Early Hanukkah in 2013: Jewish Calendar Fun
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.
Kol Nidre: All Vows and One Haunting Melody
Perhaps the most familiar melody we hear each High Holiday season is Kol Nidre – the introductory prayer recited before sundown on the eve of Yom Kippur.
When Yom Kippur Coincides with National Coming Out Day
As we begin the year 5777, let us commit to putting greater inclusion, equality, and acceptance of all God’s children front and center.
Social Media is No Place for the Real Work of Repentance
I have a hard time believing that, however good the intentions may be, typing "Please forgive me if I hurt you" into our browsers can create change.
Go Ahead, Post Your Yom Kippur Apologies on Facebook
If posting an apology online serves as a starting point for follow-up conversations, I say go for it. How could that ever be a bad thing?
For the Sin of Abandoning My People
I vowed that if Israel survived, I would never again abandon my people, never again be indifferent to Israel’s fate.
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.
My Alphabet of Failings: A New Ashamnu
Each year on Yom Kippur, I join my congregation is reciting the Ashamnu, an alphabetic acrostic of sins for which we repent. And each year, it occurs to me that most of the sins named in the Ashamnu don’t hit me in the heart I’m beating – and so, I wrote my own version of the prayer.
How the High Holidays Are Like a Charles Dickens Tale
Whether you prefer the 1843 book or any of the many movie versions made since, there is no question that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a classic.
Now, despite the season for which Dickens wrote it, A Christmas Carol is a Yom Kippur story if there ever was one.
Yom Kippur Wasn't Always the Holiday It Is Now
As the summer passes its midway point, rabbis begin to think seriously about the coming Days of Awe.