Planting and Parenting: The Lessons of Tu BiShvat
Here is the quintessential Jewish question: How do we emulate God? We are told that we were created by God. We are told that we have a divine spark within us.
Reimagining Simchat Torah so Our Rejoicing Lasts All Year
The truth is Simchat Torah is not my favorite holiday.
There. I said it.
Every year, the season of reflection and renewal is culminated by the celebration of Simchat Torah (literally “the rejoicing of the Torah”).
Drawing Near to Torah
I did not have a typical Reform Movement upbringing, and would say that the three years I lived on an island in Alaska are probably most emblematic of that.
Vegetarian Mushroom Barley Soup
One favorite dish of the Ashkenazim that survived the move from the shtetl to North America was the hearty mushroom-potato-barley soup called krupnick.
Reflecting on Simchat Torah
Thanks to social media and electronic devices you can check in on Foursquare and read the Mishkan T'filah prayer book on a handheld device at the same time. Yet for all the modern inventions, the Torah remains unaffected.
Galilee Diary: Why is This Night Different?
"Tu" (the Hebrew abbreviation of 15th) in the month of Shvat was set (Hillel's opinion generally overrules Shammai's) as the beginning of the tithable year for tree fruit: Calculating the tithe on fruit starts again for fruit that sets after that date.
Rethinking the Holy Days
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.