It is a truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to be Jewish at Christmas time. It has seeped into North American cultural consciousness so thoroughly that South Park even wrote a song about it, complete with trademark expletives.
I had the recent pleasure to be invited by a friend on a hike in Los Liones Canyon of Pacific Palisades. It was gorgeous summer day and the trail was steep. We pretty much hightailed it up as fast as our feet would carry us!
"At the edge of a valley so quiet and pretty stands a five story building far away from the city."
One of the great paradoxes of being an American Reform Jew who chose to make aliyah (move to Israel) is that the whole concept of majority and minority is turned on its head. One the one hand, as a Jew, I am culturally and ethnically now part of the majority.
Sure enough, last week I saw the first chatzav flower of the season – which was actually sort of surprising, as it's been several years since the last leap year, so the holidays are "early" in the solar year this year.
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month there shall be the Feast of Sukkot to the Lord, seven days. The first day shall be a sacred occasion: you shall not work oat your occupations; seven days you shall bring offerings by fire to the Lord.
I have had the pleasure of writing about some very unique holiday experiences that took place in my home when I was growing up.