Although we may think time moves in a linear fashion, Jewish holidays insert themselves in unexpected moments and places, seemingly out-of-sync with our expectations.
I'm uncomfortable entering unfamiliar synagogues - solely because I am mixed race, and people assume that I am not Jewish.
There are many elements which make the High Holy Days a unique experience. Often, congregations swell to double or triple their usual size, the musical settings of even common liturgy are different, and some might alter their dress by wearing either traditionally all-white garments or more formal wear than they would sport on Shabbat. Some congregations even have unique garments to dress their Torah scrolls in white.
Ushering in the High Holiday season, Selichot – which falls this year on Saturday night, September 24th – is the warm-up stretch that precedes the spiritual workout we give our souls during the Days of Awe.
Compared with others over the centuries, I paid a piddling price to express my pride in being a Jew. But my small act of affirmation helped seal my career choice and allowed me to feel that I was one with Jake Pitler, Hank Greenberg, and Sandy Koufax.
Elul is famously a month of t'shuvah, returning and atonement, and these five films anticipate the penitential prayers.
Every year, I set out apples and honey on our holiday table even though I don’t like traditional bee honey. This year, I have a solution.