As the son of Holocaust survivors, I ruled out the possibility of ever visiting a concentration camp. Doing so would be emotionally off the charts.
Yom HaShoah is typically a somber time to reflect, and for me personally, to be angry at the world. Last year, however, was different.
To make the ceremonies and reflections of Holocaust Remembrance Day meaningful, there must be ways it informs our decisions as Jews and as human beings all year long.
Yom HaShoah is a day of mourning in Israel. Many stores close, music on the radio reflects the somber nature of the day, and most amazing is the sound of the siren.
As Israel marks 70 years, here are seven ways (one for each decade!) to engage your congregation in celebrating the country and her people -- now and throughout the year.
Israel helps me retain my optimism. Whenever I land there, I never fail to feel a slight buckling in my knees, the joy of returning to that marvelous, confounding place.
This recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion's recipe for Bakery Date Squares.
My commute to work every morning is not typical. I drive through the Roaring Fork Valley with majestic, now snow-covered, mountains on my left and my right. The sky is often a clear, bright blue, and the sun glimmers off the powdery snow that shifts in the wind. I am the cantor at the Aspen Jewish Congregation, and I certainly feel blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place. This quote from Isaiah is particularly fitting for this part of the country, as the people here are very in touch with the nature around them - often finding their spiritual center while skiing a run or hiking in the hills.