Stan's Rice Pudding and Beyond: The Power of Jewish Food
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.
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.)
Torah Readings for Rosh Hashanah
The Torah and Haftarah readings for Rosh Hashanah all connect with, and illustrate, one or another of the themes of the holiday. I use the plural advisedly here, because there have been a variety of readings from early on-long before the onset of modernity and the Reform movement.
Torah Cantillation for the High Holy Days
There are many elements which make the High Holy Days a unique experience. Often, congregations swell to double or triple their usual size, the musical settings of even common liturgy are different, and some might alter their dress by wearing either traditionally all-white garments or more formal wear than they would sport on Shabbat. Some congregations even have unique garments to dress their Torah scrolls in white.
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.