Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.
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.
Growing up in rural Massachusetts, Judaism held a much different context in my life than it does now. Until college, I did Judaism, mimicking the motions of being a "good Jew." I didn't combine milk and meat in my house because my father told me not to.
“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.