Why is it customary to visit loved ones' graves before or during the High Holidays?
Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.
Why Avinu Malkeinu is So Important After the Year We've Had
Every summer, I go through the same routine.
Tipping the Scales: Returning to Germany for the Days of Awe
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.
Why I'm Wishing My Fellow Jews a "Happy Yom Kippur"
Given that Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, it makes sense that it can, and should, be joyful.
What Do We Really Mean When We Apologize?
Although we learn to say “I’m sorry” as young children, as we age, these words take on more meaning, perhaps reflecting true regret about our behavior or its impact.
How Can We Find Hope and Faith in the Face of Death?
Rabbi Stephen Karol's new book is based on his many years of helping congregants in mourning, which shaped and sharpened his perceptions of death and Jewish mourning tradition.
Kol Nidrei: A Poem
I heard Kol Nidrei on a violin tonight.
They should take all legal documents
and set them to music.
All vows –
This legal document
written in unholy language
a prenuptial agreement
for our inevitable failing.
This relationship with
What Does Fasting on Yom Kippur Mean to You? 7 Jews Share Their Perspectives
From those who always fast to those who have considered not doing so – or who have taken a year or two off for health reasons – here are a few personal perspectives about fasting on the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Battling Perfection at the Start of the Jewish Year
The High Holidays remind us of our natural state of human imperfection. Let's remember, though, we are striving to be better, not perfect, in this New Year,