My earliest memories of the High Holy Day season, in particular Rosh HaShanah, involve me as a child sneaking out of services to use the restroom, only to find myself spending the remainder of the service with my brother in the child care room. During the short time I would stay in services, I re
The month preceding the High Holy Days is called Elul. It is a time of reflection before we “officially” begin the important process of teshuvah.
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.
My commute to work every morning is not typical. I drive through the Roaring Fork Valley with majestic, now snow-covered, mountains on my left and my right. The sky is often a clear, bright blue, and the sun glimmers off the powdery snow that shifts in the wind. I am the cantor at the Aspen Jewish Congregation, and I certainly feel blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place. This quote from Isaiah is particularly fitting for this part of the country, as the people here are very in touch with the nature around them - often finding their spiritual center while skiing a run or hiking in the hills.
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.
Tu BiShvat, the birthday of the trees (or the new year of the trees) is a minor Jewish holiday.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” our Torah begins, so many ask: How could God have created the world in seven days? What about the dinosaurs and evolution? Don’t we believe in that?