix of new people, routines, and cultures – especially when you're doing it alone. I’ll never forgot how it felt when I left for college, a New York girl heading to school in the Midwest.
In June, I saw a post in a local Facebook group that intrigued me: "Stop! Take a break! Join us for Group Meditation in the City."
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.