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.
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.)
Why I Love the "Awesome Days"
The “Days of Awe” is a good name for the High Holiday season because when we are in awe of something, that's a good thing, but I like “Awesome Days” so much better.
How the Yom Kippur After Hurricane Katrina Changed Me Forever
“On Rosh HaShanah, the year’s decree is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who will live and who will die…”
Home is Where the Jewish Community Is
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.
How Meditation is Preparing Me for the High Holidays
In June, I saw a post in a local Facebook group that intrigued me: "Stop! Take a break! Join us for Group Meditation in the City."
Telling Stories: How to Inspire One Another in Your Congregation
Inviting people to share memories of interesting, meaningful experiences in their lives – especially on Yom Kippur – always proves to inspire others.